Fully-funded PhD studentship: Mapping the consequences of peripheral nerve transection and repair on brain organisation and hand function

Funding for: UK/EU students

Funding amount: Tax-free stipend of approximately £14,800 per annum plus tuition fees and a research allowance

Hours: Full Time

Bangor University’s School of Psychology invites applications for a 3 year PhD studentship starting in October 2019.

Closing Date: 1st April 2019

Supervisor: Dr. Ken Valyear

Lab purpose: Our mission is to better understand the central nervous system mechanisms that enable the functional use of the human hand, and to use this knowledge to improve patient rehabilitation outcomes.

Project: When a nerve of the hand is cut, the signalling between the hand and brain is disrupted, and as a consequence, the brain changes. These injuries are extremely common, with significant and longstanding personal and societal costs. Better understanding the links between brain changes and functional recovery holds promise for improving patient outcomes, and reducing these costs. This is the purpose of this research project.

The project involves close collaboration with hand surgeons at Manchester Foundation Hospitals and local NHS Trusts, and academics at Liverpool John Moores University. The research involves functional MRI, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and behavioural methods to investigate the clinical significance of nerve-trauma-related brain changes in patients who have undergone surgical repairs of the nerve(s) of the hand. The research will be conducted at Bangor University.

Research environment: Bangor University School of Psychology ranks among the very best in the UK in terms of both research and teaching excellence. Latest Research Excellence Framework rankings indicate research outputs at 89% ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

The candidate will have full access to a wide-range of state-of-the-art research facilities, including the Bangor University Brain Imaging Centre, complete with a research-dedicated 3T MRI scanner, and the Brain Stimulation Laboratory, complete with multiple TMS systems including high frequency repetitive and paired-pulse specialised systems, a Brainsight neuronavigation system for functional and anatomical MRI-guided TMS, and multiple tDCS systems and eye-trackers.

As a wonderful natural backdrop to professional life, Bangor is situated in a beautiful region of North Wales, close to Snowdonia National Park.

Academic requirements: Candidates will have an undergraduate and/or master’s degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. psychology, neuroscience, medical sciences, engineering science). Strong work ethic and genuine enthusiasm for research, strong technical skills, and the ability to work both independently and cooperatively are essential. Significant experience and skill in programming is desirable. Prior experience with functional MRI and/or TMS is beneficial, but not required, as training will be provided. Physiology and medical backgrounds are considered valuable, but non-essential.

Residency requirements: This studentship is open to UK/EU students only.

General information: PhD students are expected to contribute to teaching in the department.

Further information: For further inquiries, please contact Dr. Ken Valyear: k.valyear@bangor.ac.uk. Please include your CV and brief summary of your research interests.

Lab web: https://sites.google.com/site/kfvalyear/

General enquiries: For general advice about how to apply and eligibility please contact psychology@bangor.ac.uk

Apply Now: The online application form is available here https://apps.bangor.ac.uk/applicant/

Bangor Doctoral School website: https://www.bangor.ac.uk/doctoral-school/