PhD Studentship: Adaptive Functional Electrical Stimulation to Aid Walking for People with Neurological Dysfunction

Bournemouth University - Faculty of Science & Technology

Lead supervisor name: Prof Ian Swain.

This PhD builds upon a long successful collaboration between Bournemouth University and Salisbury District Hospital where the PhD will be based. For over 30 years The Department of Clinical Science and Engineering in Salisbury has been at the international forefront in research into Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) having achieved a number of European and world firsts. FES is the use of small electrical impulses to restore function to people who have neurological problems as a result of stroke, spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis. In 2006 Odstock Medical Limited was created which was the first NHS spin out company in England, to commercialise and further develop the research in FES. Today OML employs over 20 people, including engineers some of whom were previous PhD students, and sells its products in 18 countries. This will be the fifth such PhD as a result of matched funding between Bournemouth University and OML and a number of the results of these PhDs have already been incorporated into OMLs products and are being used by people with neurological disabilities to improve their quality of life. 

We are therefore looking for a dynamic, inventive PhD student to continue this work. They should have a good first degree in Electronic/Electrical/Computer/Biomedical Engineering and an interest in the application of engineering to medicine and ideally a knowledge or of experience of neurological disability.

If you would like to find out more about this developing field and the way in which you research work can lead to products to help these people then please get in touch with one of the supervisory team. You can also find out more about OML and its products by visiting

What does the funded studentship include?

Funded candidates will receive a maintenance grant of £14,777 per annum (unless otherwise specified), to cover their living expenses and have their fees waived for 36 months. In addition, research costs, including field work and conference attendance, will be met.

Funded studentships are open to both UK/EU and International students unless otherwise specified.

Eligibility criteria:

The PhD Studentships are open to UK, EU and International students. Candidates for a PhD Studentship should demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 4 years and must demonstrate:

  • Outstanding academic potential as measured by either a 1st class honours degree or a Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component) for candidates for whom English is not their first language.

We are looking for a dynamic, inventive PhD student. They should have a good first degree (First or Upper Second) in Electronic/Electrical/Computer/Biomedical Engineering and ideally some experience of control systems, sensors and embedded electronics. An interest in the application of engineering to medicine and some knowledge of neurological disability would also be useful.

BU will look closely at the qualities, skills and background of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project in order to ensure successful and timely completion.

Closing date: The first call for applications will be 17 June 2018.

For further information on how to apply click the ‘Apply’ button below or email:

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South West England