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PhD Studentship: Leveraging Public Single Cell Data for Bench Biologists

The Open University - Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Milton Keynes
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: £18,622 per year (2023/24 rate, indexed annually). Stipend
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 7th December 2023
Closes: 25th January 2024
Reference: STUDENTSHIP/LHCS
 

Three years and 3 months from October 2024

Project summary

The project combines the fields of human-computer interaction, single cell bioinformatics, and public data inference to build user-friendly Galaxy workflows that allow bench biologists to explore data from petabytes of public references. The student will: review available tools that uniquely combine or repurpose public data; interview bench biologists and bioinformaticians to identify user needs; investigate AI tools to automate tool development; wrap necessary tools into the Galaxy interface; create relevant documentation, including training materials; and test their analyses with users as case studies to ensure end-to-end capability for a bench biologist performing a study. Embedded within this user design strategy for enabling analysis will be an emphasis on intuiting for the user the procedural knowledge of the analysis, i.e. how the software works, to ensure that biologists are both able to understand what the software does to get them their answer, but also the steps required to perform the analysis.

Further information

This three-year research studentship is funded by the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at The Open University and provides a stipend of £18,622 per year (2023/24 rate, indexed annually) and all academic fees are covered.

The project is supervised by Wendi Bacon & Paul Mulholland (Knowledge Media Institute) (The Open University). The student  must be a UKRI home student (see the definition of UKRI home student), and would be required to live in the UK and within commuting distance of The Open University in Milton Keynes.

Applicants will be expected to have a good undergraduate degree (upper second class or higher) in computer science or related.

This project will be well-suited to candidates who:

  • are interested in human-computer interface and engaging with users
  • want to perform impactful research with tangible outputs
  • are keen to work in a multidisciplinary fashion

Informal enquiries relating to the project should be directed to Dr Wendi Bacon (email: wendi.bacon@open.ac.uk ).

How to Apply

Please check this page for application entry requirements: https://www.open.ac.uk/postgraduate/research-degrees/degrees-we-offer/doctor-of-philosophy-phd

Please submit to STEM-LHCS-PHD@open.ac.uk an:

  • application form, and
  • 2-page (A4) personal statement outlining your suitability for the studentship, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date  

You do not need to submit a research proposal.

Information and the application form is found here: https://www.open.ac.uk/postgraduate/research-degrees/how-to-apply/mphil-and-phd-application-process. Note that as part of the application form, you will be asked to submit further documents (CV, degree transcripts, etc.)

More details of the project can be found at https://www5.open.ac.uk/stem/life-health-chemical-sciences/sites/www.open.ac.uk.stem.life-health-chemical-sciences/files/files/2024_Bacon_EPSRC-DTP.pdf

Closing date:  January 25, 2024 at 17:00pm

Interview date: Online Interviews: Feb 22nd via Microsoft Teams, although this date is flexible.

LHCS holds Athena Swan Bronze Status.

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