Computational models for organoids with applications in healthcare engineering

Start date

1 October 2024


3.5 years

Application deadline

Funding source

UKRI and/or University of Surrey

Funding information

We are offering the UKRI standard stipend (currently £18,622 per year) with an additional bursary of £1,700 per year for full 3.5 years for exceptional candidates. In addition, a research, training and support grant of £3,000 over the project is also offered. Full home or overseas tuition fees (as applicable) will be covered.


​​The development of organoids as tissue mimics for experimental investigation is revolutionising healthcare engineering and pharmaceutical drug development. Moving from single cell experiments to whole tissue/organoid investigations is enabling the complex interactions between cells and their environments to be explored. However, the inherent complexity has meant that isolating and understanding the key cellular signals within the systems has remained challenging. A powerful approach to addressing this challenge is the integration of mathematical and computational modelling into experimental studies, an approach increasingly adopted by e.g. the pharmaceutical industry. 

This project will develop new theoretical models for organoid growth as a framework technology. A key focus will be on the physical interactions between cells, tissues and matrix and the role of mechanotransduction in controlling cell behaviour. Mechanical interactions are now recognised as key signals capable of mediating everything from tissue morphology to cell susceptibility to drug treatment. A key output will thus be integrated models including both mechanical and biochemical signalling. The primary methodologies will involve continuum modelling including soft matter physics and continuum elasticity. Applications of the framework will include pre-clinical drug design and tissue organoids drawing on ongoing collaborations with the pharmaceutical industry and leading tissue engineering labs in Imperial College London and the University of Surrey.

Eligibility criteria

Open to both UK and international candidates.

Up to 30% of our UKRI-funded studentships can be awarded to candidates paying international rate fees. Find out more about eligibility.

You will need to meet the minimum entry requirements for our Mathematics PhD programme.

​Applicants should have a minimum of a first class honours degree in Mathematics, the Physical Sciences or Engineering. Preferably applicants will hold a MMath, MPhys or MSc degree, through exceptional BSc students will be considered.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Mathematics PhD programme page. In place of a research proposal, you should upload a document stating the title of the project that you wish to apply for and the name of the relevant supervisor.

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Application deadline

Contact details

Carina Dunlop
06 AA 04
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 686524

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