Mathematics: Fully Funded EPSRC PhD at Swansea: Modelling the spatial ecology of cancer

  • Phd
  • Full cost of tuition fees and an annual stipend
  • 1 August 2021
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This scholarship is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
Start date: October 2021 or January 2022
Project Supervisor: Dr Noemi Picco
The typical response dynamics of cancer patients to treatment often follows a pattern of significant response, that begins to slow and then leads to relapse. These complex dynamics for patients undergoing treatment indicate that there is a heterogeneous population of tumour cells driving the tumour. In addition, the environment in which the tumour lives (e.g. the stroma) is known to modulate drug resistance, so called microenvironment-mediated resistance.
This project will focus on understanding the contributions of the tumour microenvironment and the tumour heterogeneity in regulating treatment response and the emergence of drug resistance. Specifically, it will investigate the creation of transient protective niches that facilitate drug resistance. The project will involve the design and implementation of novel mathematical models that can explicitly capture the spatio-temporal dynamics of tumour growth, invasion and resistance. The modelling framework will adopt a suite of approaches, including partial differential equations and individual cell-based models to describe the heterogeneous and stochastic nature of these clinically and experimentally observed dynamics. The mathematical models will be interrogated to obtain insight into therapeutic strategies which can successfully control the emergence of drug resistance.


Candidates must have a First, Upper Second Class Honours or a Master’s degree with Merit, in a relevant discipline.

For candidates whose first language is not English, we require IELTS 6.5 (with 6.0 in each component) or equivalent. Please visit our website for a list of acceptable English language tests. We prefer candidates to have already met the English Language requirements at the point of application, although this is not a requirement.

This scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality.


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Demonstrate your English skills with IELTS.


This four-year fully funded scholarship covers UK tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,245.

Research Training Support Grant of £1,000 per annum is also provided.


Please visit our website for more information.
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