Title: SCH02: Towards a novel biomarker for pain: advanced analysis of oscillatory brain activity in healthy and chronic pain individuals
Funding: Full time Home/EU fees and a stipend of £15,009 p.a. (terms & conditions)
Application deadline: 7 May 2019
Start date: October 2019
Duration: 3 years (full time)
Location: Colchester Campus
The present proposal focuses on electroencephalography (EEG) oscillations as a brain biomarker of pain, both in healthy individuals and chronic-pain patients. This project is a step forward as it proposes to study whether EEG oscillations can: (a) predict the unpleasantness of prolonged pain in healthy individuals and (b) predict ongoing pain in chronic patients.
The project’s impact stems from the combined use of psychophysiological and mathematical tools to study EEG data (i.e. advanced machine learning, brain network theory and connectivity analysis – see figure below for an example of data analysis approach) of healthy individuals and chronic-pain patients.
The collaboration with Prof. Bhaskar Dasgupta (Consultant lead of Rheumatology and Clinical Director of Research & Audit, Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Essex) will provide us with data from a large pool of patients.
The award consists of a full Home/EU fee waiver or equivalent fee discount for overseas students (further fee details), a doctoral stipend equivalent to the Research Councils UK National Minimum Doctoral Stipend (£15,009 in 2019-20), plus £2,500 training bursary via Proficio funding, which may be used to cover the cost of advanced skills training including conference attendance and travel.
Lead supervisorDepartment of Psychology, University of Essex
Dr Elia Valentini is a teacher and researcher at the Department of Psychology and Centre for Brain Science (CBS). His current research investigates how people perceive negative valence information, how they interpret both physical and psychological events as threatening. Current projects involve measuring electroencephalography and other psychophysiological measures, subjective reports (i.e. from sensory ratings to personality questionnaires), cognitive and behavioural performance in a multisensory setting.
Co-supervisorDepartment of Mathematical Sciences, University of Essex
Dr Chris Antonopoulos has been at the University of Essex since September 2015, where he is involved in teaching students from the Department of Mathematical Sciences and Essex Business School, as well as carrying out research in applied mathematics, dynamical systems, chaos theory, complex systems and networks, and computational neuroscience.
The successful candidate should possess:
You can apply for this postgraduate research opportunity online.
Instruction to applicants
When you apply online you will be prompted to fill out several boxes in the form:
If you have any informal queries about this opportunity please email the lead supervisor, Dr Elia Valentini (email@example.com).
You can find the terms and conditions of this studentship here (PDF).