EPSRC DTP studentship: Improving cancer imaging with total-body-PET kinetic modelling and AI

As survival rates for complex metastatic cancer rise, there is increasing demand to measure multiple functional biomarkers of tumour heterogeneity and treatment response throughout the entire body. Using the soon to be installed Biograph Vision Quadra™ Total-Body-PET/CT scanner at St Thomas’ Hospital (part of the National Total-Body-PET Imaging Programme, NPIP) this project will develop novel tracer imaging strategies for organ-specific kinetic analysis with a variety of clinical tracers. Simultaneous measurement at all cancer sites and in all organs will provide high temporal resolution data of clinically relevant kinetic parameters to characterise tumours and monitor treatment effects. Initially, focus will be on mono-tracer studies in cancer patients with disease at a few sites, expanding to widespread disease and then multi-tracer imaging. Multiparametric imaging data will be combined with clinically available datasets to build predictive deep learning / AI models that comprehensively phenotype cancer and assist prognostication, aiding more effective treatment for advanced cancer.  


EPSRC DTP studentship: Multidimensional diffusion – relaxometry MRI data for high resolution brain imaging

The primary aim of this PhD project is to significantly enhance the contrast and resolution of quantitative MRI images to enable the accurate characterisation of brain tissue properties in various clinical settings. To achieve this, the project will focus on combining multidimensional diffusion-relaxometry acquisitions with a dedicated, highly efficient denoising approach. These methodological advances will then be employed in two scenarios where image quality suffers greatly due to noise: firstly, to increase the resolution of diffusion relaxometry MRI data at high field (3T, 7T), and secondly, to improve the image quality at low field (0.55T). This project seeks to advance the technical boundaries of MRI applications in both research and clinical settings, to facilitate more precise diagnoses and interventions (e.g. to study malformations of cortical development, imaging of cerebellar white matter, accurate placement of electrodes in epilepsy, etc), as well as to expand the potential use of lower-cost MRI systems for varied healthcare environments, such as neonatal imaging, making MRI more accessible and effective.



Funding and ELIGIBILITY Criteria

Who should apply?

Medical Imaging is a broad and multidisciplinary research area with students from a diverse range of backgrounds. Applicants will normally be expected to have first class, high upper second or Distinction degrees in any of the following subjects:

  • Applied Mathematics / Mathematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Other engineering-related disciplines
  • Physics

We may also consider other qualifications and all applications will be assessed on an individual basis. Applications from individuals with non-standard backgrounds (for example, currently employed in industry or returning from a career break) and from communities that are currently under-represented in academia are especially welcome. All applicants need to demonstrate enthusiasm, an open mind and aptitude for the programme.

Funding available

The Centre is looking to fund up to 5 studentships for February 2024 start, each of which will be funded for 4 years. This includes tuition fees, a stipend and generous project allowance. 

  • Stipend: Students will receive a tax-free stipend of £20,622 (academic year 23-24) per year as a living allowance. Stipends are subject to indexation.  
  • Research Training Support Grant (RTSG): A project allowance will be provided for research consumables and for attending UK and international conferences.

In line with UKRI guidance on eligibility, the Centre will offer studentships to home and international students, which include a stipend and fees at the Home level. The difference between the home and international fee rate will be covered by King’s College London for one appointed international candidate. 

For further guidance on fee status, please visit the King’s College London Advice & Guidance webpages.

Home students:

Home students will be eligible for a full UKRI award, covering fees and a stipend, if they satisfy UKRI criteria, including residency requirements. To be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have settled status, or
  • have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they will be classed as an International student.

EU/EEA/Swiss students:

Following the written statement by the Minister of State for Universities, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fee status from the academic year starting in August 2021. It will not affect EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals benefitting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively. It will also not apply to Irish nationals living in the UK and Ireland whose right to study and to access benefits and services will be preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement.

Students living within the EU who do not meet eligibility requirements for Home Fee status will need to submit applications as international students, in line with the UKRI announcement.

International students:

There is one studentship available for international candidates. This position is fully sponsored by King’s College London, therefore students will be registered at King’s (projects need to be led by a KCL supervisor). 

Self-funded students:

We also welcome applications from students who have secured their own funding or are in receipt of alternative scholarships.

If you are a self-funded student and wish to study within the Centre, please send an email to imaging-cdt@kcl.ac.uk in advance of the application deadline in order to discuss this.

Other funding

For alternative funding options, please explore the international student research funding that is available from King’s College London.

Please note that there are several other funded opportunities for doctoral studies in the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences, King’s College London:

English-language requirements

Candidates must have a good command of English and be able to apply this in an academic environment. Therefore, candidates who have not been educated in English will usually be required to provide certificated proof of competence in English before starting their studies. Candidates should have an IELTS Score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each skill, or a TOEFL iBT score of 92 overall with a minimum of 23 in writing, and 20 in each of the other skills.

Diversity and inclusion

We welcome applications from all applicants and, in particular, those underrepresented in STEM subjects and academia. At the CDT, equality of opportunity and the recognition and promotion of diversity are integral to our strengths.

We are committed to providing and promoting equality of opportunity in all areas of our work and activity, striving to ensure that all CDT students and staff are treated solely on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential without discrimination or unfavourable treatment on grounds of age, disability, marital status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, trans status, socio-economic status or any other irrelevant distinction.

We seek to provide and promote a positive working, learning, and social environment which is free from prejudice, discrimination and any forms of harassment, bullying or victimisation. Our students and staff commit to fostering good relations between individuals with different backgrounds and to tackle prejudice and promote understanding.

The CDT’s Student Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee prepared insightful videos about their own experiences of life at the CDT and the application process – take a look on the CDT’s YouTube channel

Application instructions

To apply for our programme, once you have checked that you are eligible to apply for funding and have the right undergraduate degree, please follow the steps below, bearing in mind that co-sponsored projects are currently being prioritised:

Step one

After confirming your eligibility for our programme, you need to choose which of our available projects you would be interested in studying. Only projects with prefix 2023_*** are on offer for February 2024 entry. You will be asked to list three projects in order of preference. We recommend you consider the industry co-sponsored project as this is prioritised.

Please note that: 


  1. We will be prioritising the industry co-sponsored project;
  2. These lists are for indicative purposes only, and project preferences are not guaranteed. 

Step two

Apply for Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Science Research MPhil/PhD (Full-time) using our online admissions application portal, via the King’s Apply system. You will need to register an account to log onto the system.

Next steps

Once you have created an account, please follow the steps below:

  1. Select the programme to apply to: under Programme Name select ‘Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Science Research MPhil/PhD (Full-time)’. Once the programme has been selected, please select the start date (1 February 2024) and read the on-screen information about how to progress through the application. Please pay careful attention to the on-screen information; it is the applicant’s responsibility to submit all required documents.
  2. Please ensure to complete the following sections of the form with all relevant information (all questions marked with ‘*’ are mandatory and you will not be able to submit without answering these):
  • Personal Information (including Contact Information, Equal Opportunities and Fee Status) Please note that the diversity monitoring questions will not be shared with the selection panel, who will only have access to your CV and personal statement.
  • Education
  • Employment history: you will be able to enter up to five sets of employment information. Please upload a PDF copy of your CV as an attachment to the Employment History Section, even if you do not have any employment information to provide.
  • You will be asked to list projects of interest (from ouravailable projects, in order of preference). However, bear in mind that these lists are for indicative purposes only.
  • Supporting statement: please upload a PDF copy of your personal statement in this section. Please be sure to use the provided template, indicating which of the CDT scientific themes you would be most interested in. 
  • You will be asked to list projects of interest (from our list of 2023 co-sponsored projects). However, bear in mind that these lists are for indicative purposes only.  
  • References: Please insert contact details for two academic referees or relevant employers in research institutions/companies. (We will then contact your referees directly; however, it is your responsibility to ensure that your chosen referees are able to provide a reference in time for shortlisting, and by no later than 30 October 2023). 
  • Funding: Please choose Option 5 (“I am applying for a funding award or scholarship administered by King’s College London”) and enter under “Award Scheme Code or Name” EPSRC_CDT_2023. Failing to include this code may result in you not being considered for this funding scheme.
  1. Finally, check and submit your application. Your application will be considered by the admissions panel of the EPSRC CDT in Smart Medical Imaging. Successful candidates will be invited to the final stage of the assessment process which includes a pre-recorded presentation and an interview taking place in mid to late November 2023 via remote video conferencing.




If you are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and you started living in the UK on or before 31 December 2020, you can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

If you arrived in the UK from 1 January 2021, you will need to apply for a Student Visa to study in the UK.

Please note that visa costs are not covered by the CDT international scholarship and you need to be able to meet those costs through your own funds.

This guide managed by the Student Visa and International Advice team at King’s College London can help you choose the correct visa for your studies.



All international students (including EU/EEA/Swiss students who do not qualify for Home Fees Status) need to apply for a “Student Visa” to study in the UK. The Student Visa has replaced the Tier 4 visa, as of the 5th October 2020.

When to apply

When you can apply depends on whether you’re applying from inside or outside the UK.

Applying from outside the UK

The earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before you start your course. You’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

Applying from inside the UK

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before your course starts. You must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring. You’ll usually get a decision within 8 weeks.

Please note that visa costs are not covered by the CDT international scholarship and you need to be able to meet those costs through your own funds.

This guide managed by the Student Visa and International Advice team at King’s College London can help you choose the correct visa for your studies.

Information about costs associated to a Student Visa applications can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/student-visa

Specific information about extending your Visa from inside the UK can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/student-visa/extend-your-visa

Specific information about switching to a Student Visa from another Visa if you are already in the UK can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/student-visa/switch-to-this-visa

Additional related costs for the Immigration Health Surcharge can be found at: https://www.immigration-health-surcharge.service.gov.uk/checker/type

Please note that these figures and the information are subject to frequent changes.

If you have any additional query you are invited to contact Student Services online.


We accept self-funded students. Their applications will be assessed by our Selection Panel based on our eligibility criteria.


The CDT is committed to creating an environment where diversity is valued, and everyone is treated fairly. We encourage applicants to let us know about any reasonable adjustments they may require.


It is not necessary to choose a supervisor. We ask applicants to list three projects of interest (from our available projects), including at least one industry project (from our list of 2023 industry co-sponsored projects) in their personal statement form. These lists are for indicative purposes only.  A successful candidate is first of all admitted to the CDT.  Following this, the process of matching students to specific projects that best reflect their interests and skills begins. (Note that we prioritise industry projects).


Applicants who are invited to interview may request feedback. Unfortunately given the volume of applications we are not able to give feedback to those applicants who are not invited to interview.


Our programme begins in September 2023. Candidates with excellent and relevant prior experience may be able to enter the programme on a 0+4 pathway (without the foundation year) at a different time of the year.


The first year of study is available on a full-time basis only.


We offer the option of studying on a part-time basis, with a minimum of 50% of full-time equivalent required.

How is the CDT 4 year Programme different from a standard PhD Programme?

In the CDT in Smart Medical Imaging, we have significantly expanded and personalised the doctoral training approach, with a new MRes in Healthcare Technologies as the foundation year, even stronger industry links in the form of industry placements, entrepreneurship training and opportunities to engage with international training programmes and labs to become part of a wider PhD network. Students graduating from this CDT will have acquired a broad set of scientific and transferable skills that will enable them to work across the different medical imaging sub-disciplines, and along the entire imaging pipeline, to both innovate and collaborate.


In the first year, during the MRes programme, modules may be assessed by examination, coursework, or some combination of these. Students will be expected to meet the programme progression requirements, which is normally successful completion of the MRes course at Merit level or above.

What is the process for selecting industry projects?

We ask applicants to list three projects of interest from our available projects, including at least one industry project (from our list of 2023 industry co-sponsored projects) in their personal statement form. Should you wish to, you are able to provide more than one industry projects among your preferences.