Fully funded PhD postion at University College Dublin, School of Veterinary Medicine

Vacancy Reference Number
Closing Date
15 Apr 2024
22.000 Euro per annum + registration fees
UCD Veterinary Sciences Building UCD Belfield Campus Dublin Ireland
4 years
PhD Fellowship – University College Dublin “Implementation of closed-loop cortical stimulation for Parkinson’s disease in a rodent model.” Project Description: Applications are invited for a 4-year PhD Fellowship, fully funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), in the School of Veterinary Medicine at University College Dublin, Ireland. This project represents an exciting opportunity to develop closed-loop cortical stimulation for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease in a rodent model. While deep brain stimulation is an established treatment for the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease it has several limitations, including a small eligible patient population, side effects, lengthy device programming and regular battery replacement surgeries, which this project addresses by combining a novel stimulation target with closed-loop stimulation. During this project you will develop an alternative location for brain stimulation in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, the primary motor cortex. Your work will focus on identifying effective stimulation parameters for cortical stimulation in rats aided by computational models of the basal ganglia circuits and confirming optimal stimulation settings in vivo in rats that express symptoms of Parkinson’s disease after neurotoxin injection into the dopaminergic basal ganglia circuit. You will also develop outcome measures that go beyond motor symptoms and include non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and stimulation side effects. Ultimately, closed-loop cortical stimulation where the stimulation delivered is adapted to a disease relevant biomarker is implemented. You will be working under the supervision of Dr. Judith Evers (https://people.ucd.ie/judith.evers) in the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine in collaboration with the Neuromuscular Systems Lab in the UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (https://www.ucd.ie/neuro/) and ELAINE research group, University Rostock, Germany (https://www.elaine.uni-rostock.de/en/). Qualifications/Skills required: Candidates for this position should have a 2.1 or higher Bachelor’s degree from a relevant biological discipline such as neuroscience, physiology, medicine, veterinary medicine or closely related area. A Master (or equivalent) in neuroscience, physiology or a closely related area is of advantage. The ideal candidate has experience in a selection from the following techniques: electrophysiology, animal models of Parkinson’s disease, behavioural laboratory animal tests, brain stimulation, (neuro)surgical skills. While training will be supplied a willingness and enthusiasm to perform complex in vivo research is required. Candidates should have excellent communication and organisational skills; be highly motivated and passionate about neuroscience and developing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases; and have strong written, oral and interpersonal skills. The candidate should be able to work independently and as a part of team. Funding details: €22,000 stipend per annum for 4 years with PhD fees included. Start date: The position is available from September 1st, 2024. Application process: Applicants should submit a cover letter outlining their motivation and suitability to the post, a detailed CV, and the contact details of a minimum of two academic referees. The application pack should be emailed to Dr. Judith Evers (judith.evers@ucd.ie). Closing date for receipt of applications is 17.00 on April 15th, 2024. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview in May.

Further Information

Organisation: Further information on research and working at UCD is available on https://www.ucd.ie/. UCD provides a research and professional development plan for PhD researchers, which provides credit-bearing modules to support the main research thesis. All positions at UCD are recruited in line with Open, Transparent, Merit (OTM) and Competency-based recruitment. UCD is an equal opportunities employer. We encourage applicants to consult UCD’s equality, diversity and inclusion policies here https://www.ucd.ie/equality/ . Other useful sites are: UCD Strategy 2020-2024: Rising to the Future https://www.ucd.ie/strategy/, The College: https://www.ucd.ie/chas/; The School: https://www.ucd.ie/vetmed/.
For overseas candidates, information on moving to Ireland is at: www.euraxess.ie.
UCD reserves the right to readvertise or extend the closing date for this post.

Contact Details

Dr. Judith Evers (judith.evers@ucd.ie)