PhD Studentship Smart Endoscopic Probes for Bowel Cancer Surgery at The University of Nottingham

Applications are invited for a PhD position in signal processing to join The University of Nottingham. Successful candidate will have funding to work and study for 5 years in UK. Applications should be sent before July 23, 2020.

Highly talented and motivated UK/EU students are invited to apply for a funded PhD studentship at the University of Nottingham to pursue the development of a novel electrosurgical technology with a focus on treatment of bowel cancer.

Each year in the UK (UK scholarships) there are over 15,000 deaths from bowel cancer and there is a nationwide screening programme that aims to reduce this number. Patients who are referred undergo a colonoscopy to look for suspicious pre-cancerous growths. This procedure investigates morphological alterations of tissue as indicator of cancer risk, however, it is not quantitative so sometimes misses high-risk pre-cancerous growths. Further, these limitations lead to difficulty in removing potentially cancerous tissue without affecting other structures within the bowel wall (e.g. muscle) that could result in surgical complications and significant risk to patient health.

This studentship offers a highly rewarding opportunity to develop an innovative technology to advance bowel cancer diagnosis and treatment. Working with a team of leading surgeons at Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) and academics within the Optics (fully funded Optics scholarships) and Photonics (fully funded Photonics scholarships) Research Group in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham, the successful candidate will develop a smart endoscopic probe to guide cancer identification and removal surgery (surgery scholarships) in real-time. The work employs a cutting-edge electro-optical sensing technology. It involves the design, fabrication and testing of the sensors as well as developing the instrumentation and signal processing (signal processing scholarships) system. The outcome will be a novel technology and procedure with a new capability of informing surgeons about tissue properties in real time and guide decision making in a semi-automated procedure.

The candidate will have a first or upper second class honours undergraduate (undergraduate scholarships) or master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Physics, or other relevant degree from a high-quality recognised institution. Candidates will have a solid numerical, analytical and mathematical skills, strong programming skills. For instance, the ability to program in Matlab, Python or Labview or /C/C++ is essential. Hand-on experimental skills as well as previous experience in optical engineering and/or nano micro fabrication signal or image processing are desirable. Candidates will have excellent verbal and written communication skills, are self-driven, imaginative and have a strong problem-solving ability, they are positive and excellent team players.

Funding: EPSRC DTP studentships are fully-funded (fees and maintenance) for UK students or provide fees only for EU students from outside the UK, subject to eligibility requirements. The funding is for 3.5 years with a stipend rate of 15,285 (if applicable). Further details about eligibility can be found at:

Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr. Sidahmed Abayzeed ( or Dr. George Gordon ( Please apply here:

Applications should include: (1) a brief statement of research interests and motivation for pursuing a Ph.D. in this field, including supervisors name and any relevant reference numbers; (2) a CV, including actual or expected degree class(es), a transcript of all University results, a list of publications, and contact details for two academic referees. Applications without academic transcripts or academic referees will not be considered; (3) copies of any publications or an example of your technical writing, such as a project report or dissertation.

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