Photograph of our inaugural year PhD students

Our inaugural year PhD students

Photograph of patient examination

Projects include clinical/psychology, nursing, and social science...

Photograph of researcher using a microscope

.......as well as laboratory-based projects

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Scottish PhDs in motor neurone disease & multiple sclerosis research

The Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews are delighted to announce the SPRINT-MND/MS (Scottish PhD Research & Innovation Network Traineeships in MND/MS) programme: a network of PhD studentships across Scotland, to promote research into all aspects of motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis.

Applicants will have a wide choice of projects supervised by world-leading researchers at these five Scottish Universities. Projects will include laboratory, clinical/psychology, nursing/allied health professional and social science-related topics.

The SPRINT-MND/MS programme is funded by the Scottish Government in partnership with the five Universities, and reflects a growing commitment to research into these neurodegenerative diseases that are a major public health threat as well as often being devastating to families. These studentships will boost and cement the flagship existing cross-disciplinary research networks that exist in Scotland for these two conditions and, ultimately, make a difference to patients’ lives.

What does the studentship include?

Studentships are for three years and include a standard non-clinical stipend*, UK/EU fees* and an allowance for consumables and travel. The cohort of SPRINT students will also be offered opportunities to attend clinics and meet patients, undertake ‘taster’ placements in a different field, and participate in public engagement and researcher networking events.

Although the programme is administered from Edinburgh, students will be registered for a PhD at the University corresponding to their primary project supervisor.

*Clinical and/or non-UK/EU applicants are eligible to apply. However, because any shortfall in stipend or fees must be met by the supervisory team, written agreement from the supervisor must accompany the application.

How to apply

The call for applications for September 2019 entry will open in November 2018. If you have an enquiry about the programme please email sprint-phd@ed.ac.uk

2018 Entry Studentships awarded

Calum Bonthron is working on the project Studying synaptic dysfunction in Motor Neuron Disease (MND/ALS) using rodent and human iPSC-based models with Dr Gareth Miles at St Andrews University.

Azita Kouchmeshky is working on the project Retinoic acid receptors as new targets for neuromuscular disease with Prof Peter McCaffery at the University of Aberdeen

Robert Shaw is working on the project Imaging myelination/remyelination processes with Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and a selective sphingosine-1-phosphate-5 (S1P5) radiotracer with Dr Adriana Tavares at the University of Edinburgh

Owen Kantelberg is working on the project Single-molecule detection of the cytotoxic species in MND with Dr Mathew Horrocks at the University of Edinburgh

2017 Entry Studentships awarded

The following students joined the SPRINT-MND/MS programme in September 2017:

Colin Crawford is working on the project Virally-induced perturbation of the oligodendroglial-axonal unit as an approach to understand the pathogenesis of axonal injury in MND and MS with Dr Julia  Edgar and Prof Mike Ferguson at the University of Glasgow

Gabrielle King is working on the project How do science and society shape each other? An analysis of the choreography and consequences of engagements between research and advocacy in the case of MND with Dr Martyn Pickersgill, Prof Cathy Abbott & Prof Sarah Cunningham-Burley at the University of Edinburgh

Veronica Pravata is working on the project Targeting O-GlcNAcylation in motor neurone disease with Prof Daan van Aalten, Prof Peter Brophy at the University of Dundee

Elizabeth York is working on the project Magnetisation transfer imaging biomarkers of demyelination and remyelination in MS with Prof Adam Waldman and Dr Peter Connick at the University of Edinburgh