Fully Funded 4 year PhD Studentship (School Funded) School of Human and Behavioural Sciences
Baroreceptive vessel wall properties and reflex control of blood pressure
Closing date: 24th September 2021
Primary supervisor: Dr Jonathan Moore
Applications are invited for a four-year fully funded PhD studentship in integrative cardiovascular physiology within the School of Human and Behavioural Sciences (formed from a merger of the Schools of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences and Psychology). The studentship covers the full cost of tuition fees for PhD students, plus a maintenance grant at the minimum RCUK rate (currently £15,609 per year) as well as a research training and conference attendance allowances for 3 years. The studentship can commence any time between October 2021 and January 2022.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the leading causes of premature death and disability in Wales. At least half of all heart attacks and strokes are associated with high blood pressure, and hypertension is a major risk factor for chronic kidney disease, heart failure and cognitive decline. Arterial baroreceptor reflexes are important integrative mechanisms of blood pressure regulation. Stretch receptors in the walls of the aorta and carotid arteries inform cardiovascular control centres in the lower brainstem about the prevailing level of arterial blood pressure. On the basis of this information, efferent autonomic neural activity is modulated, and functioning of the heart and blood vessels is adjusted on a second to second basis. The manner and magnitude of these changes depend upon intravascular pressure and wall stiffness and distensibility of baroreceptive blood vessels.
The primary aim of this project is to investigate how baroreceptive artery dimensions, pressure and wall tension influence reflex control of blood pressure in humans.
The project has two key objectives:
- Analyse already acquired beat-by-beat ultrasound, haemodynamic and neurophysiological data.
- Undertake a series of studies to acquire mechanical and neurophysiological data simultaneously, using established techniques at rest and during tests of baroreceptor reflex function, in cohorts including young normotensive males and females, middle aged and older normotensive males and females, patients with treated and untreated hypertension.
As a Postgraduate Research (PGR) candidate you will receive expert training and develop research and other skills, including state-of the-art techniques in integrative cardiovascular physiology, and application of mathematical and computational principles to solve practical real-world problems.
The principal investigator and primary supervisor is Dr Jonathan Moore. Details about Jonathan’s research can be found here. The project will be undertaken in collaboration with Dr Rachel Lord (Cardiff School of Sport and Health, Cardiff Metropolitan University). Follow this link to published research related to the project.
- First or second class Honours degree (or equivalent) in Physiology, Biomedical Sciences, Sport & Exercise Sciences, or a related discipline. An MSc in one of these areas is highly desirable
- Experience of laboratory-based scientific research
- Experience of cardiovascular ultrasound, non-invasive blood pressure measurement and/or technical computing (e.g. Matlab, Labview, Mathematica).
- Excellent personal, oral and written communication skills
Informal enquiries about the studentship should be directed to Dr Jonathan Moore (email@example.com).
This studentship is primarily aimed at UK. However, those who are interested, but are from outside of the UK should contact Dr Jonathan Moore to discuss the conditions for the funding of EU/international students. Please note, proof of English Language Competency (7.0 IELTS minimum) is required.
This studentship lasts for four years, conditional upon a positive evaluation by a Review Committee at the end of the first year of studies. As part of your professional development, you will be required to contribute 100 hours teaching and/or research support per year during the first three years. Furthermore, in order to receive funding in the fourth year, you will be required to teach the equivalent of 50 additional credits, which can be delivered at any point during the 4 year studentship, subject to discussion between the PGR candidate, primary supervisor and School Director of Teaching and Learning.
Visit the Bangor Doctoral School Website (https://www.bangor.ac.uk/doctoral-school/) for information, including Regulations, concerning PGR programmes at Bangor University.
How to Apply
All applications must be received through our online application system: https://apps.bangor.ac.uk/applicant/
Applications must include the following supporting documents:
- Cover Letter / Personal Statement in which you explain your motivation for applying for this studentship, and the reasons that you feel you are particularly suited to undertaking this project in integrative cardiovascular physiology.
- Letters from two Academic Referees Candidates must approach referees (e.g. tutor or project supervisor) themselves and include the references with their application.
There is no requirement to submit a Research Proposal for this PhD studentship, but applicants are welcome to include a brief overview (1-2 pages) if they wish. Background knowledge and understanding, as well as awareness of experimental approaches required to meet the intended aim and objectives of the project, will be tested during a selection interview.