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Fully funded PhD Scholarship in Medical Ultrasound Training in Virtual Reality

Durham University - Department of Computer Science

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Durham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,000 per year.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 24th May 2019
Closes: 5th July 2019

The Studentship is for UK and EU Applicants ONLY.

The successful candidate will be based in the Department of Computer Science, Durham University - ranked 6th for Computer Science in the UK.

This studentship will start from October 1st 2019 and the successful applicant will receive a fully funded scholarship for 3.5 years (subject to satisfactory progression).

The candidate can expect their research to have significant impact across industry and academia.

The studentship includes:

  • Domestic fees for UK and EU students.
  • A stipend equivalent to the Research Councils UK National Minimum Doctoral Stipend (£15,000) per year plus £2000 additional research costs to cover publications/travel expenses per year.

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to deliver lab demonstrations in order to both gain teaching experience during their PhD and top up their stipend.

Project Description
Ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging tool with ever improving diagnostic accuracy and an abundance of clinical applications. The demand for ultrasound in clinical medicine, has increased exponentially over the last decade. On the flip side there is a tremendous shortage of trained radiologists and ultrasound scanning facilities for training. Making matters worse, training medical sonography students costs money and even after training, medical students often have not acquired the expertise required to perform above par: sonographers are more likely to make errors during their first few dozen sonograms. Virtual Reality (VR), having the ability to fully immerse the user in a simulated environment, is a natural fit for health care.

We propose a research project to explore the use of VR in ultrasound training, analogous to the current use of VR in surgical training for various laparoscopic procedures. The aim of this PhD is to develop an effective training exercise in VR, based on ground-truth ultrasound data, indistinguishable from reality, allowing students to practice the complex, life-saving procedure of sonography in a risk-free environment, without the high cost of renting an ultrasound machine or paying for human volunteers.

This project is in collaboration with a specialist Consultant Radiologist.

Entry Requirements
A 2:1 bachelor’s degree in an appropriate subject required, from a recognised university (or equivalent).

A minimum overall IELTS 6.5 score is required for EU students of which no element of less than 6.0 (or equivalent).

More info:

Excellent programming skills and interest in Computer Graphics are essential criteria.

Experience in Unity 3D programming is an advantage.

How to apply

  • Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science:
  • State name of the lead supervisor as Dr George Koulieris.
  • State ‘EPSRC’ as Source of Funding
  • State the exact project title as, "Fully funded PhD Scholarship (3.5 years) in Medical Ultrasound Training in Virtual Reality."

When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:

  • CV
  • IELTS certificate
  • Transcript for your most recent qualification
  • Copy of the certificate of most recent qualification
  • Two reference letters

For informal enquiries please contact Dr George Alex Koulieris ( with a copy of your CV.

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