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PhD Studentship in Computing Science - Data Driven Computer Modelling of Brain Injury Recovery

Value of award

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend of £14,553 (full award).  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Number of awards


Start date and duration

Start date is flexible, but before September 2018. Duration is 3 years funding.

Application closing date

Recruitment is ongoing until a suitable candidate is found.



Acquired brain injury (e.g. due to trauma or stroke) is a leading cause of death and disability amongst children and young adults.

Traumatic brain injury in particular typically involves the disconnection of brain areas – i.e. the structural connections between brain areas are disrupted.  Considering the brain as a network of regions and connections is useful as this allows it to be formally, and thoroughly, investigated using established computational techniques.

In this PhD we will use mathematical and computational models to investigate recovery from brain injury.  We will compare different recovery mechanisms and relate to clinical outcomes.  We will use a data driven approach to this, using neuroimaging data to constrain the computer models.  Ultimately we will aim to infer optimal rehabilitation strategies, given an improved understanding of rehabilitation-independent recovery.


This project will be heavily computer based.  Candidates with the following backgrounds are particularly encouraged to apply: computer science, mathematics, physics, medicine.


+ Good programming experience

+ An interest in neuroscience / neurology


+ Experience in neuroimaging (e.g. FreeSurfer, FSL, SPM)

+ Programming experience in Matlab

+ Knowledge of graph theory

+ Knowledge of dynamical systems theory, neural population models.


The successful candidate will be based in the new £58 million state of the art Urban Sciences Building, School of Computing Science. The student will work in the Interdisciplinary Computing and Complex BioSystems (ICOS) group; one of the largest computational biology groups in the UK, with over 20 other PhD students.

The supervisory team consists of Dr Peter Taylor, an expert in developing computer simulations of brain dynamics, and Dr Rob Forsyth an expert in brain injury and consultant neurologist.


Funding is available to cover a tax free stipend at RCUK rates (currently £14,553 per year), tuition fees at UK/EU rate, and consumables for three years. The candidate should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent before starting.

Start date is preferably October 2017, but this is negotiable.

For enquiries please email Peter Taylor.


School of Computing Science, Newcastle University.

Name of supervisor(s)

Dr Peter Neal Taylor (main supervisor) and Dr Rob Forsyth (co-supervisor). 

Eligibility Criteria

You should have either a First class honours degree or 2.1 in Computing Science, Mathematics, Electrical and Computer Engineering or other relevant science or engineering subject. A distinction level Masters degree in a related subject will be a plus. Equivalent experience will also be considered.

How to apply

You must apply through the University's online postgraduate application form. Only mandatory fields need to be completed.  However, you will need to include the following information:


For further information, please email Dr Taylor.

Eligible Courses