Opportunities

This page is designed to help researchers and people looking for research opportunities find each other. We want to make it easier for people to make MND their area of focus and hope that the advancements that come out of these projects will make a positive difference to the MND community.

If you have a vacancy or are looking for a specific opportunity please contact us.

Opportunities in New Zealand

Small Project Grant | Neurological Foundation of NZ

Project Grants are the main avenue by which the Neurological Foundation sponsors research. Applicants can be scientifically or medically qualified, and the research can be clinical or biomedical.

Neurological Foundation Small Project Grants offer up to $15,000. Funds are usually for pilot or feasibility studies or a piece of equipment.

The application must be made on the Foundation’s form, and with the approval sent to the Foundation before the closing dates of April 1 and September 1 to douglas.ormrod@neurological.org.nz.

Note: Only one resubmission of a declined Small Project application will be considered. See advice to applicants for more details.

Click here for more detail

 

Project Grant | Neurological Foundation of NZ

Project Grants are the main avenue by which the Neurological Foundation sponsors research. Applicants are usually salaried by their institutions and a grant will typically cover salaries for technicians, scientists or nurses, plus working expenses. There are two rounds each year and the NF funds approximately 15 project grants annually.

Eligibility

Applicants can be scientifically or medically qualified, and the research can be clinical or biomedical.

Duration

Projects can be from one to three year’s duration.

How to Apply

The application must be made on the Foundation’s form, and include the Referee Nominations, Confidentiality, Ethical and Administrative Agreements (Sections 8 through 11), as well as the Excel budget sheet. It needs to be sent to the Foundation before the closing dates of April 1 and September 1 to douglas.ormrod@neurological.org.nz.

Note: Only one resubmission of a declined Project application will be considered. See advice to applicants for more details.

Click here for more detail

 

Starting Grants in ALS Basic Research | Frick Foundation for ALS Research

The Frick Foundation is looking for talented early-career scientists who have already produced excellent supervised work, ready to work independently and shows potential to be a research leader. Two researchers will receive 100,000 Swiss francs (152,000 NZD) each that can be used over 2 years.

Eligibility

Researchers of any nationality with 5 years of experience since completion of their PhD, a scientific track record showing great promise and an excellent research proposal. Research must be conducted in a public or private research organisation.

How to Apply

Applications should include:

  • Name, address and title of proposal
  • Scientific abstract (not more than one page)
  • Introduction of the topic (not more than 2 pages)
  • Specific goals of the project and detailed reseach plan (not more than 5 pages, references not included)
  • Budget requested
  • List of other support
  • Curriculum vitae
  • List of papers published by the applicant of an academic institute during the past 5 years
  • A scientific and financial report will be required at the end of two years
  • Overheads and salary of the Principal Investigator are not included

Please send your application by e-mail for the deadline: 30 September 2019

Prof. A.C Kato
President of the Scientific Advisory Board
Faculty of Medicine , University of Geneva, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland
E-mail: ann.kato@unige.ch

Please no telephone calls or faxes
You will receive a response in December 2019

Click here for more detail

 

Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship | Neurological Foundation of NZ

The Senior Postdoctoral Fellowships provide two years of personal support for outstanding researchers while they establish themselves as independent investigators at an institution in New Zealand.

Eligibility

Candidates for the Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship will have submitted or been awarded a PhD within the eight years prior to the application closing date.  If a successful applicant is based overseas at the time of award, a single airfare to return to New Zealand will be included in the grant.

Duration

2 years

How to Apply

The closing dates for the Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship are 1 April and 1 September each year. The application must be made on the Foundation’s form and should be electronically submitted to the Research Manager before the closing dates. For further information see the Advice to Applicants document.

Click here for more detail

 

First Postdoctoral Fellowship | Neurological Foundation of NZ

The First Postdoctoral Fellowships provide two years of personal support for outstanding early career researchers so that they can complete their first post-doctoral fellowship under the close mentorship of an academic with a continuing position at an institution in New Zealand.

How to Apply

The closing dates are 1 April and 1 September each year. The application must be made on the Foundation’s form and should be electronically submitted to the Research Manager before the closing dates. For further information see the Advice to Applicants document.

Click here for more detail

 

O'Brien Clinical Fellowship | Neurological Foundation of NZ

This Fellowship will be awarded to a New Zealand registered non-medical health professional who is committed to a clinical research career with a major focus on treatment or care of those affected by brain disease or injury, including end of life care. It is intended to enhance their research skills and experience and thus contribute to improved patient outcomes in New Zealand.

Eligibility

Fellowship with be available to, but not limited to: Clinical Nurses, Clinical Psychologists, Clinical Trials Managers, Dieticians, Exercise Physiologists, Health Psychologists, Medical Laboratory Technologists, Medical Physicists, Neurophysiologists, Neuropsychologists, Occupational Therapists, Pharmacists, Physiotherapists, Radiographers, Research Nurses, Social Workers, Speech Language Therapists. Those unsure about eligibility should contact the Neurological Foundation Research Manager douglas.ormrod@neurological.org.nz.

How to Apply

The closing dates for this fellowship are 1 April and 1 September each year. The application must be made on the Foundation’s form and should be electronically submitted to the Research Manager before the closing dates. For further information see the Advice to Applicants document.

Click here for more detail

 

Conference and Training Course Grants | Neurological Foundation of NZ

These grants are intended to support international keynote speakers and early career researchers at neurology and neuroscience conferences in New Zealand, or facilitate early career researcher participation in advanced training courses in New Zealand or Australia.

What can be funded?

  • Support for early career researcher participation in conferences and advanced training courses, such as
    • Subsidised registration
    • Subsidised travel
    • Subsidised childcare
    • Prizes for conference presentations by early career researchers
  • Support for international keynote speaker participation, such as
    • Airfares
    • Domestic transfers
    • Accommodation

Maximum Value

$20,000

How to Apply

The closing dates are 1 April and 1 September each year.

  • Complete your application on the current version of the Conference Grant application form, available on the Foundation’s website
  • Submit your application form as a PDF, with supporting documents as separate PDFs, by the closing date
  • Supporting documentation:
    • Application data collection form, available on the Foundation’s website
    • Quotes for any keynote speaker travel and accommodation
  • Applicants will be advised of the outcome early in July or December
  • Successful applicants will be informed of the conditions of the grant and asked for their formal acceptance of the funding contract.
  • If you have any queries or doubts, please contact the Foundation’s Research Manager for advice. research@neurological.org.nz

Click here for more detail

 

Postgraduate Student Project - Building a Brain Machine Interface for song production | University of Auckland

Project Code: 10387354
University: Auckland
Faculty: Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
Department: Anatomy
Main Supervisor: Dr M Fabiana Kubke
Application open date: 02 Oct 2017
Application deadline:
Enrolment information: NZ Citizens, NZ Permanent Residents, International

Introduction

Brain machine interfaces are used to extract the neural code associated with a behaviour, and use that code to drive a robotic device. In the context of human health, it allows people with motor disabilities to have their brains ‘talk’ directly to a device, such as a prosthetic arm.

What we are looking for in a successful applicant

The project involves understanding the models of auditory-vocal learning and vocal production, understanding how vocal motor commands are coded in ‘motor cortex’, how these can be analysed through machine learning algorithms, and animal behaviour analysis. Students with a background in biology, neuroscience, mathematics, engineering or bioengineering are encouraged to apply.

Objective

We are currently trying to exploit this technology to study how auditory and somatosensory information contribute to the production of speech. We are using a song bird as an animal model because the neural substrates and the process of learning song are similar to those of humans. To separate the processes that are involved in the ‘intention’ to sing from the act of singing itself, we are training birds to learn how to ‘sing’ (through a brain machine interface) using an audio speaker rather than through their vocal apparatus.

Information on how to enroll and apply 

Contact the project supervisor

International Opportunities

Biomedical Project Grant | MND Association

The MND Association is committed to playing a key role in ending MND. Our biomedical research programme is delivering significant and measurable advances in understanding and treating the disease. We only fund research of the highest scientific excellence and greatest relevance to MND. 

Deadline

The deadline date for receipt of summary applications is 25 October 2019This round will open on 6 September 2019. 

To apply please register and complete our Online Summary Application Form. Before completing the form, please read our GuidelinesTerms and Conditions and our Guide to Completing the Online Summary Application Form. It is also recommended that you read the MND Association Research Strategy and Research Governance Overview.

Duration

Grants will be offered for up to three years duration. Applications for less than two years should include a named researcher with the relevant expertise, familiar with the laboratory.

Eligibility

Applicants can be based outside the UK and Ireland, provided the project is unique in concept or design (i.e. no similar research is being performed in the UK) and involves a significant aspect of collaboration with a UK institute.

Assessment and Budget

Please see our guidelines for more information on assessment criteria and budget information.

Click here for more details.

Non-Clinical Research Fellowship | MND Association

The MND Association is proud to announce our newly launched non-clinical fellowships in MND. These fellowships will aim to foster and nurture post-doctoral researchers into the MND research leaders of tomorrow.

The fellowships will be awarded at two levels, depending on the experience of the applicant: Junior Non-Clinical fellowships or Senior Non-Clinical fellowships.

Deadline

The deadline date for receipt of summary applications is 1 May 2020This round will open on 6 March 2020

Please read our GuidelinesTerms and Conditions and our Guide to Completing the Online Summary Application Form. It is also recommended that you read the MND Association Research Strategy and Research Governance Overview

Duration

Grants will be offered for up to three or four years duration.

  • Junior Non-Clinical – awards will be offered for 2 – 3 years
  • Senior Non-Clinical – awards will be offered for 3 – 4 years

Eligibility

Fellowship awards may only be held at an institute in the UK and Ireland. At the time of application the prospective fellow may be based elsewhere

  • Junior Non-Clinical – applicants must have 2 – 5 years post-doctoral experience at the time of commencement of the award. Exceptional final year PhD students may apply but should consult the Association prior to submitting a summary application.
  • Senior Non-Clinical – applicants must have 4 – 10 years post-doctoral experience at the time of commencement of the award.

Assessment and Budget

Please see our guidelines for more information on assessment criteria and budget information.

Click here for more details.

Funded PhD Project: Targeting Astrocyte-Mediated Mechanisms Leading to Neuronal Toxicity in MND | Western Sydney University

Project Description

In this project, we propose to investigate the mechanisms by which astrocytes impact motor neuron hyperexcitability in Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Whilst the loss of motor neurons is central to ALS, it is becoming clear that other cell types in the brain (such as astrocytes) contribute to motor neuron degeneration and death. Astrocytes normally exhibit a supportive role for neurons, but in MND their function changes, advancing disease processes. Currently, the precise mechanisms behind the dysfunctional MND astrocyte-mediated neuronal toxicity remain unclear, however evidence from animal and human cell models suggests that preventing astrocyte dysfunction could protect motor neurons from degeneration and death. Thus, our overarching aims are to expose the astrocyte-mediated mechanisms leading to neuronal toxicity in ALS and to use our findings to test potential therapeutics in human cells representing familial and sporadic ALS. 

The project will be based at the School of Medicine in Campbelltown Campus with the opportunity to work with Dr Yossi Buskila on novel recording and imaging techniques including patch clamp, optogenetics and two-photon imaging. 

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds, who are keen to apply their skills to key issues in neurophysiology. In particular, the project is suitable for candidates with strong interests in studying neurobiological disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. 

Deadline

Monday, September 30, 2019

Eligibility

The successful applicant should: 

Hold qualifications and experience equal to one of the following (i) an Australian First Class Bachelor (Honours) degree, (ii) coursework Masters with at least 25% research component, (iii) Research Masters degree, or (iv) equivalent overseas qualifications. 

Demonstrate strong academic performance in subjects relevant to physiology, neuroscience, neurobiology or neurophysiology. 

Be willing to learn electrophysiological and imaging techniques applicable to neurophysiology. 
International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency.

Funding

International candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000 per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs. Those with a strong track record will be eligible for a tuition fee waiver. 

International candidates are required to hold an Overseas Student Health Care (OSHC) insurance policy for the duration their study in Australia. This cost is not covered by the scholarship. 

Click here for more details.

PhD Project: TDP-43 The Key protein for finding a cure for Motor Neurone Disease | University of Liverpool

Project Description

Motor neurone disease is a progressive, fatal neurological disorder with no known cure. It is characterised by selective loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord and cortex. Over 90% of MND (ALS) cases, both sporadic and familial, feature TDP-43-positive inclusions in the cytoplasm of affected neurons. Most MND patients die within 3-10 years due to respiratory failure. Understanding the molecular mechanism of MND and finding a therapeutic solution to remedy the disease-causing properties is our goal. 

TAR DNA binding protein-43 (TDP-43), has multiple functions in transcriptional repression, pre-mRNA splicing and translational regulation. Its ability to bind UG-rich RNA is very important for normal localisation of TDP-43 in the nucleoplasm. Cytoplasmic mis-localisation and elevated half-life are characteristics of mutant TDP-43. ALS-associated TDP-43 mutations in the central nucleic acid binding RRM domains lead to increased thermal stability and elevated half-life in a TDP-43 disease cell model. Full length TDP-43 has been purified at Liverpool recently enabling SAXS measurements that hold promise for structure determination of full-length TDP-43. This is a major breakthrough in understanding the molecular mechanism of MND and finding a therapeutic solution to remedy the disease-causing properties of this critical protein. 

The student will build on this success in a multidisciplinary programme using molecular biology, protein chemistry, bioinformatics, protein crystallography and Small angle X-ray scattering. Required ’wet-lab’ facilities for the project (e.g. cloning, expression and purification of proteins) are available at our institution. Additionally, UoL has a combined SAXS/MX facility on a super bright in-house X-ray generator FR-E+ and a crystallization robot. 

Deadline

Applications will be reviewed until a suitable candidate is appointed. 

Eligibility

Candidates must have, or expect to gain, a first or strong upper second class degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline. 

Funding

The project is open to both UK and International students with their own funding/scholarship. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the Principal Supervisor directly to discuss their application and the project. 

Assistance will be given to those who are applying to international funding schemes. 
The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for tuition fees and living expenses as well as research costs of £3000 per year. 
A tuition fee bursary may be available for well qualified and motivated applicants with a First class degree. 

Click here for more details.

PhD Project: SOD1 The Key protein for finding a cure for familial Motor Neurone Disease | University of Liverpool

Project Description

Motor neurone disease is a progressive, fatal neurological disorder with no known cure. It is characterised by selective loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord and cortex. Over 90% of MND (ALS) cases, both sporadic and familial, feature TDP-43-positive inclusions in the cytoplasm of affected neurons. Most MND patients die within 3-10 years due to respiratory failure. Understanding the molecular mechanism of MND and finding a therapeutic solution to remedy the disease-causing properties is our goal. 

Cu/Zn binding superoxide dismutase is a homo-dimeric protein with an intra-subunit disulphide bond. This protein is responsible for converting harmful free superoxide radicals to hydrogen peroxide and oxygen in the body. Extensive structural studies have established that disease-causing mutations in SOD1 reduce the ability of protein to fold, bind metal cofactors and form the disulphide bond. As a result, mutant SOD1 is prone to misfolding and aggregation. Global efforts to correct this ‘gain-of-function’ have led to identification of a variety of ‘ligand-binding pockets’ that are suitable for drug development. Ebselen, an organoselenium compound with strong antioxidant activity, has been shown to rescue SOD1 from aggregation, especially in the A4V mutant. This discovery is the starting point for guiding discovery of the next generation of compounds aimed at stabilizing SOD1 mutants. 

The student will build on this success in a multidisciplinary programme using molecular biology, protein chemistry, protein crystallography and human cell line assays. Required ’wet-lab’ facilities for the project (e.g. cloning, expression and purification of proteins) are available at our institution. Additionally, UoL has a combined SAXS/MX facility on a super bright in-house X-ray generator FR-E+ and a crystallization robot. 

Deadline

Applications will be reviewed until a suitable candidate is appointed. 

Eligibility

Candidates must have, or expect to gain, a first or strong upper second class degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline. 

Funding

The project is open to both UK and International students with their own funding/scholarship. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the Principal Supervisor directly to discuss their application and the project. 

Assistance will be given to those who are applying to international funding schemes. 

The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for tuition fees and living expenses as well as research costs of £3000 per year. 

A tuition fee bursary may be available for well qualified and motivated applicants with First class degree. 

Click here for more details.

PhD Project: Eukaryotic gene expression: understanding the role of UPF1 in global mRNA processing and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) | University of Birmingham

Project Description

This project’s specific objective is to study the molecular role(s) that the RNA helicase UPF1 plays in RNA processing. Specifically, building on our recent report that UPF1 associates with nascent pre-mRNA transcripts and that it plays genome-wide roles in nuclear RNA-based processes – including transcription, mRNA export and most strikingly mRNA transcription site retention – this project aims to unveil what specific molecular function(s) UPF1 fulfils on nascent ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes and which of these processes are required for mRNA release from transcription sites, for correct pre-mRNA processing, to prevent mRNP aggregation and to facilitate mRNA export to the cytoplasm. Although this project aims to improve our understanding of basic aspects of gene expression and hence will primarily further the knowledge of fundamental biology – a quintessential requirement to any of the more applied biomedical research enterprises aimed at improving specific human conditions – in this specific instance, the results should provide direct useful insights into the mechanisms causing ALS and might provide knowledge which could help in the development of a treatment for this devastating neurodegenerative disease caused by defects in RNA processing. 

The student will conduct this research in either yeast or Drosophila, two amenable experimental organisms, and we will provide advanced training in molecular biology, yeast (or Drosophila) molecular genetics, genomics (analysis of next-generation sequencing) and proteomics (high-throughput mass spectrometry). The study will require extensive bioinformatics analysis. Our collaborators at either UoB Centre of Computational Biology or at other UK institutions will provide Training/support in the required software and scripting. 

Deadline

Applications will be reviewed until a suitable candidate is appointed. 

Eligibility

We have a thriving community of International PhD students and encourage applications at any time from students of any nationality either able to fund their own studies or who wish to apply for their own funding (e.g. Commonwealth Scholarship Council, Islamic Development Bank). 

Funding

All applicants should indicate in their applications how they intend to fund their studies. Any academically suitable applicant that does not indicate how they intend to fund their studies will be considered for the Darwin and/or the Elite Scholarships if not already indicated. We can only consider applicants who have their own funding or wish to apply for their own funding or are successful in gaining a Scholarship.

Click here for more details.

PhD Project: Understanding the Electric Field in Electrical Stimulation for biomedical application | University of Reading

Project Description

Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is a treatment that applies small electrical charges to a muscle that has become paralysed or weakened, due to damage in your brain or spinal cord. The electrical charge stimulates the muscle to make its usual movement. FES is a technique can help with swallowing, hand and arm function, and even breathing problems for pulmonary disease patients and for stroke patients. It has a number of potential future therapies uses to retrain voluntary motor functions such as grasping, reaching and walking. 

FES can be applied in a number of ways: transcutaneous, using electrodes which are placed on the skin; percutaneous, with electrodes inserted; through the skin to make direct contact with the motor nerves; or sub-cutaneous, where the stimulator is implanted and electrodes are attached either to the motor nerves directly, or to the nerve roots at the point where they emerge from the base of the spine. This method stimulates mainly the nerve fibres innervating of the muscle. 
Current amplitude and duration of the pulsewidth describe the intensity (charge) which determines if a specific neuron is recruited. With low intensity pulses large low-threshold neurons and neurons close to the electrodes will be recruited at first. Smaller neurons with higher threshold and neurons located further away from the electrodes will be recruited with increasing charge per pulse. An electrical field is generated between the electrodes however very little is known of how the electric field propagate in term of magnitude and direction. 

This PhD study will aim to answer this question by developing a model from the Maxwell equations and finite element methods of the electric field through the material (Skin and Muscle). A characterisation is needed to understand the level of penetration with respect to the electrodes sizes and polarity separation. An application will be to determine what configuration of transcutaneous stimulation electrodes gives a focal electrical field similar to the one obtained with epidural electrode stimulation. 

Deadline

Applications will be reviewed until a suitable candidate is appointed. 

Eligibility

Bachelors or Masters Degree (at least 2.1 or equivalent) with Mathematics, Numerical Methods and Electromagnetism as major subjects. Experience in modelling and programming in Matlab/Simulink techniques is highly desirable

Funding

There is no funding attached to this project. 

Click here for more details.

PhD Project: Investigating the role of adenosine deaminase in MND | University of Sheffield

Project Description

In a recent study published in Brain (https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awy353) and highlighted in a number of media articles (www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/disrupted-pathway-motorneurone-disease-1.830534) we have identifed a novel disruption in an energy generating pathway in astrocytes (neuronal support cells) derived from motor neurone disease (MND) patients. The pathway involves the conversion of the nucleoside adenosine to inosine, which is controlled by the enzyme adenosine deaminase (ADA). We have found that ADA is reduced in astrocytes derived from patients with a mutation that causes MND and in patients with no identified mutation. Loss of ADA would reduce inosine production and cause a build-up of adenosine that can be toxic in the central nervous system. The aim of this project is to further investigate this exciting novel discovery by ascertaining whether increasing ADA levels by gene therapy in MND patient derived astrocytes; 
1. Reduces adenosine mediated astrocyte toxicity. 
2. Increases astrocyte bioenergetic capacity. 
3. Increases astrocyte antioxidant capacity. 
4. Reduced DNA damage by increasing DNA repair mechanisms in astrocytes. 
5. Increases astrocyte mediated support to motor neurones in co-culture. 

The project will involve extensive tissue culture of induced neuronal progenitor derived astrocytes including lentiviral delivery of ADA targeted vectors. The project will include the use of cutting edge technologies to analyse cell function including an OmniLog™ phenotypic analyser, an XF24 metabolic flux analyser, an IN Cell automated microscope and 96 well plate fluorescent readers. Furthermore, the project will involve basic biochemical techniques such as SDS-PAGE, western blot and immunofluorescence. All protocols are in place (https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awy353), as well as the expertise to modulate the level of ADA by gene therapy. 

The project will be performed at the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), a world class neurodegenerative disease research institute, which is part of the Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre and the newly formed Neuroscience research 
institute. https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/neuroscience-institute/home

Deadline

Applications will be reviewed until a suitable candidate is appointed. 

Eligibility

This project is open to self-funded students only.

 

Click here for more details.

Funding Opportunities | ALS Research Forum

The ALS Research Forum has a comprehensive list of funding opportunities available.
Definitely worth a look.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email