Current departmental funding opportunities are listed above. We also welcome PhD applications throughout the year from students with independent scholarship funding. We cannot, however, normally accept applicants wishing to support themselves with personal funds; such applications may be considered, on a case by case basis and will require additional Departmental approval.

Please visit the PhD Bioengineering webpage for more on the programme and application process.


Blast Injury and Chronic Pain: Treatment and Outcomes, a very long-term cohort study

Supervised by Professor Andrew Rice with Dr Emily Mayhew
Programme code: BHZC

The Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies (CBIS) and Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London welcome applications from high-calibre candidates for a PhD studentship. This will be jointly supervised by Dr Emily Mayhew (Historian in Residence) and Professor Andrew Rice (Professor of Pain Research). 

This is a collaborative applied history of medicine PhD studentship for which applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates from a range of backgrounds spanning from medical and military history to medicine and related disciplines. Moreover, this is a unique opportunity to study the long-term health outcomes of injured First World War veterans and interpret these in the context of veterans with similar injuries from contemporary conflicts. You will join an existing functional and successful collaboration between medical historians, engineers, medical researchers and archivists. The innovative supervision model means that you will be embedded within, and benefit from a dialogue with, research teams at a world leading Medicine and Engineering university who are conducting cutting edge research in pain and the medical effects of blast injury. 

Clinical Problem. 
Chronic pain afflicts blast injury survivors beyond the acute stage of their treatment, with many experiencing neuropathic residual limb pain and amputation-related pain such as stump or phantom limb pain. Chronic pain remains a significant health problem impacting rehabilitation and return to work. Chronic pain in the amputee population also negatively affects efficient prosthetic fit and use. Historical evidence indicates that chronic pain and chronic post-surgical pain have been significant impediments to the successful rehabilitation of military casualties since 1916. Studies of chronic blast injury pain in the military cohort are underway in both US and UK research environments, including at CBIS. These studies are based on a relatively small cohort of patients with chronic pain caused by wounding from conflicts occurring in the 21st century. Currently researchers have no access to comprehensive datasets drawn from historical records of military patients with identical pain conditions. 

Research Plan. 
It is proposed to provide such a dataset by analysing the Ministry of Pension assessment and appeal records for military casualties generated from 1918 through to the late 20th century. The utility of this data for contemporary pain researchers is based on the similarities in wounding patterns between the First World War and today’s conflicts. In both cases, the majority of wounds were inflicted by high velocity artillery and explosive devices, with the attendant complexities of blast and ballistic trauma. The First World War created an amputee cohort of 41,000 veterans. Initial searches have indicated that many of the appeals for the award of a pension were made on the basis of chronic pain conditions relating to wounding. The files cover the lifetime of each patient and contain detailed case histories of diagnoses, treatment and outcomes of the various pain conditions that affected them. This primary source will be complemented by others, for example the archives of limb fitting certes at the Erskine and Roehampton hospitals and the published medical literature. 

The PhD student will work towards completing a written thesis, with associated publications, summarising the findings relating to the cohort of chronic trauma-related pain. As key components, the student will produce a detailed analysis of the most common forms and treatment of chronic pain in military veterans with blast or ballistic injury and other forms of weapon wounding, and an analysis of the diagnostic modes within specialisms used to assess pain for the pension appeal process as they changed through time. The thesis will be formulated so as to ensure maximum utility to 21st century pain and blast injury researchers and, as part of its conclusions, will suggest the possible clinical relevance of its findings.

Human performance related to role specific injuries in the military


A stipend and fees for 3 ½ years will be awarded.  Students must satisfy the eligibility criteria, including UK or EU residence for three or more years.  Candidates will also be required to pass a Ministry of Defence (MOD) security check.

Imperial College London invites applications for this unique research collaboration between the Departments of Surgery and Bioengineering at Imperial College London and the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) Headley Court.  The project is funded by the Women in Ground Close Combat (WGCC) and focuses on injuries in military personnel, in particular how different body types and gender are suited for specific roles within the military and how this may affect training methods and the propensity for injury.

To find out more about research at Imperial in this area, follow this link:

For further details, please contact
Professor Alison McGregor (, + 44 (0) 20 8383 8831) or
Professor Anthony Bull (, +44(0) 207 594 5186)


Supervisor: Dr Lin, Huai-Ti

Eligibility and funding details

This PhD studentship in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London is fully funded* for UK/EU candidates** (3-years) starting anytime between October 2017 and March 2018. Eligible candidates should have a bachelor degree (2.1 or first class) or a master degree (merit or distinction) in Natural Sciences or Engineering with laboratory experiences.
*The standard PhD studentship covers home/EU tuition fees and provides a bursary (£16,553 in 2017/18)*
**Overseas students (non-UK/EU) can discuss alternative funding with Dr. Lin.

Project description
The eye movements dictate how we see the world. While modern machine vision starts to rival biological visual computations, there is currently no robust framework for how to steer a robotic vision system to collect critical information. Indeed, learning where to look is one of the best lessons a visually guided robotic system can take from biology. In this project, we use large flying insects (e.g., dragonfly) as a model system to understand how the gaze control contributes to the planning and execution of complex flight behaviors (e.g., mate pursuit, prey interception, territorial displays). The project consists of several elements including motion capture for freely flying insects, insect neck biomechanics, wireless neural recording, modeling flight behaviors using sensory neural data, and implementing a smart camera gimbal for a robotic vision system. The project is suitable for students interested in biological visual guidance and motion planning using vision.

Please see the lab website for information about the NBits Lab


A successful candidate should have good understanding of biological systems at the organismic and physiological level. A proven track record in hands-on laboratory work and proficiency in small-scale dissections/manipulations will be highly desirable. Abilities to program (e.g., Matlab, Python, and/or C++), and knowledge in electronics are a plus. Experiences in high-speed photography are helpful. Most importantly, the applicant must be highly motivated, shows clear interest in visuomotor systems, and enjoys a multi-disciplinary research environment. Since dragonflies are field animals, the lab will periodically go out in the field for collection and observation during the spring-summer season.

To apply for the position, please send a single PDF document including a one-page cover letter discussing research interest and experiences, a two-page CV, a copy of transcripts, and contact information of two references to Dr. Huai-Ti Lin ( with subject line “NBits_PHD_APP”. Application will stay open until the position is filled.

Research into algorithms and architectures for image analysis and computer vision

Funding details: Due to the nature of our funding, we can only consider candidates with UK/EU status at present. If awarded, the funding covers tuition fees and a stipend at standard research council rate for 3 years (e.g. £16,553 for 2017-18).

Application deadline: tbc

Contact details: Bharath, Anil A 

Centre for Blast Injury Studies

The Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies at Imperial College is a collaboration between military and civilian clinicians, scientists and engineers. With core funding from the Royal British Legion, CBIS is an Imperial College/Royal British Legion/Ministry of Defence partnership. 
Please check the Centre opportunities page for further details.

Centre for Doctoral Training in Neurotechnology for Life and Health

The ESPRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Neurotechnology for Life and Health spans the Faculties of Engineering, Natural Sciences and Medicine at Imperial, with investigators from thirteen different departments including Bioengineering, Life Sciences, and the Division of Brain Sciences. The CDT offers fully-funded 4-year studentships comprising an initial MRes year and 3 years of PhD.

Please check our How to apply page for full details and a list of available projects.

College-wide scholarships

PhD applicants to Bioengineering may also be nominated for some of the available College scholarships. Please visit the Imperial College Scholarships page for full details of all PhD scholarships available and application processes.

If applying for funding, you should contact your chosen supervisor well before the deadlines listed above to ensure that they have sufficient time to review your application and - if appropriate - arrange an interview. Candidates who do not meet the relevant deadlines can be considered for the PhD programme but may not be considered for departmental funding. Please consult our research pages for further details.