UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science


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3-year Full-time Non-clinical PhD Studentship - Modelling of single-ventricle physiology

HRH plaque

Children born with cardiac defects resulting in only one functioning ventricle, such as hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), have “single ventricle physiology”. Advances over the last two decades have allowed successful palliation and survival for some. Yet, these children are consigned to at least three surgeries, multiple interventions with high mortality rates in many centres, and a lifetime of abnormal physiology. The surgical and medical treatment of children with HLHS is challenging and the ideal management strategy is a topic of ongoing debate, with decisions often led by personal or institutional bias.

A Transatlantic Network of Excellence supported by Fondation Leducq has been in place since 2010 to study this patient population using both clinical and engineering tools. The network has been acquiring clinical data from HLHS patients in 3 different clinical centres, and analysing these using analytical, computational and experimental modelling. The expertise in paediatric cardiology, surgery, imaging, engineering and computer science at UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science & Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children is at the core of this Network.


The project will be related to the engineering and modelling aspects of single-ventricle physiology, including morphological analysis of the available set of patients with correlation to clinical outcomes, and fluid-structure interaction of specific surgical scenarios, ultimately aiming at optimising care for this group of patients.


The student will be supervised by Dr Silvia Schievano, Prof Andrew Taylor and Dr T-Y Hsia, and will be based at the Centre for Cardiovascular Imaging of the UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. The studentship funded by Fondation Leducq will provide a tax-free stipend of £18,000 for the first year with annual increments and will cover university fees at the UK/EU rate.

We are looking for someone who has:

  • An excellent master degree in engineering or mathematics
  • An excellent knowledge of computational fluid-dynamics with interests in cardiovascular applications
  • Knowledge of fluid-structure interaction analysis
  • Management of large datasets (statistical analysis, principal component analysis)
  • Knowledge of image processing 
  • Excellent communication skills especially in written English
  • Strong work ethic and good ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team

How to apply

Applications, comprising a CV, letter of motivation and two letters of reference, should be submitted to Steven Kimberley.

General enquiries and questions about the project should be directed to Dr Silvia Schievano.

Key dates

  • Closing date for applications: Monday 3rd December 2012
  • Interview dates:  Thursday 6th or Friday 5th December 2012, with final decision communicated shortly after.
  • The start date of the studentship will be January 2013.
  • Closing date for first call applications December 31st 2012
  • Interviews will be held during mid-late January 2013

November 2012