DRCMR Logo 300px Color
Thursday, 06 July 2023 10:48

PhD scholarship in Computational Neuroimaging with Diffusion MRI

We invite you to apply for a 3-year PhD position at the forefront of Computational NeuroImaging with a project that combines image/signal processing, physics, and applied mathematics to unravel the microscopic composition of the Human brain with diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging (dMRI). 

You will be a part of DTU Compute’s section for Visual Computing and we imagine that you will join us no later than 1 January 2024. The project is financed by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. Relevant portions of the project will take place in collaboration with/at the Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance (DRCMR).

Responsibilities and qualifications
Your main focus will be on developing biophysical models of the microscopic brain tissue composition (neurons, axons, myelin, and other microstructures). These models are formulas that predict the dMRI signal measured at each voxel. Once your model is applied to the measured signal, we can extract some relevant parameters like: how many axons and cells are there at a specific location? What are their sizes? Is there myelin covering axons or is it absent, perhaps due to disease? We can then pack back this information into several 3D images that would help a doctor formulate a diagnosis. To do so, not only does your model need to be capable of providing such information (linear/non-linear optimization? Deep/Machine learning regression?), but also you need to carefully plan how to acquire the data from the MRI scanner (the measured signal must be sensitive to these parameters in the first place). To check whether we are on track you would want to simulate the signal from artificial 3D microstructures meshes (with available in-house software) using DTU’s HPC cluster. Of course, images from the MRI scanner have all sorts of artifacts, from noise to distortions (subjects also move) which you will want to correct using appropriate (widely available) open-source tools (image processing?). Now that the pipeline is ready, can we actually see if it is useful for detecting disease?  We would test this preclinically at DRCMR before moving on with Human scans. In the project there are a lot of opportunities for learning, and you will have great support from the team you will be part of.

As a formal qualification You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree before the contract can start.

To be successful in the position we imagine that:

  • You have an academic background in either physics, computer science, biomedical engineering, mathematics or experience with signal/image processing or modeling. 
  • You are enthusiastic about the subject.
  • You know about dMRI or you are eager to learn.
  • Confidence with Python is necessary or needs to be acquired.

On the personal level we would be thrilled if you are happy to engage in a multidisciplinary team and have a strong desire to innovate and bring your work to top international scientific venues. Finally, it’s an advantage if you have great communication skills.

Approval and Enrolment 
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU's rules for the PhD education

The assessment of the applicant will be made by Assistant Prof. Marco Pizzolato (principal investigator) and Prof. Tim Dyrby.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms 
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

Starting date is ideally no later than 1 January 2024 (or according to mutual agreement). The position is a full-time position.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
If you have any questions or need more background information, you are welcome to contact Marco Pizzolato () in advance and/or check the page https://orbit.dtu.dk/en/persons/marco-pizzolato and links therein.

You can read more about DTU Compute at www.compute.dtu.dk/english.

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU. 

Application procedure 
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 15 September 2023 (23:59 Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please use this link to DTU's job portal and click "Apply now", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English) including official description of grading scale

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The DRCMR is one of the leading research centres in Europe within the field of biomedical MRI. A highly profiled international research team translates the latest advances in MRI to examine the brain's function, metabolism and structure.

DTU Compute is a unique and internationally recognized academic department about 400 employees and 10 research sections spanning disciplines like mathematics, statistics, computer science, and engineering. We conduct research, teaching and innovation of high international standard – producing new knowledge and technology-based solutions to societal challenges. We have a long-term involvement in applied and interdisciplinary research. At DTU Compute we believe in a diverse workplace with a flexible work-life balance.