Fully-funded Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) PhD Scholarship 2020/21 in the Department of Mathematics, Swansea University

Title: A Multiscale Modelling Approach to Study the Effects and Responses of DNA Damage Response (DDR) Inhibitor Drugs

Project Supervisors:

Closing date for applications: 3 April 2020

Start date:  1 October 2020

Project description: 

The increasing complexity of clinical and biological effects of multimodality therapies often result in substantial challenges to the clinical and preclinical development of novel therapeutic drugs. Mathematical modelling, based on a systems approach, informed by experimental data can be often very helpful in understanding and studying the multiple (nonlinear) therapeutic effects and responses of these drugs, helping the preclinical design and development, and its clinical implementation. The multiscale complexity of cancer as a disease necessitates the adoption of a multiscale approach, incorporating appropriate mechanisms to obtain meaningful and predictive mathematical models to study the therapeutic effects and outcomes. 

This highly interdisciplinary project aims to develop a multiscale experimental data-driven mathematical and computational models to study and analyse the effects and efficacy of DNA damage response inhibiting drugs. Once the model is developed and fully calibrated and validated, it will be used to study optimal sequencing, scheduling and dosing alone and in combination with multimodality therapies. It will be also used to inform in vivo and preclinical studies, moving a step closer to potential drug development and clinical trial designs.

This project is in collaboration with AstraZeneca and the University of St Andrews.

The Departments of Mathematics is part of the Computational Foundry, a world-class centre for computational research, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government. The brand-new building of the Computational Foundry provides an ideal environment for doing a PhD.


Candidates must have a First, Upper Second Class Honours or a Master’s degree with Merit, in a relevant discipline. Informal enquiries before the deadline for formal applications are welcome by emailing g.g.powathil@swansea.ac.uk

Knowledge in cancer biology is not essential but the candidate will be required to learn appropriate biological and clinical knowledge in order to develop predictive mathematical and computational models. The candidate is expected to have a strong applied mathematical or related subject background. Strong computational and programming skills in one or more programming languages such as C, C++ and Matlab are preferred. Strong interpersonal skills and the capacity to work and learn independently will be required.

For candidates whose first language is not English, we require IELTS 6.0 (with 5.5 in each component) or equivalent. Please visit our website for a list of acceptable English language tests We prefer candidates to have already met the English Language requirements at the point of application, although this is not a requirement.


This is a three-year fully-funded EPSRC scholarship, which covers UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,245.

Studentships funded by EPSRC are subject to UK/EU residency eligibility.  

How to apply:

Candidates must complete and submit the following documentation by the stated deadline.  To apply for this studentship, please download and complete the research scholarship application form and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Form and return them to the College of Science with the following:

  • Academic References – all scholarship applications require two supporting references to be submitted. Please ensure that your chosen referees are aware of the funding deadline, as their references form a vital part of the evaluation process. Please either include these with your scholarship application or ask your referees to send them directly to science-scholarships@swansea.ac.uk
  • Academic Transcripts and Degree Certificates – academic transcripts and degree certificates must be submitted along with the scholarship application by the funding deadline. We will be using these to verify your academic qualifications.
  • A recent CV
  • Candidates should use the ‘Supplementary Personal Statement’ section of the application form to explain why the award they are applying for particularly matches their skills and experience and how they would choose to develop the project.

Please email the documents to science-scholarships@swansea.ac.uk  and put ‘EPSRC 29  SCHOLARSHIP 2020-2021’ in the email subject header, or post them to:

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