PhD Studentship - Systems and Methods for Foot Drop Correction

Newcastle University

Value of award

The successful candidate will receive a generous studentship of £20,000 per annum for three years (tax-free). The student will also benefit from additional allowance for attendance at conferences and training workshops. 

Number of awards: 1

Start date and duration: January 2018 for 3 years.


Foot drop is a muscular weakness or paralysis that makes it difficult to lift the front part of your foot and toes. Patients with foot drop have a tendency to scuff their toes along the ground. This increases the risk of falls.

To prevent this, they may lift your foot higher than usual when walking which can be tiring and cumbersome. Foot drop is recognised as one of the common gait impairments associated with hemiplegia (unilateral weakness or paralysis) with an estimated 20% of all stroke survivors experiencing some degree of dropped foot. Physiotherapy, wearing an ankle-foot orthosis, electrical nerve and muscle stimulation and finally surgery are methods to circumvent foot drop partially.

The aim of this project is to develop and test a wearable multi-channel muscle and nerve stimulation system to help lifting the foot dynamically during the gait.


This project is jointly funded by Newcastle University and Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Name of supervisor(s)

Dr Kianoush Nazarpour

Eligibility Criteria

Successful candidates will have a good undergraduate degree (Class 1 or 2:1) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics or other related disciplines.

Candidates with a postgraduate degree (MSc/MRes) in any of the following topics are particularly encouraged to apply: signal processing, machine learning, neural engineering or neuroscience.

This funding is only available to UK/EU nationals.

How to apply

The candidate must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application form. Only mandatory fields need to be completed however, you will need to include the following information:

  • insert the programme code: 8060F in the programme of study section
  • select ‘PhD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (full time)’ as the programme of study
  • insert the studentship code EE046 in the studentship/partnership reference field
  • attach a covering letter, CV and (if English is not your first language) a copy of your English language qualifications. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, and state how your interests and experience relate to the project.
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Northern England