UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science


PhD Studentship in Optimising Real-Time Data Acquisition for Outcome Prediction in Cardiac Surgery

18 July 2023

PhD Studentship in Optimising Real-Time Data Acquisition for Outcome Prediction in Cardiac Surgery (Deadline for applications: 4th August 2023)

PhD Studentship in Optimising Real-Time Data Acquisition for Outcome Prediction in Cardiac Surgery


A 3-year PhD Studentship funded by Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity is available in the Centre for Heart Failure, Transplantation and Extracorporeal Support, UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science. The studentship will commence in September 2023 under the supervision of Dr Richard Issitt, Dr Alexandros Zenonos and Prof Vivek Muthurangu.


The aim of this PhD research is to examine how the measurement acquisition frequency of intraoperative variables influences prediction of acute kidney injury (AKI). This would provide a better understanding of how changes within the operative period influence patient outcomes, helping to reduce the number of children affected by AKI.


The successful candidate will firstly look at changes during the operative period and compare patients that develop AKI and those that do not to determine whether there are key temporal motifs that separate the groups using forms of trajectory clustering. Machine learning models, particularly long short-term memory or LSTM recurrent neural networks will be used to improve current AKI prediction algorithms with other known injury mediators.


Following on from this, the candidate will examine the effect of frequency of data acquisition on model prediction accuracy using sliding window methods and using dynamic time warping. The candidate will be expected to consider data flow asymmetry using transfer entropy methodologies to examine difference between underlying patient pathologies.


Finally, the candidate will work towards creating a prototype clinical decision support tool but implementing the machine learning models described above using a real-time, complex event processing platform.


This project, through optimising data capture frequency, will improve our understanding of the process of AKI, thereby discovering new ways to mitigate the risks both during and after heart surgery. This could then lead to a reduction in children being affected by this often life-altering and debilitating complication.


Further details about the project can be found on the UCL ICS website.


The PhD student will be based in the Institute of Cardiovascular Science at the University College London. The student will work at the Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children as well as the GOSH DRIVE Unit (https://www.goshdrive.com/) within a team of Data Engineers and Data Scientists from the NHS, Academia, and Industry.


The student will receive a starting stipend of £20,198 per annum (including London weighting) as well as the cost of tuition fees based on UK fee status. 


Personal Specification

Applicants should have a good first degree (UK 1st class or upper 2nd class honours degree or equivalent from abroad) and a Master’s degree (or equivalent work experience) in a relevant discipline by the time of registration.



This studentship covers the cost of tuition fees based on the UK (Home) rate. Non-UK students can apply but will have to personally fund the difference between the UK (Home) rate and the overseas rate where they are not eligible for UK fee status.


NB: You will be asked about your likely fee status at the interview so we would advise you to contact the UCL Graduate Admissions Office for advice should you be unsure whether or not you meet the eligibility criteria for Home fee status.  Further information on Brexit and the definitions for fee status assessment can be found on the UCL website and also the UKCISA website (Higher Education: Definitions for fee status assessment).



To apply, please send a current CV including the contact details of two professional referees as well as a cover letter to Drive.Research@gosh.nhs.uk. Enquiries regarding the post can be made to Dr Richard Issitt, Senior Paediatric Perfusionist GOSH (richard.issitt@gosh.nhs.uk). 


Deadline for receipt of applications: 4th August 2023


Interview date: 18th August 2023