Developing novel structural and functional markers of dysfunction in neurological disorders

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2022.


To apply please use the online application form. Simply search for PhD Medical Studies (and select the entry point of October 2022), then clearly state that you are applying for a PhD studentship and name the project at the top of your personal statement.

Online application

Before applying, please ensure you have read the Doctoral College’s general information on applying for a research degree.

For more information on the admissions process, please contact

Director of Studies: Dr Stephen Mullin
2nd Supervisor: Professor Stephen Hall
Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2022.
The expected start date of this studentship is 1 October 2022 but will consider 1 January 2023 start for the right candidate.
Project description
Advanced human neuroimaging offers an opportunity to elucidate central nervous system changes which result from neurological disease and treatments of these diseases. This PhD offers a unique opportunity, in collaboration with expert clinical and neuroimaging teams, to devise a novel imaging study in one of a range of disease groups cared for at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Foundation Trust. These include neurodegenerative disease (Parkinson’s and Multi System Atrophy), migraine, functional neurological disorders, stroke and traumatic brain injury.
The successful candidate will work under the supervision of the neuroimaging, neurology and other clinical teams to acquire appropriate training in the acquisition and analysis of study data. There is also an opportunity to undertake training in and perform analysis using advanced bioinformatics techniques (such as machine and deep learning) and scope to apply these methods to routinely collected ‘real world’ imaging datasets. Existing experience of methods such as neuroimaging (e.g. MRI) and/or computational methods is desirable but not essential.
The PhD will be based within the Brain Research & Imaging Centre (BRIC) at the University of Plymouth. This is a new multi-million brain research centre, equipped with a unique suite neuroimaging facilities, including a dedicated 3-Tesla MRI scanner (Siemens Prisma). Training will be aligned to the MSc Human Neuroscience programme, which provides training in multi-modal neuroimaging, with further training in relevant general research skills.
Applicants should have a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant masters qualification. Experience of human neuroimaging and/or bioinformatics is preferable but not essential.
The studentship is supported for three years and includes full home tuition fees plus a stipend of £16,062 per annum (2022/23 rate). The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for home fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover international fees will have to cover the difference between the home and the international tuition fee rates (approximately £12,670 per annum).
NB: The studentship is supported for three years of the four-year registration period. The fourth year is a self-funded ‘writing-up’ year
If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Dr Stephen Mullin
Please see a list of supporting documents to upload with your application.
This vacancy will involve working with children and/or vulnerable adults and any appointment will be subject a Disclosure and Barring Service check.
For more information on the admissions process generally, please contact
The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 29 August 2022. 
Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview week commencing 5 September 2022. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received a response within six weeks of the closing date should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.