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.

Research Opportunities in New Zealand

Masters Student Scholarship - Prevalence of MND in New Zealand

An exciting research opportunity has become available for those interested in completing a master’s study and contributing towards the New Zealand MND research portfolio.

MND New Zealand is funding a study on the ‘’Prevalence of MND in New Zealand ‘’. This is a nationwide, point prevalence study of MND in New Zealand using capture-recapture methodology. It is anticipated that this project will take place over 12 months. The research team are pleased to be able to offer a master’s opportunity as part of this project. They are offering a $10000 stipend (tax free), plus domestic tuition fees for 1 year.  The start date is January – February 2022, but they are keen to appoint someone as soon as possible.

This is an exciting opportunity to kick start a research career and make a significant contribution to the rapidly evolving field of MND research. More information is available here.

Grant & Scholarship Opportunities in New Zealand

ALS Scholars in Therapeutics

The Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in partnership with ALS Finding a Cure® (ALSFAC) and FightMND is issuing a request for applications for the ALS Scholars in Therapeutics Program to empower young investigators to learn how to develop new treatments for people living with ALS.

This two-year program is designed to engage clinician-scientists and post-doctoral fellows to gain training and experience in therapy development for ALS at their home institution with an optional industry experience in year two. All ALS Scholars will be part of the broader ALS global community.

 Scope

  • Projects that answer a stand-alone research question
  • Projects that leverage a larger project by answering a separate and complementary question
  • Equipment that can be used across several projects
  • Projects and equipment must be in New Zealand

Award Details

  • 2 years of funding to support a clinician-scientist or post-doctoral fellow working in the ALS field anywhere in the world.
  • $150,000 USD award/funding year (inclusive of maximum 15% indirect costs)
  • Recipient must commit at least 75% effort to the proposed ALS research plan

Eligibility

  • Applications from clinician scientists and postdoctoral fellows focused on translational research are eligible.
  • Candidates with Ph.D. or M.D. with a strong publication record. International applicants are encouraged to apply.
  • The ALS focused proposal must have a strong scientific rationale and should be largely developed by the candidate with guidance from his/her mentor.
  • Eligibility for this award is based on the date the candidate attained their degree/ qualification. For MDs, scholars will be considered if they have completed their specialist qualification (i.e., US Residency; Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, etc.) For PhDs they can be no more than 5 years post- degree.

Application due dates

Release of RFA: March 2, 2022
Applications Due: April 29, 2022
Notification of Award: June 2022
Initiation of Award: July 1, 2022 (flexible once contracts signed)

Click here for further information or contact HealeyCenterforALS@mgh.harvard.edu.

 

Small Project Grant | Neurological Foundation of NZ

Neurological Foundation Small Project Grants offer up to $15,000. These grants are intended to encourage clinicians and scientists to undertake small-scale or pilot studies that may lead to a larger project. The grant can be used towards working expenses; equipment; salaries for post-doctoral fellows, research assistants and technicians.

Scope

  • Projects that answer a stand-alone research question
  • Projects that leverage a larger project by answering a separate and complementary question
  • Equipment that can be used across several projects
  • Projects and equipment must be in New Zealand

Eligibility

Applicants can be scientifically or medically qualified, and the research can be clinical or biomedical. This grant is open to PhD students; Post-doctoral research fellows; Clinicians; Continued academics

How to Apply

They are two funding rounds a year. Create an application on our online portal at https://grants.neurological.org.nz/ before the closing dates of April 1 and September 1.You will need to create a new account if you are a first-time user. Applicants will be advised of the outcome early in July or December.

The application must include NZ Standard CVs for all named investigators; Quotes for any items of equipment; Partial funding and ethics approval letters, as required. 

Further information on the Small Projects Grants can be found here. If you have any queries please contact the Foundation’s Research Manager for advice research@neurological.org.nz

Click here for details on previous funded projects.

 

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 clinicians, plus working expenses or equipment. There are two rounds each year and the Foundation 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

Create an application on Neurological Foundations online portal at https://grants.neurological.org.nz/. You will need to create a new account if you are a first-time user. The application must include CVs for all named investigators, quotes for any items of equipment, partial funding and ethics approval letters, cover letter for any resubmissions, addressing previous reviewer comments. Closing dates for submission are April 1 and September 1.

Click here for advice to applicants. If you have any queries please contact the Foundation’s Research Manager for advice at research@neurological.org.nz 

 

Note: Only one resubmission of a declined Project application will be considered.  

 

Senior Research Fellowship | Neurological Foundation of NZ

The Senior Research 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 Research 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.

Not funded

  • Fellows whose salary for the proposed project is already funded
  • Equipment
  • Working expenses
  • Student stipends

Duration

2 years

How to Apply

The closing dates for the Senior Research Fellowship is 1 May. The application must be made on the Foundation’s online portal at https://grants.neurological.org.nz/. You will need to create a new account if you are a first-time user.

For further information see the Advice to Applicants document.

If you have any queries please contact the Foundation’s Research Manager for advice.
research@neurological.org.nz

 

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.

Eligibility

People who have submitted or been awarded a PhD within the 2 years prior to the application closing date. Applicants must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents. Non-residents are eligible provided they are completing or have completed their PhD at a New Zealand institution.

What is funded

• Two years of salary support
• $20,000 of research working expenses
• Recipients are eligible to apply for travel grants of up to $4,500 towards travelling to conferences and training courses directly related to the fellowship

What is not funded

• Relocation costs
• Fellows whose salary for the proposed project is already funded
• Equipment
• Student stipends

How to Apply

Create an application on the Neurological Foundation online portal at https://grants.neurological.org.nz/. You will need to create a new account if you are a first-time user.

The closing dates are 1 May and 1 October.

For further information see the Advice to Applicants document.

If you have any queries please contact the Foundation’s Research Manager for advice.
research@neurological.org.nz

 

O'Brien Clinical Fellowship | Neurological Foundation of NZ

These fellowships are intended to support non-medical health professionals to pursue a career in clinical research in New Zealand or overseas. 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 with at least 50% of the fellow’s time to be spent on research.

Eligibility

Applicants must be New Zealand registered health care professionals and citizens or permanent residents of New Zealand. 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 research@neurological.org.nz

What is funded

  • Two years of salary support, based on the Fellow’s salary had they continued in a clinical post in New Zealand for 40 – 44.9 hours per week
  • Recipients are eligible to apply for travel grants of up to $4,500 towards travelling to conferences and training courses directly related to the fellowship

What is not funded

  • Fellows whose salary for the proposed project is already funded
  • Post-doctoral fellows
  • Research working expenses

How to apply

Create an application on the Neurological Foundation online portal at https://grants.neurological.org.nz/. You will need to create a new account if you are a first-time user.

Supporting documentation:

  • NZ Standard CV for the applicant, using the template available on the application form.
  • A letter of support from the proposed primary mentor and the mentor’s CV.

The closing dates for this fellowship is 1 May.

For further information see the Advice to Applicants document.

If you have any queries please contact the Foundation’s Research Manager for advice. research@neurological.org.nz

Doctoral Scholarships | Neurological Foundation of NZ

The Doctoral scholarships are intended to provide personal support for students undertaking a PhD in basic or clinical neuroscience. Applicants can apply for a tax-free stipend of $30,000 per year for 3 years of full-time enrolment; University fees; $5,000 towards the working expenses associated with the doctoral research.

Eligibility

Applicants must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents and meet one of the following criteria:

• Students with a GPA of 7 or above
• Students completing an Honours or Masters degree, with the intention of enrolling in a PhD
• Students who have already enrolled in a PhD

Who is not eligible

• Students who have already been awarded a doctoral scholarship
• Recipients cannot receive any other doctoral scholarship

How to apply

Create an application on the Neurological Foundation online portal at https://grants.neurological.org.nz/. You will need to create a new account if you are a first-time user.

Supporting documentation:
•  CVs for the student (if relevant) and their proposed primary supervisor, using the template available on the application form
•  Your university academic transcript

The closing dates for this fellowship is 1 October.

For further information see the Advice to Applicants document.

If you have any queries please contact the Foundation’s Research Manager for advice. research@neurological.org.nz

Senior Clinical Research Fellowships | Neurological Foundation of NZ

The Senior Clinical Research Fellowships scholarships are intended to provide personal support for practising clinicians to carry out clinical research at a healthcare organisation in New Zealand. Funding is provided for clinical research up to two years duration and up to 50% salary support. 

Eligibility

Practising clinicians in neurology, neurorehabilitation, neurosurgery, neuropathology, neuroradiology, or clinical neurophysiology, who have already established themselves as an independent researcher.  

What is not funded

• Equipment
• Working expenses
• Student stipends or fees
• Relocation costs

How to apply

Create an application on the Neurological Foundation online portal at https://grants.neurological.org.nz/. You will need to create a new account if you are a first-time user.

Supporting documentation:
•  Applicant’s CV, using the template available on the application form
•  A letter of support from the proposed host organisation

The closing dates for this fellowship is 1 May.

For further information see the Advice to Applicants document.

If you have any queries please contact the Foundation’s Research Manager for advice. research@neurological.org.nz

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.

  • Create an application on the Foundations online portal at https://grants.neurological.org.nz/. You will need to create a new account if you are a first-time user.
  • Supporting documentation:
      • A copy of the conference or training course programme
      • 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

 

Project & Equipment grants | Maurice & Phyllis Paykel Trust

Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust provides Project & Equipment Grants to support research projects in any field relevant to human health, including basic biomedical sciences. These grants normally provide funds for up to one year, although two year grants will be considered where justified.

Project Grants provide limited research support for individuals or groups working in any health-related sciences, including the fields of public health and health education. Support is usually sufficient to provide only for running costs of the research and/or some necessary equipment, but limited salary support may also be provided on special justification. Project grants are usually for one year, but exceptionally the Trust may support a project for up to two years.

Equipment Grants assist with the purchase of larger equipment items for shared use within a research institution. Justification depends on the needs of the research field and the institution, as well as on the merits of individual research projects.

Project and Equipment grants seldom exceed $20,000 and the majority of successful applications receive lesser amounts as grants-in-aid.

Eligibility 

This grant is available for qualified research workers in a health science field in New Zealand.  Note that the Trust gives preference to graduates with a proven record of research productivity and access to suitable facilities for their research. Applications are not accepted from PhD or Masters students.

Ask the Trust’s office if you’re not sure whether you or your proposal are eligible.

 

How to Apply

  1. Create an account – Your online account lets you create, submit and manage applications. You can also review previous applications, keep your profile and contact details up to date, and upload any reports arising from grants you have received.
  2. Complete the application form – The online application form will require you to upload one or more documents in support of your application. Please refer to the Document guidelines below.
  3. Provide required approvals – If you’re based in a university, you should check with the university research office to confirm local requirements before submitting an application. Note also that, if your application is successful, ethical approval must be finalised before funding can be made available.

Applications for Project & Equipment Grants are considered at meetings in April and November each year, and applications can be created and submitted online in the eight weeks or so prior to these dates:

  • 1 March
    for the April meeting of the Trust Board
  • 1 October
    for the November meeting

Click here for more information.

Conference Support Grants | Maurice & Phyllis Paykel Trust

Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust provides grants to support scientific conferences in health related fields organised by academic institutions or professional organisations within New Zealand. Priority is given to conferences with an emphasis on research and research training.

Eligibility

Applicants should have approval from the scientific organisation or institution hosting the conference, and be a senior official such as the head of an academic department.

  • Note that Conference Support grants are not intended to support personal travel to attend overseas conferences. Applicants seeking such support should apply for a Travel Grant.

If you’re not sure whether your intended application is eligible, please contact the Trust office. Phone 64-9-379 5316 or email tppm@tppm.nz

 

How to Apply

  1. Create an account – Your online account lets you create, submit and manage applications. You can also review previous applications, keep your profile and contact details up to date, and upload any reports arising from grants you have received.
  2. Complete the application form – The online application form can be accessed by logging into your online account. The online application form will require you to upload one or more documents in support of your application. Please refer to the Document Guidelines below.
  3. Provide required approvals – If you’re based in a university, you should check with the university research office to confirm local requirements before submitting an application. Note also that, if your application is successful, ethical approval must be finalised before funding can be made available.

Applications for Conference Support Grants are considered by the Trust Board three times a year. Applications can be created and submitted online in the eight weeks or so prior to these dates:

  • 1 March
    for the April meeting of the Trust Board
  • 1 June
    for the July meeting
  • 1 October
    for the November meeting

Click here for more details.

Marsden Fund

The Marsden Fund was established by the government in 1994 to fund excellent fundamental research. It is a contestable fund administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand on behalf of the Marsden Fund Council. The Marsden Fund encourages New Zealand’s leading researchers to explore new ideas that may not be funded through other funding streams and fosters creativity and innovation within the research, science and technology system.

The primary objectives of the Marsden Fund are to:

  • Enhance the quality of research in New Zealand by creating increased opportunity to undertake excellent investigator-initiated research; and
  • Support the advancement of knowledge in New Zealand, and contribute to the global knowledge base.

The secondary objectives of the Marsden Fund are to:

  • Contribute to the development of advanced skills in New Zealand including support for continuing training of post-doctoral level researchers, and support for the establishment of early careers of new and emerging researchers.
  • Contribute in the long-term to economic, social, cultural, environmental, health or other impacts for New Zealand

The Marsden Fund supports research excellence in the following categories:

 

There are three categories of proposals available for the Marsden Fund:

Fast-Start: For emerging researchers, capped at $120,000 per year for up to three years, or a maximum amount of $360,000 over 3 years. Two–stage process, with an Expression of Interest to be submitted by the February deadline. The EOI consists of a one-page abstract of proposed research, CVs plus supporting information. Assessed by discipline-based panels.

Standard: Open to all eligible researchers, amount of funding is flexible and is capped. These are larger than Fast-Start proposals. Funding can be sought for up to three years. Two-stage process, with an Expression of Interest to be submitted by the February deadline. The EOI consists of a one-page abstract of proposed research, CVs plus supporting information. Assessed by discipline-based panels.

Marsden Fund Council Award: Open to all eligible researchers. Larger than Standard grants, up to $1 million per year for up to 3 years, or a maximum amount of $3 million over 3 years. One-stage proposal process, with a full proposal to be submitted by the February deadline. Assessed in a two-stage process by the Marsden Fund Council. See separate guidelines for more details.

These guidelines pertain to Fast-Start and Standard proposals ONLY. Applicants wishing to submit a Marsden Fund Council Award proposal should consult the separate 2021 MFCA Guidelines for Applicants.

 

Eligibility

The Marsden Fund is fully contestable and is open to applicants who meet the Fund’s eligibility criteria. The criteria are determined by the Marsden Fund Council. Eligibility to apply for funding as a contact Principal Investigator is restricted to New Zealand-based researchers. The research should be carried out in New Zealand, except in cases where its nature demands that it be carried out elsewhere.

For Standard proposals, “New Zealand-based,” for researchers who have overseas appointments, has been defined by the Marsden Fund Council as being employed in New Zealand for 0.5 FTE (or more) per year. However, Fast-Start applicants must be employed entirely in New Zealand for the duration of their grant.

If an applicant is a panelist, they cannot apply to the panel on which they are sitting, either as a Principal Investigator or as an Associate Investigator.

 

How to Apply

The Marsden Fund operates a yearly funding cycle and makes an annual call for proposals in November / December. The deadline for all EOIs is 17 February 2022. Click here to view the 2022 Marsden Funding Round Timetable. 

Information on applying can be found:

Click here for more details on the Marsden Fund and application process.

To view other funding opportunities available click here

Lottery Health Research

The lottery health research provides grants to organisations for health research projects, scholarships, fellowships and research equipment that will help improve the health of New Zealanders.

Eligibility

Organisations receiving grants are expected to show how their health research will contribute to:

  • better understanding of the causes, prevention and treatment of disorders affecting New Zealanders
  • new approaches in health and bio-medical science for the ultimate benefit of all New Zealanders
  • developing and keeping a highly skilled workforce of health and bio-medical researchers in New Zealand

Lottery Health Research grants may support:

  • translational research projects
  • shared research equipment
  • post-doctoral fellowships
  • PhD Scholarships

How to Apply

There are two online request forms available, one for translational research projects or shared research equipment requests and one for post-doctoral fellowship or PhD scholarship requests. All requests must be supported by a budget or quotes and all relevant approvals.Click here for more information about the lottery health research grants 

Auckland Medical Research Foundation

The Auckland Medical Research Foundation promote research of high scientific value and purpose in order to improve the medical care of all New Zealanders. They have a range of grants available including project grants, Postdoctoral Fellowship, travel grants. Click here to view the range of grants and important dates.

 

Eligibility

You are eligible to apply if you are affiliated with a tertiary institution, District Health Board or other AMRF-recognised organisation in the Greater Auckland or Northland regions of New Zealand. If you’re not sure of your eligibility, ask by using the Get in Touch form here.

Health Research Council New Zealand

HRCNZ have funding opportunities available throughout the year, including Researcher-Initiated Proposals for projects and programmes, specific Requests for Proposals initiated by the Health Research Council and funding partners, and Career Development Awards for emerging researchers. Funding opportunities include:

  • Partnership programme and Requests for Proposals
  • Researcher-initiated Proposals
  • Career Development Awards
  • Māori Health Research
  • Pacific Health Research

How to apply 

Click here for information on how to apply and here to view the funding calendar. 

International Opportunities

International PhD Funding - 2022 Calendar

Despite the current pandemic still taking its toll in the UK, there is a lot of financial support available for international students looking to study in the UK. However finding and applying for lots of different options can start to get confusing, not to mention time consuming and it can be easy to lose track of deadlines or miss potential opportunities.

FindAPhD have compiled an international PhD funding calendar for 2022. They have listed some of the most important funding options, along with their deadlines, so you don’t miss out. Print it off or put the dates in your calendar and you’ll be ready to go!

To read the full post and view the key details and deadlines for some of the most important (and most generous) PhD funding options in the year ahead, please click here.

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Axon Degeneration Biology | King's College London
 
An opportunity is now available for a postdoctoral researcher with experience in axon biology to join the Sreedharan laboratory to work on ALS-FTD. This is a collaborative project with the Michael Coleman laboratory, Cambridge University.
 

Project Description

The candidate will be CRISPR-engineering human iPSCs to generate isogenic lines expressing ALS-linked mutations in axon degeneration genes. Motor neuron genetic cassettes will also be engineered into these cells to facilitate rapid derivation of disease-relevant cell types. Cells will be phenotyped using microscopy, RNA sequencing and electrophysiology and be used to test the efficacy of novel therapeutic agents in collaboration with the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (KCL). In vitro success will lead to in vivo testing in mice.

Applicants must have experience in cell culture, molecular and cell biology and RNA biology. Experience in in vivo models (flies and or mice) is also desirable. iPSC and CRISPR experience is desirable but not essential as there will be ample opportunity to learn from others in the group.

Deadline

Applications are open till 4th April 2022.

Funding

This is a two year funded contract with £38,826 p.a. including London Weighting Allowance

Click here for more details.

Biomedical & Non-Clinical Research Fellowship | MND Association

The MND Association is a world leader in funding cutting-edge MND research and facilitating international research collaboration. They support five different types of grants.  Find out about the research grants offered to international students and how these are selected below.

Types of Grants

Biomedical Research Projects

The biomedical research programme is delivering significant and measurable advances in understanding and treating the disease. Funding is offered to research of the highest scientific excellence and greatest relevance to MND.

Grants are normally offered for up to three years duration. 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.

Applications will be accepted from mid September 2022 closing 28 October 2022.  If you are interested in applying or learning more about this grant click here for information.

Non-Clinical Research Fellowships

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

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

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 – 6 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.

Applications will be accepted from mid March 2022 and close on 29 April 2022. 

Click here for more details on assessment criteria and budget information.

Deep Learning-based Characterisation of Protein Aggregation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (EPS2022/50) | Heriot-Watt University
 
This is a competition funded PhD Project open to students worldwide. Usually the project which receives the best applicant will be successful. Unsuccessful projects may still go ahead as self-funded opportunities. 
 

Project Description

This project aims to increasing the understanding of protein aggregates in affected motor neurons structures. To achieve this aim, the project intends to visualise them using super-resolution microscopy and apply different machine learning techniques to extend the understanding of the TDP-43 aggregates at an individual level. To approach this problem, a super-resolution image dataset was gathered at the University of Edinburgh from post-mortem tissue of ALS patients extracted from the Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS Screen (ECAS) cohort. This project aims at characterising in more detail how distinct species of aggregates and their distribution are presented in different cells and different patients.

Deadline

Applications are open till 28 February with anticipated start in September 2022.

Funding

There are a number of scholarships available which offer funding from between 3 and 3.5 years at an average stipend rate of £15,000 per year.

Click here for more details.

RNA biology in neurons and neurodegeneration | Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology
 

Project Description

This process underlies the establishment of body axis, cell growth and migration, learning and memory. In neurons, defects in mRNA localisation may lead to degeneration of neuronal extension – axons.

The successful candidate will work with ALS patient-derived hiPSCs and hiPSC-derived motor neurons to investigate how changes in RNA metabolism contribute to the mechanism of neurodegeneration. The project will rely on a combination of biochemical, omics (Ribo-seq, CLIP-seq), computational, CRISPR/Cas-mediated gene editing, and imaging approaches, including a compartmentalized neuronal culture that allows the separation of subcellular compartments in combination omics analyses (Zappulo et al. 2017; Ludwik et al. 2019; Ciolli et al. 2020). The project will involve collaboration with international partners, contributing different expertise to the project, including computational analysis and clinical research.

Eligibility

Ideal candidate should have Master’s degree in biology, biochemistry, or molecular biology, experience in molecular biology techniques and cell culture, interest in RNA biology and mechanisms of gene regulation, and speak fluent English. Experience in hiPSC work and RNA biology techniques are an advantage.

Apply

To apply, please send your motivation letter and CV with contact details of at least two referees, as a single pdf file, to marina.chekulaeva@mdc-berlin.de

Click here for more information.

Self funded BMS Project: RNA dysregulation in neurodegeneration | University of York

Project Description

TDP-43 is a RBP constituting key pathology observed in 97% of motor neurone disease and ~40% of Frontotemporal Dementia cases. We reported the first disease-causing RNA-binding deficient mutation which sparks renewed interest and leads to further discussion of the involvement of TDP-43-mediated RNA regulation and nuclear aggregation in disease development. This project will fill in the essential area investigating the mechanistic links between RNA-binding and neurodegeneration

Deadline

Applications are open now with an anticipated study start date October 2022

Eligibility

Students with, or expecting to gain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply. The interdisciplinary nature of this programme means that we welcome applications from students with backgrounds in any biological, chemical, and/or physical science, or students with mathematical backgrounds who are interested in using their skills in addressing biological questions.

Funding

There is no funding attached to this project. Applicants need to have adequate funds to meet the costs of a self-funded research project including tuition fees and living expenses for the duration of the research programme.

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: 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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email