Method development for coupled EEG-fMRI (2x full PhD EPSRC Studentships, UK/EU Only)

Last modified: 
Saturday, June 7, 2014 - 16:14

 

The goal of the project is to develop novel methods for the joint analysis of signals from electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), when they are obtained concurrently. Technological advances of the last 10 years make it possible for scientists to record both modalities concurrently, in what is now known as coupled EEG-fMRI. By simultaneously recording these two modalities, scientists can potentially say where and when neural activity is occurring, whereas previously researchers had to settle for one or the other. This engineering feat, however, has not yet been met with the ability to make use of the combination of these signals to infer more knowledge than would otherwise be gathered in separate experiments. Filling this gap is the ambition of the present project.

This is a method project, which requires skills and knowledge in neuroscience, applied mathematics/statistics/physics and programming. Candidates who have a strong background in at least two of these three fields are encouraged to apply, if they are enthusiastic about the third. Two full studentships are available, and we expect to appoint one candidate who is stronger in empirical work and a second who is stronger in analytics. Candidates are expected to have had some prior exposure to at least one of the two modalities, but will receive training in both. 

The two students will be supervised by Dr. Etienne Roesch and receive support from Dr. Michael Lindner and Prof. Tom Johnstone, with R&D support from Brain Products, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of MRI-compatible EEG systems. The group led by Dr. Roesch fosters interdisciplinary thinking, and students will have the opportunity to engage in ongoing empirical and modelling work related to perception and action. The Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN) is host to a research-dedicated 3T Siemens TRIO, with a full license for sequence development, and a full suite of MR-compatible systems. Additionally, the students will be granted access to the cluster of NVIDIA Tesla GPUs and other facilities at CINN, as well as at the Brain Embodiments Laboratory, in the School of Systems Engineering.

The University of Reading is ranked as one of the UK’s 20 most research-intensive universities and as one of the top 200 universities in the world (Times Higher Education 2013). Our campus was voted first in the Times Higher Education Student Experience survey and has a Green Flag Award. It is situated 25 minutes West of London. Reading University Students’ Union was voted the 6th best in the UK (National Student Survey 2012).

Essentials: Commitment to academic research and personal development; Ability to work collaboratively; Effective interpersonal and communication skills, including writing to a high standard, document preparation for technical notes and journal papers; Experience of work in interdisciplinary settings; Attention to details.

Desirables: Self-guided work in developing statistical designs and approaches in research; Creative approach to problem solving; Ability to work independently; Experience in giving presentations and conveying complex ideas clearly.

 

Eligibility:  Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in a relevant subject.   Please note that due to restrictions on the funding this studentship is for UK/EU applicants only.

Funding Details:  Studentship will cover Home/EU Fees, pay the Research Council minimum stipend (£13,863 in 2014/15) for up to 3 years and include funding for international conferences.

How to apply:    To apply for this studentship please submit an application for a PhD in Cybernetics (full time) to the University – see http://www.reading.ac.uk/Study/apply/pg-applicationform.aspx . In the section ‘Research proposal’, please upload or copy-paste your covering letter. When prompted as part of your online application, you should provide details of the funding you are applying for, quoting the reference GS14-68.

Once you have submitted your application, you should receive an email to confirm receipt of your online application.  Please forward this email, along with your covering letter and CV (as pdf), to Dr. Etienne B. Roesch, e.b.roesch@reading.ac.uk, by the application deadline.

Application Deadline: Monday 14th July 2014 (interviews in August)

Further Enquiries:  Please contact Dr. Etienne B. Roesch, e.b.roesch@reading.ac.uk.