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Research Studentship in microfluidics applied to cell biology - Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford

Research Studentship in Microfluidics applied to cell biology

Project: Microfluidics with fluid walls for cancer and neuronal research

3.5-year DPhil studentship 

Supervisor: Prof Edmond Walsh

The studentship is based in the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford and the studentship time will be shared between engineering and biology labs.

Micro-environments fabricated with fluid walls represent a new direction in the generation of biocompatible, fully accessible, microfluidic systems which enables unique experiments with living cells. The approach has been successfully demonstrated across a multitude of biological applications with a diverse range of multidisciplinary collaborators; applications include cell migration, chemotaxis, wounding, cell line development, single-cell cloning and microscale perfusion. Articles are published with “open access” and hence are freely available.

This project will advance the engineering understanding of fluid walls by developing, and experimentally validating, models for prediction of flows with time. The project will also develop and implement, with two independent biology groups, microenvironments for live cell based experiments. These collaborations will focus on developing in-vitro experiments to recapitulate 1) microenvironments for bone cancer and 2) neuron interactions via axons in the brain.


This studentship is available to students eligible for UK University fees. Republic of Ireland passport holders typically qualify for home student status.

Award Value

Course fees are covered at the level set for Home students c. £9,500 p.a. The stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) is c. £18,622 p.a. for the first year, and at least this amount for a further two and a half years.

Candidate Requirements

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • An honours degree, 2.1 or higher, in Engineering, Physics, bioengineering or closely related field;
  • Demonstration of a good working knowledge of fluid mechanics, ideally at the microscale, through experiments and/or theoretical projects.
  • Excellent English written and spoken communication skills are a basic requirement;

The following skills are desirable but not essential:

  • Demonstration of research projects
  • Demonstration of experience doing experiments
  • Ability to program in Matlab.
  • Experimental experience in microfluidics.

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Prof Edmond Walsh (

Candidates must submit a graduate application form and are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria. Details are available on the course page of the University website.

Please quote 24ENGTH_EW in all correspondence and in your graduate application.

Application deadline: noon on 15th July 2023

Start date: October 2024