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PhD opportunities

PhD projects in the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences become available all year round. You can browse through the current opportunities in each of our research centres below, alongside faculty projects offered through funded studentship schemes.

When you find a project of interest, your first step is to contact the first supervisor named in the project description by email to discuss before submitting an application. Deadlines and full details of how to apply are specified in the project descriptions.

NEW: Applications open on 26 October 2020 for MRC Doctoral Training Partnership (MRC DTP) Studentships and iCASE Studentships. See projects and application details here. Application deadline 29 November 2020 for September 2021 entry.


PhD opportunities with the Centre for Craniofacial & Regenerative Biology

Sense organs are essential for communication with our environment providing visual, auditory and olfactory input. Among the most common birth defects, are craniofacial malformations often associated with sensory defects, while age-related loss of vision, smell and hearing is increasingly common in the ageing population.

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There are three unique features common to all vertebrates: the vertebral column, the brain as part of the nervous system and a complex head where sense organs became concentrated.

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One of the key questions in biology is to uncover how cells with the same genomic information become different from each other. This is not only important to understand embryo development, but also to determine what goes wrong in disease, how we can use this information to promote tissues regeneration or to reprogram cells for stem cell-based therapies.

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The evolution of the incredibly complex jaw apparatus of snakes allows many species to consume prey much larger than themselves. This study explores the development, structure and function of two lower jaw specialisations unique to most snake species, namely the free mandibular symphysis and the intramandibular hinge joint.

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Hearing as one of the five human senses plays a crucial role in our quality of life and integration into society, impacting on speech and language skills. Congenital hearing loss has been estimated to occur at an incidence of 1 in 1000 births, and as such has a major impact on the life of many children.

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When dentine and underlying odontoblasts are damaged, a repair process is initiated that involves the recruitment of cells from the pulp. We have identified a specific cell homing process whereby the progeny of mesenchymal stem cells migrate towards sites of tooth damage.

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The project involves a collaboration with Todd Streelman (Geogia Tech, USA) who uses genetic analysis to identify gene loci involved in tooth replacement in Lake Malawi cichlid fishes.

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PhD opportunities with the Centre for Host-Microbiome Interactions

This funded project is seeking to develop a behaviour change intervention to support women with GDM to undertake behaviours that may directly and indirectly impact their oral health and glycaemic control and subsequently, support a healthy pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a frequent pregnancy complication associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes through impacts on the foetus, mother and infant, alongside an increased risk of type 2 diabetes later in mum and baby and seen in around 1% -25% of all pregnancies. Women with GDM experience a highly medicalised pregnancy and report feeling like ‘baby-making machines’ where they report being treated as such by health care professionals (HCPs) eager to ensure that a healthy infant gets delivered at the end of term. There is no evidence currently to show what, if any, specific oral health care support these women receive during their pregnancies. At the same time it is known that i) periodontal health is related to glycaemic control and pregnancy outcomes and that ii) a simple behavioural intervention can effect clinical changes in periodontal health outcomes.

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PhD opportunities with the Centre for Dental Education

Dental professionals and students have a responsibility to behave professionally both online and offline.

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Learning in the digital age gives educational institutions opportunities to gather rich data which could be used for inferring the progress of learners in learning technologies and environments. However, while large amounts of data are available, little interpretation about them is being made.

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