Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Doctoral Training Programme

The balance of pain: how the brain controls what is felt

Project title

The balance of pain: how the brain controls what is felt

Project description

Supervised by a team of established pain researchers - Dr Gareth Hathway and Dr Lucy Donaldson. This project will explore the neurophysiological mechanisms of how and when the brain modulates pain during established models of chronic pain, at different developmental stages.

This project will give you the opportunity to test novel analgesic drugs developed by our industrial partner. Training will be given in all necessary techniques, which will include:

  • in vivo physiology and pharmacology
  • animal behavior
  • cell and molecular biology

You will also go on placement with our industrial partner, Exonate Ltd in Cambridge, a University of Nottingham spin-out drug discovery company in the area of splicing therapeutics. The placement will give you a unique opportunity to be immersed in an SME and to be involved in multiple aspects of running its business. You will focus on finance, business development, selection of partners and suppliers, and will have opportunities to work with the leadership team, including the Chairman of the Company, on areas such as fundraising from Venture Capital sources.

Applications are invited from students who have, or expect to graduate with a first or upper-second UK honours degree, or equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK. Students with an appropriate Masters degree are particularly encouraged to apply.

Funding details

Funding is available for four years from October 2017. A full award would be fees plus an annual stipend. This is set by the Research Councils and was £14296 for 2016/17.

Eligibility for full funding is restricted to UK and EU students.

How to apply

Applicants should download the application and reference forms from this page. Applications should include:

  • a fully completed application form
  • a CV of no more than two A4 pages
  • a transcript of module marks achieved at the time of submission
  • two references

Application forms and CVs should be named in the following format:

  • SURNAME-initial-DTP_BBSRC_iCASE-application (.docx or .pdf)
  • SURNAME-initial-BBSRC_iCASE-cv (.docx or.pdf)

For example: SMITH-A-BBSRC_iCASE-application.doc

Your completed forms should be sent via email with the subject line ‘BBSRC iCASE Studentship’ to by the deadline: noon, 17 March 2017.

References should be sent directly from the referees to Dr Donaldson by the deadline: noon, 17 March 2017. Please note it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the references are sent in good time for the deadline. Further details are on the reference form.


School of Life Sciences


Dr Gareth Hathway and Dr Lucy Donaldson



Please ensure that you have read the how to apply section of this page.

Download the application form

Download the reference form

Get in touch

Enquiries should be sent to either Dr Donaldson or Dr Hathway, quoting the reference: BBSRC iCASE.



BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnerships



Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Doctoral Training Programme

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Tel: +44 (0) 115 8466946