Research Studentship in Microfluidics for Cell-Based Assays

Research Studentship in microfluidics for cell based assays (MCBA_EW_2017)

3 year D.Phil. studentship, available from October 2017

Research Area

The studentship is part of an industrially sponsored project in collaboration with iota Sciences.

Freestyle microfluidics is a new methodology for the manipulation of fluids at the micro scale. It combines simple printing methods that enable microfluidic patterns to be created in seconds at costs of only a few cents. This project seeks to advance this novel method by providing an understanding of these flow systems, that have the uniqueness of being bounded by fluid walls rather than solid ones. The studentship will focus on developing models for the design and operation of biologically relevant circuits. Key elements that will be considered, from both experimental and theoretical perspectives, will be mixing and merging of drops, compatibility with cell based assays and shear stresses distributions within such systems.

These aspects will be addressed initially through use of engineering methods and then, through working closely with biologists at the Dunn School of Pathology in Oxford, the engineering results will be implemented within novel live cell based assays, e.g. organ on a chip, drug screening, chemotaxis, etc.

Award Value

The studentship covers University fees at the level set for UK/EU students plus a stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) of £14,553 p.a. for the first year, and at least this amount for a further two years. The studentship does cover the payment of college fees (c £3,012 p.a.).


This studentship is available to all applicants but the University fees are covered only at the UK/EU rate.  Therefore overseas students would have to provide the difference between the UK/EU and the overseas student rates for University fees from some other source, such as a scholarship or personal funds.

Candidate Requirements

 Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • An honours degree, 2.1 or higher, in Engineering, Physics, bioengineering or closely related field;
  • Demonstration of a good working knowledge of fluid mechanics, ideally at the microscale, through experiments and/or theoretical projects.
  • Excellent English written and spoken communication skills are a basic requirement;

The following skills are desirable but not essential:

  • Ability to program in Matlab.
  • Experimental experience in microfluidics.
  • Familiarity, and hands-on experience with cell based assays

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Professor Edmond Walsh ( .

Candidates must also submit a graduate application form and are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria.  Details are available on the course page of the University website at

Please quote MCBA_EW_2017 in all correspondence and in your graduate application.

Application deadline:  25 August 2017, or sooner if a suitable applicant is found.