UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


New CASE funded PhD studentship in multimodal imaging of artwork

14 May 2021

The UCL Institute of Sustainable Heritage (UCL ISH) at the Bartlett School of Energy, Environment and Resources (BSEER) invites applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship.

This is an example of our hyperspectral imaging system, when we had the opportunity to image a painting called La Ghirlandata by Rossetti before it was cleaned


Primary supervisor: Prof Adam Gibson

Secondary supervisor: Prof Matija Strlic

  • Scholarship covers: 4 years tuition fees (UK/EU rate), stipend (£18,609 for 2021/22) and research training support grant
  • Start Date: 27 September 2021
  • Funded by: EPSRC and ClydeHSI (CASE)
  • Eligibility: Master’s degree and/or a first or upper-second class Bachelor’s degree. Applicants must also meet the minimum language requirements of UCL, with Advanced level preferred. In addition to UCL's academic requirements for admittance to Doctoral studies, see the following additional ones here.
  • Location: UCL Here East and Bloomsbury campus

Industry sponsor

The CASE industrial partner is Dr John Gilchrist, Managing Director at Clyde HyperSpectral Imaging & Technology Ltd. ClydeHSI supplied our hyperspectral imaging system and the motorised support frame. The successful student will have the opportunity for placements with ClydeHSI, which is based in Glasgow, and Dr Gilchrist will provide regular supervision.

Studentship aims

The aim of this project is to design, build, test and use a combined hyperspectral, Raman and X-ray fluorescence scanning system for heritage imaging. The project will also require development of bespoke analysis methods for combining these images and processing them to generate images of chemical composition.
Particular avenues of exploration could include:

  • Aligning and registering images taken of the same object on different systems
  • Determining safe exposure limits for optical and X-ray radiation on heritage objects
  • Developing mathematical methods to inform the object’s composition by generating images of derived properties of interest to conservators, historians, archivists etc (including chemical composition, acidity, degree of polymerisation, stress and strain). 
  • Developing workflows for effective imaging of real historical samples from ISH’s extensive reference collection and elsewhere.

Please see a longer description of the aims and opportunities of this studentship here.

Person specification

The successful candidate is likely to have a background in a quantitative field such as maths, physics, computer science, engineering or chemistry with experience in one or more of the following: computer programming, instrumentation, image analysis, spectroscopy, chemistry, heritage science. 
The student will be passionate about cross-disciplinary research and able to take responsibility for safe laboratory working practices. 

How to apply

The following guidance is specific for the PhD Studentship entitled ‘Multimodal hyperspectral, Raman and x-ray fluorescence imaging for pigment identification in heritage’ and replaces any application guidance found on the UCL ISH application page.

Applicants should access the UCL SELECT portal.

Application deadline: 09.00 am (BST), Tuesday 8 June 2021

Please include:

  • A covering letter.
  • CV.
  • Names and addresses of two academic referees.
  • Copies of your degree certificate(s) and transcript(s).
  • A short research proposal (1000 words)

For informal enquiries on the research topic or your eligibility, email Prof Adam Gibson with ‘Multimodal imaging of artwork’ in the subject field. 

Interviews will be held online on 21 June 2021