Current Studentships

Keele University studentships, when available, are funded internally or from external sponsors such as research councils or from industry. If you are interested in any of the studentships available you can apply online.

Research Topic Investigate the effect of sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells on endothelial cells and astrocytes of the blood brain barrier, in cerebral malaria
Reference number: FNS GS 2016-09
Abstract

Applications are invited for a self-funded 3-year PhD studentship.  This study will investigate changes in human brain endothelial cells and astrocytes in response to PRBC cytoadherence and mechanisms involved in mediating these changes.  These studies will be performed using human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBEC) and human astrocytes grown in tandem in an in vitro co-culture model, using an advanced model of the blood brain barrier (BBB).

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 3 years
Fees Please see advert
Stipend None - please see advert
Closing date 22 September 2016

Apply online here


Research Topic Analysing polypharmacy and deprescribing using general practice consultation data
Reference number: ISTM2016-01
Abstract

Project Overview


Applications are invited for a full-time 3-year PhD studentship, funded by the School of Pharmacy and the Institute for Science & Technology in Medicine (ISTM), University of Keele to commence at the start of October 2016. This project will be of interest to students with a background in pharmacy, social science or information science.


The studentship will be centred on the analysis of electronic medical records with the aim of understanding the role of polypharmacy and/or deprescribing in effective medicine use. As Medicines Optimisation is one of the key themes of the Pharmacy School at Keele (see centreformedicinesoptimisation.co.uk), this is an opportune time to address these issues.


Polypharmacy is become more prevalence within the UK National Health Service (NHS) for a range of reasons including the ageing population and increasing preventative prescribing.


Deprescribing involves changing medication to reduce polypharmacy and potentially inappropriate or ineffective medication.


The project will utilise the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) and/or The Health Improvement Network (THIN) which are internationally recognised resources for conducting robust medical and epidemiological research. The research team in the Pharmacy School at Keele has published widely using CPRD and more recently THIN (see www.keele.ac.uk/pharmacy/staff/martinfrisher/).


A report by the King's Fund entitled “Polypharmacy and medicines optimisation; Making it safe and sound” (http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/polypharmacy-and-medicines-optimisation) suggested making a differentiation between appropriate and problematic polypharmacy. However there is little research on this topic. There are conflicting opinions on polypharmacy; previously it has been deemed as something to be avoided, but now it is considered beneficial in many circumstances. However the nature of these circumstances is unclear.


The following research questions will be explored:



  • How should polypharmacy be defined?

  • What factors influence polypharmacy use in an ageing population?

  • How does polypharmacy relate to other health seeking behaviours?

  • Is polypharmacy use associated with current and future well being?

  • To what extent can appropriate and problematic polypharmacy be assessed using electronic databases

  • How does polypharmacy use change over the life course?

  • Under what circumstances is deprescribing an effective intervention?


General practice databases have the potential to examine real life prescribing patterns but they have rarely been utilised in relation to polypharmacy. For this study, there are a range of possible study designs, e.g. selecting a cohort who have had a medication review or selecting cohorts with multi-morbidity.  The large sample size and representativeness of CPRD and THIN means there is considerable statistical power for cohort and case-control studies and to draw robust conclusions on disease incidence, risk factors, exposure effects, treatment patterns and health outcomes. The ability to analyse and interpret large health datasets is increasingly useful to pharmacists in the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry.

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 3 years
Fees The studentship will be available from September 1st 2016. Three years full time fees will be paid at current UK/EU rates."
Stipend Three years full time stipend will be paid at the current Research Council rate (£14,296).
Closing date 31st August 2016

Apply online here


Research Topic Functionalised nanoprobes for characterisation of the structure and function of biological macromolecules using optically detected nuclear magnetic resonance
Reference number: ISTM2016-02
Abstract

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the group of Professor Melissa Mather in the Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine (ISTM) at Keele University, UK. This studentship represents an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated candidate to carry out ground breaking research in the framework of an ERC Consolidator Grant (TransPhorm). The funded project is focused on the development of a transformative technology platform based on Nitrogen Vacancy (NV) magnetometry to enable the structure and function of transmembrane proteins (TMPs) to be studied in their native state with unprecedented sensitivity and resolution. In the current project the successful candidate will focus on surface treatment and functionalisation of NV probes to study the structure and function of biological macromolecules with high selectivity by employing NVs as magnetic field sensors.


The project aims to reproducibly produce and characterise surface functionalised NV diamonds, in the first instance via carboxylation, ready for bio-labelling. NV diamonds will also be functionalised with antibodies for specific attachment to target antigens on the biological macromolecules of interest. Work will also be carried out to modify amino acid side chains of natural and recombinant proteins to incorporate small NMR probes at target, reactive moieties in the protein of interest.


Applicants should have, or expect to gain; at least an upper second class honours degree in the biological sciences or materials science. The studentship will be available from September 1st 2016. Three years full time stipend will be paid at the current Research Council rate (£14,296). Three years full time fees will be paid at current UK/EU rates. Funding is also available for travel to national and international conferences.


The successful candidate will enjoy access to high level facilities and instrumentation available at ISTM. Approximately 90% of ISTM's research was rated as world leading or internationally excellent in the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment (REF2014). ISTM specialises in translational research and REF2014 results demonstrate that the research carried out at ISTM has genuine impact on the world around us. Further information can be found at https://www.keele.ac.uk/istm/ .


For informal enquires contact Professor Melissa Mather via email: (m.mather@keele.ac.uk ).

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 3 years
Fees The studentship will be available from September 1st 2016. Three years full time fees will be paid at current UK/EU rates."
Stipend Three years full time stipend will be paid at the current Research Council rate (£14,296).
Closing date 31st August 2016

Apply online here


Research Topic Fast, wide-field, super resolution microscopy for optical detection of nuclear spins from biological macromolecules
Reference number: ISTM2016-03
Abstract

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the group of Professor Melissa Mather in the Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine (ISTM) at Keele University, UK. This studentship represents an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated candidate to carry out ground breaking research in the framework of an ERC Consolidator Grant (TransPhorm). The funded project is focused on the development of a transformative technology platform based on Nitrogen Vacancy (NV) magnetometry to enable the structure and function of transmembrane proteins (TMPs) to be studied in their native state with unprecedented sensitivity and resolution. In this project the successful student will focus on the customisation of a microscopy system to enable optical detection of weak magnetic fields from NV centres in diamond and investigate the effects external nuclear spins have on the NV electron spin.


The project aims to establish a fast, widefield, super resolution imaging technique using nanodiamond probes for optically detected nuclear magnetic resonance. The downstream application of the technology to be developed is to study the structure and function of biological macromolecules with high selectivity by employing NV as magnetic field sensors to target specific biological sites and to map magnetic fields caused by nuclear spins from the biological macromolecules.


Applicants should have, or expect to gain; at least an upper second class honours degree in physics or engineering. The studentship will be available from September 1st 2016. Three years full time stipend will be paid at the current Research Council rate (£14,296). Three years full time fees will be paid at current UK/EU rates. Funding is also available for travel to national and international conferences.


The successful candidate will enjoy access to high level facilities and instrumentation available at ISTM. Approximately 90% of ISTM's research was rated as world leading or internationally excellent in the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment (REF2014). ISTM specialises in translational research and REF2014 results demonstrate that the research carried out at ISTM has genuine impact on the world around us. Further information can be found at https://www.keele.ac.uk/istm/ .


For informal enquires contact Professor Melissa Mather via email: (m.mather@keele.ac.uk ).

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 3 years
Fees The studentship will be available from September 1st 2016. Three years full time fees will be paid at current UK/EU rates."
Stipend Three years full time stipend will be paid at the current Research Council rate (£14,296).
Closing date 31st August 2016

Apply online here


Research Topic An exploration of the use of decision modelling in assessment of cost-effectiveness of stratified care in musculoskeletal disease
Reference number: RPCH2016/07/01
Abstract

The project is jointly hosted by the Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences (iPCHS) and the Health Economics Unit (HEU) at the University of Birmingham. iPCHS is the largest and most successful Research Institute at Keele. It is dedicated to undertake research that will improve the quality and content of primary care for arthritis, chronic musculoskeletal pain and associated comorbidities. It hosts the Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre-of-Excellence and is a current member of the NIHR School for Primary Care Research. The HEU is one of the foremost health economics research groups within the UK and has strong internal, external and international collaborations.


Background: Musculoskeletal problems such as back pain, sciatica, or osteoarthritis of the hip and knee are common and can have a high impact on people’s everyday activities, work, sleep and quality of life. The challenge for clinicians, including GPs and physiotherapists, is to recognise early on which patients are likely to recover quickly and can be supported to self-manage, whereas others may need onward referral to more intensive (and sometimes expensive) treatments. Keele University has developed a stratified care approach which enables clinicians to better distinguish between these different subgroups of patients, and offer matched treatments from which they are likely to benefit most.


Stratified care has been successful in patients with back pain, leading to less disability, fewer days of work, and lower health care costs compared to usual primary care for back pain.


Aims and Methods: This PhD project will make use of data from existing studies to describe the long-term course of back pain and sciatica, and use advanced statistical and economic methods to estimate potential long-term benefits and costs of stratified care compared to usual care for back pain and sciatica. The overall aim is explore and develop methods for building health economic decision models to synthesise data from cohort studies and trials run by Keele University to estimate the cost-effectiveness of stratified primary care for back pain and sciatica compared with usual care. This will allow patients, clinicians, and policy makers to make better decisions regarding the use of healthcare resources and the wider implementation of stratified care for musculoskeletal conditions.

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 3 years from October 2016 (exact date to be confirmed)
Fees All fees will be paid at current UK/EU rates, for three years only
Stipend Stipend paid at current Research Council rate, for three years full time or six years part time
Closing date 22 July 2016

Apply online here


Research Topic INVESTIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF BONE HEALTH & ACTIVITY LEVELS ON CARTILAGE REPAIR.
Reference number: ISTM2015-3
Abstract

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in cartilage regeneration funded by and based at the Institute of Orthopaedics, Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry which is part of the Institute for Science & Technology in Medicine (ISTM) at Keele University. 

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration Three years from 1st September 2016
Fees Three years full time fees paid at current UK/EU rates

International, UK and EU students are welcome to apply. Fees provided at EU rates only, Non-EU students would be required to pay the additional overseas fees themselves. Fees will only be paid for three years full time.
Stipend Three years’ full time stipend paid at current Research Council rate (2016-17, £14,296)

International, UK and EU students are welcome to apply. Fees provided at EU rates only, Non-EU students would be required to pay the additional overseas fees themselves. Fees will only be paid for three years full time.
Closing date 31st July 2016

Apply online here