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PhD Studentship - Quantitative Imaging Biomarkers for Nonspecific Low Back Pain

Bournemouth University - Faculty of Science and Technology

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bournemouth
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £15,000 maintenance grant per annum
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 25th March 2019
Closes: 22nd April 2019

Lead Supervisor name: Dr. Philip Sewell

Personalised biometrics is a rapidly growing area of medical research, which relies on biotechnologies, especially those involving imaging. It typically employs neurological and vascular imaging, such as functional MRI, to discover biomarkers for conditions that may be treated by minimally invasive means. The applicant team has led the development of fluoroscopy and image processing to an innovative technology called quantitative fluoroscopy (QF) to study the motion of the vertebrae of the low back in living people and have discovered biomarkers for nonspecific low back pain (NSLBP) based on intervertebral motion and disc degeneration.

The aim of this PhD Studentship is to explore and compare the strength of associations between the existing biomarkers identified in the literature, such as intervertebral motion sharing inequality (MSI), composite disc degeneration, back muscle electrical activity (sEMG) and oxy-haemoglobin concentration as measured using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS).

The project is an exciting collaboration between Bournemouth University's (BU) Faculty of Science and Technology and the Centre for Biomechanics Research at AECC University College (AECC UC).

Please see the full project description for further details.

What does the funded studentship include?

Funded candidates will receive a maintenance grant of £15,000 per annum (unless otherwise specified), to cover their living expenses and have their fees waived for 48 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

Candidates for funded PhD studentship must demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 4 years.

Studentship candidates must demonstrate outstanding academic potential with a 1st class honours degree and/or a Master’s degree with distinction. An IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6 in each component) is essential for candidates for whom English is not their first language.

Applicants will be asked to submit an online application form and a proposal (c. 1500 words) outlining their understanding of the project for which they are applying, the approach they would envisage taking and what qualities they will bring to the research community.

Please note:

  • Current BU Doctoral students are not eligible to apply for a Studentship
  • Current MRes/MPhil students can apply, subject to satisfactory completion of their Research Degree prior to being able to take up the award
  • PhD Studentships cannot be used to support BU staff to complete doctoral programmes

Closing date: The first call for applications will close on 22 April 2019

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

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