UCL Institute of Ophthalmology


UCL IoO Funded Three-Year PhD Studentship - Dr Colin Chu

We are offering a full time, three-year PhD studentship to apply new in vivo and ex vivo imaging technologies to the study of immune cells in the eye

UCL Department / Division: UCL Institute of Ophthalmology

Duration of Studentship: Three years to start from 3 October 2022

PhD Title: Characterising Immune Cell Function in the Retina with Advanced Imaging

Supervisor(s): Dr Colin Chu and Prof Marinko Sarunic

We are offering a full time, three-year PhD studentship to apply new in vivo and ex vivo imaging technologies to the study of immune cells in the eye predominantly with patients but also in experimental mouse models of ocular inflammation.

The student will gain skills in advanced imaging platforms including adaptive optics enabled imaging of the retina in patients and mice. Training will also be given in highly multiplexed immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy and spatial biology to enable the interpretation of in vivo findings.

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a minimum upper-second degree or equivalent in an associated subject such as biomedical engineering, optics, physics, immunology, ophthalmology, vision or life sciences. A Master’s degree or previous lab-based research experience is desirable.

Duties and Responsibilities

The successful candidate is expected to:

  • Continue to build on and help translate our proof-of-concept work (https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.60547)
  • Be able, with a team, to see clinical patients and collect usable patient images and data
  • To contribute to research using experimental mouse models and histology to inform clinical findings.
  • Work in collaboration with other researchers
  • Prepare progress reports and presentations
  • Travel for collaboration and other meetings or conferences
  • Prepare manuscripts for submission to international peer-reviewed journals
  • Contribute to the overall activities of the research team, department and be aware of UCL policies

Person Specification

  • An undergraduate degree (2.1 or above; or equivalent EU/overseas degree) and/or MSc Immunology, biomedical engineering, vision science or related experience.
  • Demonstrable interest in working with human subjects and the translational medicine field
  • Experience of image processing, statistical methods and software packages
  • Experience or willingness to work in experimental research involving mice.
  • Excellent methodological skills, particularly in project planning
  • High proficiency in written and spoken English is required
  • Very strong work ethic, with the ability to think creatively and work both individually and within a team

How to apply

Informal enquiries should be made to Dr Colin Chu at (colin.chu@ucl.ac.uk) and see www.colinchulab.com

Applicants should submit an application via email to the Research Degrees Manager ioo.pgr@ucl.ac.uk. You will be required to submit a CV, a covering letter outlining motivation, interest, and suitability for this project, and contact details for two academic referees.

Enquiries relating to the application process should be sent to the Research Degrees Manager (ioo.pgr@ucl.ac.uk).

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted directly for interview.

The successful candidate is expected to start by 3 October 2022.

Funding Notes

This studentship is funded for three years and includes UK national rate UCL PhD tuition fees and an annual stipend starting at £20,000 per year.


The full studentship (tuition fees and salary stipend) is eligible to all UK nationals and some EU nationals depending on their settlement status. Only UK Home rate tuition fees can be covered.

Applicants who will incur international fees are welcome to apply and must show that they can supplement the difference between UK and international fees (currently £26,680 per year) in their application.

Application deadline

3 July 2022

Proposed interview date

Week commencing 18 July 2022