Stochastic Modelling of Human EEG: Application to Epilepsy Diagnosis, PhD Mathemathics (Funded) Ref: 3175

About the award



Professor John Terry, Professor of Biomedical Modelling, University of Exeter
Dr Wessel Woldman, Research Fellow, University of Exeter


This PhD project aims to understand the role of structured random data in recordings of the brain’s electrical activity that are used clinically to diagnose epilepsy. The project will develop mathematical models and theories using principles of nonlinear dynamical systems and stochastic processes including differential equations, mean field theory, bifurcation analysis and random matrix theory. In this context, mean field theory and stochastic differential equations can be used to formalise this problem, whereby the dependence structure (effectively the coupling between different brain regions as measured through statistical independencies of the EEG) can be represented as a matrix of random variables. Working in close co-operation with theoreticians and clinicians we will have access to data with which to explore how predictions of the developed models might inform new approaches to diagnosis of epilepsy.

The studentship will cover a stipend at the minimum Research Council rate £14,777 per annum (for 2018/19), research costs and tuition fees.  This project is advertised under the EPSRC NPIF training grant under which a limited number of studentships can be allocated with open eligibility. This means students from outside of the UK are eligible to apply for this studentship.

Entry requirements

Applicants for this studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology. An MSc or equivalent is desirable.

If English is not your first language you will need to have achieved at least 6.0 in IELTS and no less than 6.0 in any section by the start of the project.  Alternative tests may be acceptable (see

How to apply

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents. 

• CV

• Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project).

• Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying)

• Names of two referees familiar with your academic work. You are not required to obtain references yourself. We will request references directly from your referees if you are shortlisted.

• If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English

The closing date for applications is midnight on Tuesday 19th June 2018. 

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email or phone +44 (0)1392 722730.  Project-specific queries should be directed to the main supervisor.



Application deadline:19th June 2018
Number of awards:1
Value:£14,777 for 4 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study
Duration of award:per year
Contact: EMPS Postgraduate Admissions