PhD Studentship: The Network Dynamics of Focal Cortical Dysplasia

Closing Date
5 Jul 2019
School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University
3 years

Applications are invited from talented and ambitious candidates to develop and perform in vitro electrophysiology recordings and human brain tissue culture to explore the pathology and treatment of Focal Cortical Dysplasia (FCD), a common cause of hard-to-treat epilepsy in children. The successful candidate will join the active research groups of Dr Stuart Greenhill and Prof Gavin Woodhall. This opportunity is open to UK and EU students who have at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in a biological science or a related subject. This studentship is part of an ambitious programme of research funded by the Academy of Medical Sciences and in collaboration with the Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

You will use human tissue culture of slices taken from juvenile FCD patents, in combination with optogenetic, electrophysiological and calcium imaging techniques, to characterise the network- and cellular-level activity of FCD, to better understand the pathophysiology of the disease. This work will be used to develop new and improved animal and computational models of the disease and to identify promising future treatments for FCD.

The project will provide an excellent young scientist with training in cutting-edge neurophysiology, organotypic culture, functional imaging and computational techniques.

Aston University was ranked 5th out of 94 UK Higher Education Institutions for research in Allied Health Professions (REF 2014) and was ranked 1st for research environment. Additional information about the School can be found at

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Stuart Greenhill, 

Financial Support:

The studentship is open to Home/EU students and comprises of a tax-free stipend at the 2019/20 UKRI rate of £15,009 per annum and payment of Home/EU tuition fees only. The studentship is available for three years, subject to satisfactory progress review at the end of the first year, with an expected registration of October 2019.

Application Requirements:

  • Eligible Applicants should hold at least a Bachelor (Hons.) Degree of either 1st Class/ 2.1 or MSc/MRes in a relevant subject
  • Experience with cell/tissue culture and/or electrophysiology is highly desirable.
  • EU Applicants will need to demonstrate adequate proficiency in English Language skills; e.g., IELTS scores of a minimum of 6.0in each section and an overall band of 6.5.

Choose the Research Full-time Neurosciences option and quote reference: ‘PhD_Greenhill’ on your application.

For more information and to apply, click here

Contact Details

Dr Stuart Greenhill: