PhD studentship (Cambridge)

Vacancy Reference Number
Closing Date
14 Jan 2020
Full studentships (UK/EU tuition fees and an enhanced stipend of £16,000.00 [tax-free] for 3 years for UK/EU students subject to eligibility criteria
UK DRI at Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 1TN
This is a fully funded, 3 -year PhD studentship commencing 1-April 2020.

About UK DRI

Dementia is the biggest health challenge of our century.

The UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) is the biggest UK initiative supporting research to fill this gap. 

Research from UK DRI at The University of Cambridge focuses on the mechanistic processes involved in the earliest stages of neurodegenerative disease to identify therapeutic targets with the greatest potential to prevent dementia. These processes include the spreading of misfolded tau protein, the cold shock protein response in the repair of synapses and autophagy as a protective cellular response, all of which are relevant to several different types of dementia.? 

Job description

A 3-year fully-funded PhD position is available through the Alzheimer's Society scheme in UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Cambridge. 

The project aims to identify the components of the intrinsic cellular machineries for handling aggregation-prone proteins, and characterise circumstances in which these machineries are activated, with the view to identifying new therapeutic targets to ameliorate/prevent the aggregation load in neuronal cells (associated with neurodegenerative diseases).

The project stems from in-house developed technology enabling detection of failures in the protein-folding quality control system with high space-time resolution, and its ability to visualise the existence of the aggregation-resolving activity in live cells. 

Student will develop the experimental models for monitoring protein quality control and aggregation in live iPSC-derived neurons, andanalyse the activity of the intrinsic systems applying a range of biochemical, molecular biology and advanced light imaging techniques.

Along with molecular biology/biochemistry, the work will involve training in light microscopy techniques such as Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging, super-resolution microscopy and single particle tracking using state of the art optics and software.

This work will be conducted with support of interdisciplinary collaborators including physicists and computer scientists, enabling optical tools, mathematical modeling and data analysis. 

The successful student will develop skills in biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, and advanced microscopy and image analysis.

Students from disciplines other than biological sciences, who have a numeric aptitude and a strong interest in developing those skills are welcome to apply too (an academic background in mathematics, statistics, or computer science would be of interest). 

The student will be based in the UK DRI, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Clifford Allbutt Building, at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

The supervisor's research group is an interdisciplinary team studying organelle biology in neuronal cell function and neurodegeneration, supported by a network of international and local collaborations. 

Person criteria

Full studentships (UK/EU tuition fees and an enhanced stipend of £16,000.00 [tax-free] for 3 years for UK/EU students subject to eligibility criteria (below). Please read the eligibility criteria carefully before applying. 

This is a fully funded, 3 -year PhD studentship commencing 1-April 2020. 

To be enrolled on the PhD programme, applicants should have (or expect to obtain) at least 2:1 honours degree or equivalent. 

Enquiries should be addressed to Dr. Edward Avezov at

Applications should be made via the standard admissions procedure on the University's Graduate Admissions website ( please select Easter 2020 as the start term and PhD in Clinical Neurosciences as the course. 

Please include Dr. Edward Avezov as the Supervisor's name on application and the reference number. There is no need for a research proposal but a brief summary of what you want to work on will be sufficient under "Research Summary". 

Deadline for applications for this studentship is 14 January 2020. There is a fee of £65.00 to apply which is not refundable. 

For more information, please click here. 

Contact Details

Enquiries should be addressed to Dr. Edward Avezov at 

Any queries relating to the application process should be sent to Shannon Tinley- Browne at

Please quote reference ZE21632 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.