Skip to main content

Computational Video Analysis for High-Speed Atomic Force Microscopy (HS-AFM)


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Monday 1 April 2024
Project start date
Tuesday 1 October 2024
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Source of funding
University of Leeds
Dr George Heath
School of Physics and Astronomy
Research groups/institutes
Molecular and Nanoscale Physics
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Are you passionate about using computational techniques to help unravel the mysteries of life at the molecular level? Do you dream of making a real impact on fields like materials science, medicine, and disease research? <br /> <br /> The Challenge: Currently, our understanding of the dynamics of complex molecules is limited by the lack of techniques that can capture their behaviors at both high speeds and resolutions. HS-AFM, with its remarkable capability to record sub-nanometer-resolution videos at &gt;50 frames per second, has changed the game. However, making sense of this wealth of data requires specialized analysis tools. The goal of this project is to further develop analysis methods for HS-AFM.<br /> <br /> In this PhD, you will embark on an exciting journey of discovery, innovation, and collaboration. Acquire expertise in the latest video analysis tools for HS-AFM, putting you at the forefront of molecular research.<br /> &bull; Advance Scientific Knowledge: Use your skills to improve our understanding of complex molecules, with a particular focus on those associated with diseases like cancer.<br /> &bull; Create New Algorithms: Develop cutting-edge algorithms and analysis methods to extract valuable new insights from HS-AFM videos.<br /> &bull; Collaborate Across Disciplines: Work alongside researchers from diverse fields, including Medicine, Biology, Physics, and Chemistry, to answer critical biophysical and biomedical questions.<br /> <br /> Overall this project will involve a combination of algorithm development, data analysis and experimental validation so will require some programming experience. The results of this project will be useful for a wide range of applications including advancing our knowledge of molecular mechanisms and their implications in treating diseases.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p>References:</p> <ol type="1"> <li> <p dir="auto"><a href="" rel="nofollow">Heath, G.R, Micklethwaite, E. and Storer, T.M. NanoLocz: Image analysis platform for AFM, high-speed AFM and localization AFM. bioRxiv 2023.11.23.568405 (2023)</a></p> </li> <li><a href="">Heath, G. R., Kots, E., Robertson, J. L., Lansky, S., Khelashvili, G., Weinstein, H., and Scheuring, S. (2021). Localization atomic force microscopy. Nature, 594(7863), 385-390.</a></li> </ol>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in Planned Course of Study section that you are applying for <em><strong>PHD Physics &amp; Astronomy FT</strong></em> and&nbsp;in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>Pushing the Speed Limits of High-Speed Atomic Force Microscopy</strong></em>&nbsp;as well as&nbsp;<a href="">Dr&nbsp;George Heath</a> as your proposed supervisor. Please state clearly in the Finance Section that the funding source you are applying for is&nbsp;<em><strong>School of Physics &amp; Astronomy Studentship (UK only)</strong></em> or&nbsp;<em><strong>if you are self-funding or externally sponsored (international only)</strong></em>.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p style="margin-bottom:11px"><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisor for an informal discussion before making a formal application. &nbsp;We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents by the closing date of 1 April 2024:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:12px"><strong>Fully Funded 3.5 years (UK only)</strong> &ndash;&nbsp;A highly competitive School of Physics &amp; Astronomy Studentship awards an annual tax-free stipend of &pound;18,622 (based on the 2023/24 stipend rate). The award will also cover the academic fees. Funding is only available to applicants eligible for UK fee-rated status.<br /> <br /> <strong>Self-Funded or externally sponsored international students are welcome to apply</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom:12px"><strong>International: </strong>The&nbsp;<a href="">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to nationals of China (now closed for 2024/25 entry). <a href="">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-bottom:12px"><strong>Important:&nbsp;</strong> Any costs associated with your arrival at the University of Leeds to start your PhD including flights, immigration health surcharge/medical insurance and Visa costs are <em><strong>not</strong></em> covered under these studentships.&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-bottom:12px">Please refer to the <a href="">UKCISA</a> website for information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information on the project do not hesitate to contact any of the project supervisors by email (e.g. George Heath at&nbsp;<a href=""></a>). We are always happy to discuss scientific questions with pro-active candidates. For details on how to apply and admin arrangements, please contact Doctoral College Admissions by email:&nbsp;<a href="">m</a><a href=""></a>.</p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>