Postgraduate Research

Graduate opportunities

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Are you looking for a postgraduate research opportunity?

We're offering a wide variety of studentships and other research opportunities throughout the year. As a research student, you'll work with at least one academic supervisor and be given research training to help you gain skills in research methodology.

Take a look at our current opportunities below.

Current Faculty of Science and Health studentships

Our new research studentships are collaborative and interdisciplinary, which means that you’ll work across more than one department within our Faculty of Science and Health. This allows you to benefit from the broad range of expertise we have and enables you think in a practical way on solutions to real-world challenges.

Founded in 1964 by the progressive Sir Albert Sloman, our University was built on the principles of interdisciplinarity and cooperation, so our approach is just as relevant now as it has ever been.

Brain mechanisms underpinning green exercise wellness

This PhD project will combine EEG and TMS with a systematic green exercise program to characterise functional changes in affective brain circuit linked to green exercise.

We will contrast brain affective responses before, during and after green exercise versus indoor exercise. Then, we will characterise the role of the affective brain areas towards functional changes associated to green exercise.

Lead department: School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences (in collaboration with the Department of Psychology)

Closing date: 31 March 2020


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Developing crime predictive models and evaluating the utility of prediction outputs amongst crime prevention practitioners

The aim of this cross-disciplinary PhD is to better inform and improve the decision-making capacity of police officers so that we can prevent crime and speed up police interventions.

The project will span two stages, both involving psychology and data science in a real and in-depth collaboration.

Lead department: Department of Psychology (in collaboration with the Department of Mathematical Sciences)

Closing date: 31 March 2020


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Engineering biological soft microrobots for the treatment of cancer

We will integrate microrobotics (CSEE) with stem cell and cancer biology (Life Sciences) to develop a novel microrobotics platform for efficient and effective delivery of therapeutic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).

These MSCs will be genetically modified to express an anti-cancer protein known as TRAIL that induces cancer cell death, leaving normal tissues unaffected.

Furthermore, to show proof of concepts in feedback swarm control of microrobots, we will be using an optical camera integrated with actuation system.

Lead department: School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (in collaboration with the School of Life Sciences)

Closing date: 31 March 2020


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AI-farming: AI-powered intelligent autonomous systems for smart farming

This interdisciplinary project aims to undertake PhD research in AI-powered intelligent systems for smart farming.

The researched systems are expected to provide growers with crop stress diagnostics and intervention strategies. It will increase crop productivity while protecting the environment.

Lead department: School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (in collaboration with the School of Life Sciences).

Closing date: 31 March 2020


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Design of advanced coding and random access techniques for DNA storage

This project aims to develop efficient error-correcting codes (ECCs) and random access techniques for DNA storage.

By viewing DNA storage as a communication channel, we will design robust ECCs and their associated decoding schemes to combat the errors (e.g., insertion, deletion, and substitution) that arise in DNA synthesis and sequencing processes.

Lead department: School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (in collaboration with the School of Life Sciences and Department of Mathematical Sciences).

Closing date: 31 March 2020


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The impact of gene expression noise on plant fitness under stress conditions linked to climate change

This PhD aims to investigate whether evolution has fine-tuned noise-generating mechanisms and genetic network architectures leading to plant diversity enhancing stress responses and survival.

We will use existing timeseries gene expression datasets to investigate the patterns of noise in Arabidopsis exposed to short term (high-light, pathogen infections) and long-term (drought, senescence) stress conditions.

Lead department: School of Life Sciences (in collaboration with the Department of Mathematical Sciences)

Closing date: 31 March 2020


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ASMR and Mindfulness Meditation for student wellness and resilience

This proposal investigates the potential of novel wellness techniques, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) and Mindfulness Meditation (MM) for improving student health, resilience and academic performance.

Despite its potential and growing popularity, there is hardly any rigorous scientific research on ASMR’s ostensibly beneficial claims (or potential harms).

Lead department: Department of Psychology (in collaboration with the School of Health and Social Care)

Closing date: 31 March 2020


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Brain sensorimotor plasticity after knee joint injury in recreational adult athletes

Knee soft tissue injury results in a range of physical and mental issues, from activity limitation and forced retirement to emotional distress. Therefore, knee soft tissue injury represents a considerable burden on recreational adult athletes’ overall health and wellness as well as local healthcare systems’ resources.

This project will employ psychology facilities to characterise sensory and motor cortex changes in recreational adult athletes with knee soft tissue injury, and develop novel clinical interventions that beneficially affect the sensory and motor cortices.

Lead department: School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences (in collaboration with the Department of Psychology)

Closing date: 31 March 2020


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Obesity management: a focus on glucose dynamics, diet and lifestyle

The proposed PhD project will use the personalised measurement and monitoring of physiological data and behaviours related to eating to promote effective and lasting weight loss.

Lead department: School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences (in collaboration with the Department of Psychology)

Closing date: 31 March 2020


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Mathematical approaches in inferring gene regulatory networks mediating the transition between early and late stages of plants' response to drought

Water limitation in agriculture is increasing due to urbanisation, industrialisation, depletion of aquifers and climate change.

Reduced water availability leads to drought stress, a major constraint on the productivity of crop plants. Understanding the mechanisms of drought response is essential for the improvement of plant performance.

The project is expected to lead to improved accuracy of inferring water deficit-associated GRNs that will improve the success rate of identifying novel drought-responsive genes, which will be validated experimentally in Arabidopsis and crop plant species.

Lead department: Department of Mathematical Sciences (in collaboration with the School of Life Sciences)

Closing date: 31 March 2020


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Developmental Language Disorder in adults: nature, prevalence and availability of NHS support services

Approximately 10% of children have Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), a language disorder of unknown origin, experiencing significant difficulties in the understanding and expression of language.

However, because most research has focused on children, little is known about the prevalence or trajectory of DLD post adolescence.

This study will tackle four questions (nature, prevalence, long-term impact and services) using a mixed-methods approach.

Lead department: School of Health and Social Care (in collaboration with the Department of Psychology)

Closing date: 31 March 2020


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Intelligent wellness and strength training using sensor fusion based approaches

This studentship will research intelligent approaches to exercise training using wearable sensors and digital technologies that will help active individuals, athletes and people living with long term conditions to maximum their training and capacity over time.

Lead department: School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (in collaboration with the School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences).

Closing date: 31 March 2020


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Supervised at-home gait assessment for children with Cerebral Palsy using deep learning and data fusion techniques

This interdisciplinary studentship brings together the expertise of AI and machine learning with rehabilitation science also leveraging practical support from the Paediatric Physiotherapy Unit, Anglian Community Enterprise Community Interest Company.

The project is to develop a portable, marker-less motion capture system consisting of accelerometers and a video camera, and a gait assessment method using deep learning and data fusion techniques to automatically quantify the degree of walking impairment in children with Cerebral Palsy.

Lead department: School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (in collaboration with the School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences)

Closing date: 31 March 2020


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Towards an intelligent hybrid energy and transportation system in the presence of large-scale EVs and renewable energy

This project aims to develop an intelligent hybrid energy and transportation system in the presence of large-scale EVs and renewable energy with the-state-of-the-art game-theoretic and agent-based decision making, stochastic optimisation and deep learning methods.

Lead department: Department of Mathematical Sciences (in collaboration with the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering)

Closing date: 31 March 2020


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Departmental studentships

Throughout the year departments may advertise studentship opportunities with individual academic supervisors the department. Please check the information on the studentship page carefully as funding may not be included in these opportunities.

School of Life Sciences - Environmental drivers of food web structure and energy flux in marine ecosystems

This PhD will aim to determine the major drivers of trophic complexity and biomass distributions in marine ecosystems.

The candidate will join the Ecology and Environmental Microbiology Group at the University of Essex and will also work with researchers at Cefas in Lowestoft.

Department: School of Life Sciences

Closing date: 22 March 2020.


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