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PhD Studentship Opportunity in Micro-dosimetric Characterization of Clinical Hadron Beams

University of Surrey

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Guildford
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,000 + approximate annual stipend
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 15th January 2019
Closes: 28th February 2019

Studentship description

The project aims at developing medical physics techniques for dosimetry of clinically used proton and hadron beams at the micrometre scale in order to improve cancer treatment with biologically optimized planning. 

Hadron therapy is the fastest growing cancer treatment strategy providing therapeutic advantages for treatments where a localised energy deposition and/ or sparing of healthy tissues is required. The NHS has invested over £250M for two clinical centres and several private initiatives are ongoing to support the achievement of world class cancer treatment in the UK. However, there are still scientific and technological challenges that need to be addressed in order to achieve hadron therapy full potentials, for instance accounting for the increased effectiveness of hadron beams compared to photon beams conventionally used in radiotherapy. 

This project aims to develop micro-dosimetry techniques for routine clinical measurements. Gas based and solid state detector technologies will be exploited to develop and optimize well characterized reference micro-dosimeters, establishing a traceable measurement chain for spectra of energy deposition in sensitive volumes of the order of a micrometre for clinical hadron beams. This project will contribute to the definition of new track structure operational quantities for clinical use and it will support personalized radiotherapy approaches in accordance to UK Life Science strategy.

The student will take part in experimental campaigns at national and international clinical facilities and he/she will interact with radiation dosimetry and micro-dosimetry detector experts. A key aspect of the project will be the multidisciplinary component and interaction with the clinical, research and industrial partners of the project for the development of micro-dosimetry tools and measurement skills. The student will be part of the Radiation and Medical Physics Group (Department of Physics) at the University of Surrey with research focus on development of radiation detectors for medical application, dosimetry and biological effectiveness for advanced radiotherapy modalities.

Collaboration between international leading institutes in Italy, Austria and the UK will provide the student with access to a unique range of multidisciplinary expertise, equipment and facilities. The project aims to deliver high-impact research papers and attract interest from industry and healthcare providers offering unique career development opportunities to the student. 

The project will start in October 2019 and will finish in September 2023. 

Entry Requirements

UK or EU applicants who hold a First or 2:1 UK honours degree in a relevant subject area, or a 2:2 alongside a good masters degree (a distinction is usually required). 
If English is not your first language, you will be required to have an IELTS Academic of 6.5 or above (or equivalent), with no sub-test score below 6. 


The studentship is sponsored by EPSRC and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). The studentship will cover University fees and student stipend at normal research council rates for UK/EU, approx £15,000 applicants only. Funding is provided for the duration of the PhD. A supplement of £15000 is available from a collaborating company (DETECTOR) for travel and research needs.

How to apply

Applications can be made through our Physics PhD course page
Please state the project title and supervisor clearly on all applications.

Closing date for applications:

Thursday 28th February 2019

Application enquiries

Prof Giuseppe Schettino, 01483 655703

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