HKEP PhD Studentship

Programme Description

The University invites applications for a PhD student to join our Hertfordshire Knowledge Exchange Partnership (HKEP) scheme. This four-year project requires a PhD student to undertake a collaborative research project with support from University academic supervisor(s) and company scientists.

The project begins with a Knowledge Exchange year in which the student is based in the company. Successful completion of the first year will require the submission of a scientific report, research proposal and oral examination. The successful student will then begin a three-year PhD research project.

Start date: December 2019

Duration: 4 years

Company: Transpharmation Ltd, Royal Veterinary College, Camden, London

Stipend: Starts at £15,009 per annum plus approved expenses. All students will also receive a maximum contribution towards their individual tuition fees that is equivalent to the Home/EU student fee in each year of registration.

Project Overview

There is major unmet clinical need in patient populations suffering with chronic neuropathic pain (e.g. diabetes, chemotherapy). The key to developing new treatments for chronic neuropathic pain is to identify measurable endpoints in both preclinical species and human subjects to aid the translation of preclinical findings into clinically testable interventions.

New objective pain measures will be explored to refine existing preclinical models with better translational (face and predictive) validity. This will include monitoring brain oscillatory activity by electroencephalography (EEG), auditory evoked potential mismatch negativity (MMN), cognition and ‘quality of life’ behaviour, which can be measured in both preclinical species and humans. Creating better translational preclinical research models will improve drug discovery success leading to new medicines and management of neuropathic pain for patients.

Aims of project:

  • Bespoke training on in vivo behavioural and surgical techniques, experimental design, 3Rs, analytical methodologies (EEG, MMN, animal behaviour, animal welfare, biochemical markers)
  • In neuropathic pain models:
    • Develop quantitative EEG and evoked MMN approaches as predictors of pain and analgesia
    • Characterise novel behavioural and biochemical endpoints as predictors of the global impact of pain and analgesia

Supervisor Information

  • Dr Sandor Kantor and Dr Amy Fisher, Transpharmation Ltd

  • Dr Lisa Lione and Dr Sara Pritchard, University of Hertfordshire


The successful candidate’s CV will need to demonstrate the following:


  • IELTS 6.5 (or above with no less than 5.5 in any band) / TOEFL 79 (if international * student)
  • First or upper second-class honours BSc degree (or equivalent) preferably with a background in Neuroscience, Pharmacology or Biological sciences
  • Strong interest and / or experience in drug discovery and in vivo biology


  • Industrial / translational experience
  • Accredited E1 & L / PIL A, B & C modules
  • Home Office personal licence holder

Deadline: 11th October 2019

Application Process

For further information please email - please note that applications sent directly to this address will not be accepted. To apply for this role please download the application form here and send along with qualification certificates and a copy of your passport to:

Interview Dates: Week beginning 28th October 2019

If you have not heard within 3 weeks of submitting your application, you have unfortunately been unsuccessful on this occasion.