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School of Engineering and Materials Science Research Studentships

Achilles tendon biomechanics: novel measures of tendon health and disease

Supervisors: Hazel SCREEN

Application Deadline: 14-08-2017

This project brings together Professor Hazel Screen (QMUL; tendon mechanics), Professor Jeff Bamber (ICR; ultrasound physics) and Dr Dylan Morrissey (Barts & QMUL; clinical physiotherapy) working with state-of-the-art ultrasound imaging tools, to investigate tendon biomechanics in health and disease.

Tendons are like ropes of aligned collagen bundles, and in previous studies, we have shown that healthy tendon function requires sliding and recoil between the different collagen bundles making up the whole tendon, during loading. We have shown that sliding is controlled by the matrix connecting those bundles, called interfascicular matrix (IFM), and have some data suggesting that stiffening of the IFM with ageing is primarily responsible for increased injury risk. We now want to measure sliding between collagen bundles in healthy and injured tendons to investigate our hypothesis, and begin looking at ways to help manage and treat tendon injury.

However, taking measures of sliding between tendon sections in vivo is technically very challenging. We have begun developing methods using ultrasound elastography to measure collagen bundle sliding, and have an ongoing project focused on the technical development of these tools. We are now looking for a PhD student to join the team, and work on implementing those methods in people.

Experience of carrying out in vivo whole body biomechanics experiments, analysing mechanics data and working with human subjects is highly desirable for this post. 

QMUL Research Studentship Details

  • Available to Home/EU & International Applicants.
  • Full Time programme only
  • Applicant required to start in September/October 2017
  • The studentship arrangement will cover tuition fees and provide an annual stipend for up to three years (Currently set as £16,296 in 2016/17).
  • The minimum requirement for this studentship opportunity is a good Honours degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) or MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.
  • If English is not your first language then you will require a valid English certificate equivalent to IELTS 6.5+ overall with a minimum score of 6 in writing and 5.5 in all sections (Reading, Listening and Speaking).
  • International applicants should refer to the following website at  

Supervisor Contact Details:

For informal enquiries about this position, please contact Professor Hazel Screen

Tel: 020 7882 6167


Application Method:

To apply for this studentship and for entry on to the Medical Engineering research programme (Full Time, Semester 1 start) please follow the link to the following webpage:

Further Guidance available via:

Please be sure to include a reference to ‘2017 SEMS QMRS HRCS’ to associate your application with this studentship opportunity.

Deadline for applications: 31st January 2017