Two doctoral (DPhil) studentships in Mathematics

Salary Range: 

Standard maintenance stipend of approximately £14,777, together with College and University fees at the Home/EU rate, as applicabl

Appointment Term: 

4 years

Closing Date: 

Friday, August 14, 2020 - 12:00

      Two Doctoral studentship (DPhil) opportunities in Mathematics, University of Oxford.

  1. Modelling Cytokine Interactions: simulating network dynamics under uncertainty for cytokine targeting treatments of auto-immune and inflammatory diseases (code CKGSK)


  1. Network stability in auto-immune diseases (code STABI)

Applications are invited for two 4 year D.Phil. iCASE Studentships in Mathematics, funded by GlaxoSmithKline and the EPSRC.

The D.Phil. studentships will start on 1st October 2020, and will be based at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, with supervision from Professors Eamonn Gaffney, Renaud Lambiotte, Philip Maini of the Mathematical Institute, Professor Mark Coles of the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology and Dr Stefano Zamuner and Dr Daren Austin of GlaxoSmithKline. The studentships are fully funded, and include a standard maintenance stipend of approximately £14,777, together with College and University fees at the Home/EU rate, as applicable.

Project A. Cytokines are diffusing signaling molecules that represent a critical component of the immune system, orchestrating the communication among diverse immunological cells. The temporal interactions of cytokines may be summarised in terms of complex networks, overlaid with a dynamical system often represented as coupled systems of nonlinear ordinary differential equations. A first objective will be to examine and understand the problem of network uncertainty for model selection, parameter estimation and dynamical system simplification. A second objective will be to apply such understanding to interrogating modelling studies investigating the temporal dynamics of patient responses, and the behaviour of potential biomarkers, in the context of cytokine-targeting treatments for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

The studentship is attached to Linacre College.

Project B. The immune system presents a complex multi-scale network, with cellular, inter- and intra-cellular components and serves as an exemplar of multiscale connectivity and signalling; from cell to cell, cytokine to cell and chemical to chemical within cells. This work will investigate the stability of dynamical systems on such networks in the presence of temporal and spatial perturbations. The development of theory and numerical simulation of sample structural and temporal networks will form the foundations of this research. The theoretical findings will be applied to the study of the immune system network in order to improve our understanding at multiple levels.

The studentship is attached to Linacre College.

Requirements. As a minimum, applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in a mathematical or quantitative science. Suitable subjects include physics, mathematics, statistics, computer science and engineering; a biological or medical degree supplemented by degree level mathematical knowledge would also be suitable. Candidates should also be able to demonstrate a genuine interest in immunology and knowledge of network theory is desirable.

EPSRC training grant eligibility conditions apply for the award of these studentships and only Home applicants are eligible for full funding.

How to apply. Applications should be made online at

and should include a CV, cover letter, statement of research interests and motivation, three references, and a transcript of previous degrees. Applications must arrive by noon on August 14th, 2020. References can also be sent directly to Sandy Patel (e-mail ) by the closing date. Please note that applicants are able to apply to be considered for both studentships. Please state the code of the project you wish to apply to in your application form, if you are interested in applying to both, please quote both studentship codes in your DPhil in Mathematics application form.

Informal inquiries are welcome; please contact Prof Eamonn Gaffney ( ). For further details of the application process, please contact .