Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre

PhD projects we are currently recruiting for

MRC AIM Doctoral Training Partnership

The AIM (Advanced Inter-Disciplinary Models) DTP is funded by the Medical Research Council between three Partners – the Universities of Birmingham, Leicester and Nottingham – and three more Associate Partners – the Research Complex at Harwell, Mary Lyon Centre and Rosalind Franklin Institute. We have a range of exciting and diverse PhD 4-year projects at all 3 Institutions which are now open for a September 2022 start and those available at The University of Nottingham are detailed below.

Application deadline: The deadline for submitting applications is Sunday 9 January 2022. Please ensure that your application is submitted with all required documentation as incomplete applications will not be considered.

Interviews: Interviews will take place Tuesday 1, Thursday 3 and Friday 4 March 2022 and will be held via Zoom.  You will need to ensure that you are available on these days for interview if you are shortlisted.

Academic requirement: Minimum qualifications and experience to undertake a research degree are detailed in the QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education. For some subject areas, there is also an expectation that an individual will have undertaken a Masters qualification before beginning a doctoral programme. Candidates should possess the relevant qualifications and/or experience to demonstrate a capability to undertake a doctorate, which will be assessed during the recruitment process.  More details can be found on the MRC website.

Applicant Q&A session: The DTP Leads are holding an information / Q&A session for prospective candidates interested in applying to the DTP on Thursday 9 December 10:00 – 11:00 GMT via Zoom.  If you are thinking of submitting an application(s) to the DTP, you are invited and encouraged to attend the session.  Please register for the event by clicking on the link here before 16:00 GMT on Wednesday 8 December.

How to apply: Please complete the AIM application form one and application form two as well as the AIM equal opportunities form. These can be downloaded at . You will need to ensure that your referees complete the AIM referee form and submit this to in support of your application.

Completed applications to be submitted to before the deadline of Sunday 9 January 2022.

Due to stipulations from the funders, recruitment for international candidates to the DTP is capped at 30% of the whole cohort.

Dovetailing MRI and in vivo physiology to improve understanding of muscle damage and fibrosis in humans after injury

School: School of Physics and Astronomy

Dr Olivier Mougin, Professor Michael Chappell, Professor Sue Francis, Professor Penny Gowland, Professor Paul Greenhaff and Professor Janet Lord

This project will develop novel Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) measures to study skeletal muscle, with the aim of replacing muscle biopsies. Biopsy of skeletal muscle is currently used to study a variety of muscle disorders, however this is invasive and impractical in many settings, particularly in recovering trauma patients. The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a key component of skeletal muscle, but muscle fibrosis (scarring) involves excessive accumulation of ECM. This tissue limits cells’ migration, and changes in tissue biomechanical properties. The PhD student will develop and evaluate unique quantitative chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) and sodium MRI measures using 7T Magnetic Resonance, to study fibrosis in skeletal muscle. This will involve developing methods of measuring and analysing CEST and sodium MRI signals, and then using them to characterise ECM in a muscle damage model in healthy volunteers. These methods will then be used to study muscle regeneration after injury in the clinical setting to detect alterations in muscle fibrosis in disease. This exciting project will allow the student to work in a vibrant, multidisciplinary research team and develop their skills, knowledge and expertise in MR physics, image and data processing, physiology, clinical inflammatory conditions, teamwork, research methods and communication.