About the Role
PhD Vacancy
 
In partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), we seek a student with strong signal and image processing or machine learning skills to develop algorithms to improve the quality of data received from a Fluorescent Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) system called Kronoscan. There is an emphasis on developing robust algorithms that can be translated in clinical applications. You will have the opportunity to undertake a placement at NPL during the PhD and will have access to additional NPL training resources.
 
You will join an interdisciplinary team, comprising data scientists, engineers, chemists, biologists and clinical scientists and will work with a range of teams based at the Queen’s Medical Research Institute in the Centre for Inflammation Research. The project aim is to develop new technologies to understand and evaluate disease and drug effectiveness.
 
Endomicroscopy is an emerging medical imaging modality that facilitates the acquisition of in vivo and in-situ optical biopsies, assisting fast diagnostic and potentially therapeutic interventions. To date, real-time endomicroscopy has been dominated and limited to intensity mode imaging due to existing detector technology. This limitation has now been overcome by the Kronoscan system by incorporating both intensity and lifetime imaging. This breakthrough technology will enable multidimensional high-content real-time sensing and imaging of dynamic biological processes. These systems are now poised for disruptive healthcare impact, and a key ambition of the research will be to pave the way for subsequent clinical and commercial impact.
This project will use image processing and machine learning techniques for further developing the FLIM platforms with two key aims: to improve (1) image reconstruction and quantification of samples for assessment; and (2) monitoring of drug-target engagement.  You may build on various techniques for image reconstruction and bacteria detection,  including computationally efficient Bayesian estimation and deep learning methods.
 
The project will be undertaken in partnership with GSK, who have the eventual aim of applying high-resolution ultra-sensitive microscopic imaging to the evaluation of drug action as an essential step to improving a currently expensive and poorly productive drug development pathway. Input from NPL will provide expertise and guidance on metrology and uncertainty considerations and practices applied to data processing, analysis and machine learning.  The student will also be enrolled in the Postgraduate Institute for Measurement Science (www.npl.pgi.co.uk) and receive training and co-supervision from NPL scientists.
 
About You
An undergraduate degree with background in Signal and Image Processing, Machine Learning, or related areas.

Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. 
About The Company

NPL and BEIS have strong commitments to diversity and equality of opportunity, and welcome applications from candidates irrespective of their background, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or age, providing they meet the required criteria. Applications from women, disabled and BAME candidates in particular are encouraged. All disabled candidates (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) who satisfy the minimum criteria for the role will be guaranteed an interview under the Disability Confident Scheme.

We’re transforming. As a national laboratory, we’re exploring even more commercial routes to market and that’s presenting us with greater opportunity – for you and us. Our success relies on the diversity and talent of our people, we strive to nurture and respect individuals to ensure everyone feels valued and supported to excel in their chosen field. This value is at the core of our organisation.

We believe in a culture of fairness by treating everyone on the basis of their own individual merits and abilities regardless of their own or perceived identity, background or any other factor irrelevant to a person’s work. At NPL we are committed to the health and well-being of our employees. Flexible working and social activities are embedded in our culture to create a positive work-life balance, along with a broad range of benefitsNPL’s values are at the heart of what we do and they shape the way we interact, develop our people and celebrate success.

As part of our commitment to diversity & inclusion, we signed up to the Institute of Physics' Project Juno in 2015 as a Juno Supporter. NPL were proud to be awarded Juno Practitioner status in 2018. NPL also joined Stonewall as a Diversity champion in 2015, participating in their annual Workplace Equality Index for the equality of LGBT+ community at NPL. In 2018, NPL became a member of the Business Disability Forum and joined the disability confident scheme as level 1 committed employer.

To ensure everyone has an equal chance, we’re always willing to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss, please contact us.

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