PhD Position: Mathematical theory of tumour evolutionary modes, London

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    Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the Department of Mathematics at City, University of London. The successful candidate will use mathematical methods to investigate cancer evolution.

    The aim is to develop a general mathematical understanding of how the diverse evolutionary modes observed in human tumours arise from their evolutionary parameter values and spatial structures, extending recent results obtained using stochastic simulations (Noble et al. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2021).

    This map from parameters to emergent biological properties has important implications for cancer prevention, prognosis, and treatment.

    The project will involve some combination of computational modelling, analysis of spatial stochastic processes, evolutionary theory, and data analysis, according to the successful candidate’s interests and expertise. Results will be compared to clinical data.

    The student will join a group of mathematical biologists working on projects related to cancer, stochastic models, structured populations, and multiplayer games. They will benefit from the supervisor’s international networks of collaborators in mathematical oncology and cancer evolution.

    Eligibility and requirements

    The candidate should have (or will soon have) a good honours degree in mathematics, physics, computational biology or another scientific discipline that has equipped them with strong analytical skills.

    Especially competitive candidates will have training in stochastic processes, some computer programming skills (e.g. in Python, C, or R), and a demonstrable interest in answering biological or biomedical questions. Prior research experience in mathematical biology is desirable but not essential.

    A doctoral candidate is expected to meet the following pre-requisites for their PhD:

    • Demonstrate a sound knowledge of their research area
    • Achieve and demonstrate significant depth in at least a few chosen sub-areas relevant to their primary research area
    • Demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research, including a critical assessment of their own and others’ research
    • Publish high-quality papers in reputable peer-reviewed conferences and journals.


    The studentship is for 3 years and will provide full coverage of tuition fees (Home and Overseas) and an annual tax-free stipend of £12,000.

    Each student would also have the opportunity to earn around £2.2K pa on an average (max. is around £4.3K pa) through a teaching assistantship. We shall prioritise these scholarship holders while allocating the teaching assistantships.

    Deadline: 15th April 2022.

    Further details including application instructions can be found on the City, University of London website.

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