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PhD Scholarship to study blood-brain barrier dysfunction in atrial fibrillation [#]


Location:  Ormskirk
Salary:  £18,622 per annum - Stipend for 3 years at UKRI rates
Tuition fee scholarship for maximum of 3 years
Post Type:  Full Time
Closing Date:  Monday 12 June 2023
Reference:  EHA000-0523

We’re here to create and harness knowledge, to deliver opportunity for everyone. 

About the Opportunity

This is an excellent opportunity for a talented and motivated applicant to undertake an original programme of research working within the Brain Barriers Research Group ( ), led by Dr Adjanie Patabendige.

About The Research Project

Irregular and rapid heartbeat can lead to cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, blood clots and stroke, affecting millions of people worldwide. Recent evidence suggests a link between cardiovascular disease and brain injury, most likely due to a disrupted blood-brain barrier (BBB, the physiological barrier that protects the brain from blood-borne toxins and pathogens, and regulates molecular traffic between the blood and the brain) ( 

Maintaining normal blood flow is essential for brain endothelial function, including maintaining barrier integrity. Therefore, the aim of this project is to investigate the underlying mechanisms of BBB dysfunction during cardiovascular disease.

This scholarship is funded by an Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard Award to Dr Patabendige. The PhD candidate will be primarily based at the Biology Department at Edge Hill University. They will also have the opportunity to visit Dr Patabendige’s collaborators based in USA. Secondary supervisor is Prof Gregory Lip from the Liverpool Centre for Cardiovascular Science

The student will use sophisticated cell culture models of the BBB, and gain experience in a variety of cellular and molecular assays, and advanced microscopy skills. They will join a team undertaking an array of preclinical and clinical research in this field, and will have access to cutting-edge laboratory equipment, exceptional mentoring opportunities, and collaborative work with overseas biotech companies.

About You

We are seeking applications from individuals who have completed (or about to complete) an undergraduate (Hons) degree in Neuroscience/Biomedical Science/Physiology or a related subject. Applicants are required to have a first class or second-class upper honours degree.  

Highly motivated, resilient and with the determination to succeed, you will be committed to undertaking a PhD and will possess strong written and oral communication skills along with excellent organisational skills. Applicants should also have strong work ethics and teamwork skills. Out of hours and weekend work maybe required due to the nature of the project.  

Details of funding

The successful applicant will:

  • Be awarded an annual stipend for three years in line with the UKRI doctoral stipend and fee levels (minimum £18,622 per year)
  • Support for your tuition fees (minimum £4,712 per year)

How to Apply

  1. In the first instance please direct all enquiries to Dr Patabendige: prior to application.
  1. Please complete the online application form via  ( Please ignore that is states October start and proceed as requested). 

In the online form for ‘Proposed Research Title’, please input “PhD Scholarship to study blood-brain barrier dysfunction in atrial fibrillation” in reference to this vacancy . Please download a copy when prompted to do so.

  1. Once you have done this, please send the following items in one email to quoting the studentship reference EHA000-0523 and the project title, in the subject of the email:
  • a downloaded copy of your application form.
  • a cover letter/personal statement outlining your suitability.
  • a full academic CV (maximum of three A4 pages, using size 12 font) which includes the contact details of two referees.
  • a copy of your qualification certificates and passport.

International applicants, including those residing in the EU, will also need to provide evidence of meeting the English language requirements as part of their application. See details of accepted language paperwork.

Interviews will be held in June 2023. The successful applicant will be required to start on 1st July 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

At Edge Hill University we value the benefits a rich and diverse workforce brings to our community and therefore welcome applications from all sections of society.

About us 

At Edge Hill University we believe in the life changing opportunities knowledge can create. Since 1885, we’ve been creating access to knowledge for those who may not have had the opportunity to before. 

Today, the effect we have has a far-reaching impact, not just for those who come to study here but for those who work, invest in, and live in our local communities too. So, if you’ve ever wondered if one person can make a difference, simply speak to our alumni, students, and award-winning staff.

Because for us education isn’t about how much you take in. It’s about what you take out into the world. 

Inspiring minds and changing futures since 1885, Edge Hill University is “A great success story… an institution that improves and impresses year after year” – Times Higher Education.

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