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Funding and scholarships for students

Award details

Uncertainty quantification for precision medicine. EMPS College Home fees Studentship, PhD in Mathematics. Ref: 4341

About the award

Supervisors

Lead Supervisor:

Prof Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova, Department of Mathematics, Streatham Campus, University of Exeter

Co-supervisors:

Dr Kyle Wedgwood, Department of Mathematics, Streatham Campus, University of Exeter

Prof Peter Challenor, Department of Mathematics, Streatham Campus, University of Exeter

Location:

Department of Mathematics, Streatham Campus, Devon, University of Exeter

The University of Exeter’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences  is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence in January 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter. The studentship will cover Home tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £15,609 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study. 

This College studentship is open to UK and Irish nationals, who if successful in their application will receive a full studentship including payment of university tuition fees at the home fees rate.

Project Description:

This project will develop a methodology for quantifying the uncertainty to aid diagnostic and treatment clinical decision making based on a set of ensemble simulations of equilibrium and time-dependent changes, carried out by perturbing poorly constrained parameters controlling key processes in relevant endocrinology models. We will focus initially on type 2 diabetes (T2DM) that affects over 4 million people in the UK, the majority of whom require glucose-lowering medication to reduce their symptoms and risk of developing complications. Specifically, Glycated Haemoglobin (HbA1c) is a measure of glucose concentration in the blood. It is used to diagnose diabetes, identify people at high risk of diabetes, and to assess blood glucose control in people who have diabetes. HbA1c is a measure of glucose bound to haemoglobin, the oxygen carrying protein in red blood cells.

The level of HbA1c is affected by a person’s average blood glucose, and how long their red blood cells live before they are replaced by the body. As a result, factors that influence the life of a red blood cell also influence HbA1c.  These factors mean that sometimes HbA1c is no longer an accurate reflection of blood glucose concentration. In this project we will implement suitable computer models and carry out ensemble simulations reflecting the modelling uncertainties and internal human/subjects variability on feedbacks likely to exert a significant influence on the level of HbA1c in healthy individuals, in those with pre-diabetes, and in those with diabetes. There is a scope for testing the developed methodology using clinical data and models of other hormone disorders.

The prospective student will join the EPSRC Hub for predictive Modelling in Healthcare (https://www.exeter.ac.uk/quantitativemodelling/) that brings together the multi-disciplinary research activities at the interface between mathematics, statistics and healthcare applications at the University of Exeter and our partners. It uses the breadth of theoretical and methodological expertise of the Hub's team to give innovative approaches to both research and translational aspects.

Entry requirements

This studentship is open to UK and Irish nationals, who if successful in their application will receive a full studentship including payment of university tuition fees at the home fees rate.

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. 

Degree in Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics or Engineering.

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 http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/english/).

How to apply

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents.  Please note our preferred format is PDF, each file named with your surname and the name of the document, eg. “Smith – CV.pdf”, “Smith – Cover Letter.pdf”, “Smith – Transcript.pdf”.

• CV
• Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior project work 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)
• Two references from referees familiar with your academic work. If your referees prefer, they can email
   the reference direct to pgrenquiries@exeter.ac.uk quoting the studentship reference number.
• If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English.  Please see the entry requirements information above.

The closing date for applications is midnight on 10th January 2022.  Interviews will be held online on the week commencing 24th January 2022.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email pgrenquiries@exeter.ac.uk

Project-specific queries should be directed to the main supervisor at k.tsaneva-atanasova@exeter.ac.uk

Summary

Application deadline:10th January 2022
Value:Home tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £15,609 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.
Duration of award:per year
Contact: PGR Admissions Office pgrenquiries@exeter.ac.uk