Medical Engineering: Fully Funded EPSRC PhD Scholarship: Development of AI approaches to analysis of biological cell imaging data (RS81)

Closing date: 3 June 2022

Key Information

Funding providers: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Subject areas: Analytical disciplines will be considered including Mathematics, Engineering, Computer Science, or other related disciplines

Project start date: 

  • 1 July 2022 (Enrolment open from mid–June)

Project supervisors: Claire Barnes, Paul Rees and Huw Summers

Aligned programme of study: PhD in Nanotechnology

Mode of study: Full-time

Project description: 

The project offers an ideal opportunity for graduates with an interest in the application of AI in biology and medicine to gain experience in development of open-source platforms and to work with industrial partners to apply them to real-world challenges.

It is based on Imaging flow cytometry, an analytical technique which delivers images of millions of cells, within a few minutes of measurement. As it is able to both mass-image large populations and resolve sub-cellular image detail, it is a transformative technology for the diagnosis and monitoring of a host of diseases. This project will use the latest algorithms in AI to analyse the large datasets generated using this system and will involve collaboration with a number of clinical and industrial collaborators, and in particular Glaxo SmithKline’s pharmaceutical assessment teams.

Specifically, the project will build upon, Deepometry, an open-source workflow developed with the objective of applying deep learning algorithms to the analysis of cytometry data. This has been developed in collaboration with GSK and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The project will involve software development and the application of this deep learning tool to a number of exciting datasets. In particular, the development of ‘Deepometry 2’ will extend our current software for use on both 2D and 3D images and enable use the imaging technology to image tissue from patient samples.

The project will run in conjunction with researchers at GSK, Philadelphia, US and Stevenage, UK who will provide financial assistance for the applicant to spend substantial periods of time at GSK and work on key research problems. 


Candidates must normally hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University) in Engineering or similar relevant science discipline. See - Country-specific Information for European Applicants 2019 and Country-specific Information for International Applicants 2019.

English Language requirements: If applicable – IELTS 6.5 overall (with at least 5.5 in each individual component) or Swansea recognised equivalent. Details on the Swansea University English Language entry policy can be found here.

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to applicants eligible to pay tuition fees at the UK rate only, as defined by UKCISA regulations.

NB: If you are holding a non-UK degree, please see Swansea University degree comparisons to find out if you meet the eligibility. 

If you have any questions regarding your academic or fee eligibility based on the above, please email with the web-link to the scholarship(s) you are interested in. 


This scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,609.

How to Apply

To apply, please complete your application online with the following information:

  1. Course choice – please select Nanotechnology / PhD / Full-time / 3 Year / July

    In the event you have already applied for the above programme previously, the application system may issue a warning notice and prevent application, in this event, please email where staff will be happy to assist you in submitting your application.

  2. Start year – please select 2022
  3. Funding (page 8) –
  • ‘Are you funding your studies yourself?’ – please select No
  • ‘Name of Individual or organisation providing funds for study’ – please enter ‘RS81 - Development of AI’

*It is the responsibility of the applicant to list the above information accurately when applying, please note that applications received without the above information listed will not be considered for the scholarship award.

One application is required per individual Swansea University led research scholarship award; applications cannot be considered listing multiple Swansea University led research scholarship awards.

As part of your online application, you MUST upload the following documents (please do not send these via email):

  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Monitoring Form (online form)
  • CV
  • Degree certificates and transcripts (if you are currently studying for a degree, screenshots of your grades to date are sufficient)
  • A cover letter including a ‘Supplementary Personal Statement’ to explain why the position particularly matches your skills and experience and how you choose to develop the project.
  • Two references (academic or previous employer) on headed paper or using the Swansea University reference form. Please note that we are not able to accept references received citing private email accounts, e.g. Hotmail. Referees should cite their employment email address for verification of reference.
  • Evidence of meeting English Language requirement (if applicable).
  • Copy of UK resident visa (if applicable)

Informal enquiries are welcome, please contact Claire Barnes (

*External Partner Application Data Sharing – Please not that as part of the scholarship application selection process, application data sharing may occur with external partners outside of the University, when joint/co- funding of a scholarship project is applicable.