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Fully Funded UKRI PhD Scholarship: Mathematical Modelling of Brain Formation to Map Species Variation and Developmental Malformations

Swansea University - Mathematics

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Swansea
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees and an annual stipend of £16,062. Additional research expenses will also be available.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 23rd June 2022
Closes: 13th July 2022

Funding providers: UKRI

Project start date: 1 October 2022 (Enrolment open from mid-September)

Project description: 

The developmental programme underpinning the formation of the brain results from the delicate regulation of complex spatio-temporal processes at the cellular scale. Variations of this programme lead to speciation, but they can also bring about malformations such as schizophrenia, epilepsy, and microcephaly. To date, brain development has been studied through analysis of sparse temporal data that may miss crucial information. This project aims to fill this gap in our knowledge via the development, analysis and numerical simulation of deterministic models formulated as partial integro-differential equations, and corresponding stochastic individual-based models for the complex spatio-temporal cellular processes underlying the variety of brain architectures, shapes and sizes that we observe in different animal species. The mathematical models that will be designed and studied are expected to complement empirical research by enabling extrapolation beyond scenarios which can be investigated through experiments and by revealing emergent phenomena that would otherwise remain unobserved. Moreover, they will pose a series of analytical and numerical challenges which will make them interesting mathematical objects per se. The project will involve both experimental and theoretical internationally renowned collaborators with technical expertise in all areas involved (experimental developmental biology and partial differential equations), strengthening the potential for the delivery of impactful discoveries.

Eligibility

Candidates must normally hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level or master’s degree with a minimum overall grade at ‘Merit’ (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University).

English Language requirements: If applicable – IELTS 6.5 overall (with no individual component below 5.5) or Swansea recognised equivalent.

This scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality.

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