University College London (UCL)

PhD Studentship

University College London (UCL)

London, United Kingdom

PhD Studentship

Department of Mechanical Engineering

University College London

Microfluidics for bacteria diagnostics


The project aims at producing novel, low cost, point of care tools for the rapid detection of bacteria. The emphasis will be on early diagnosis and stratification of sepsis, a life threatening and poorly diagnosed condition affecting millions of people worldwide, however some of these developments can be applicable to other infections such as urine infections (UTIs). The project will draw on our expertise in microfluidic technologies and microscale blood flows to explore bacteria biophysics in confined flows, separation of bacteria from blood, development of smart and low-cost fluidic platforms and bio sensing technologies in order to enable rapid detection and analysis of bacteria and other biomarkers in bodily fluids (esp. blood) and antimicrobial resistance testing at the point-of-care. The PhD training and research will be carried out within UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Mechanical Engineering and supervised by Prof S. Balabani with secondary supervision by Prof M. Tiwari (Nanoengineered Systems Laboratory).

Person Specification:

We are looking for an enthusiastic and highly motivated engineering or physics graduate, with a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree or equivalent, to join this project. The role will involve the design and development of microfluidic tools to detect /capture bacteria, image processing and sensing as well as clinical testing.

Thus, applicants should demonstrate:

  • Strong interest in the field of bio-microfluidics and a set of skills that places them in a good position to conduct research on the interface between engineering and biology.
  • Good knowledge of fluid mechanics or microfluidics, strong analytical skills, creativity and an aptitude for experimental work.
  • Experience in experimental design, instrumentation and Matlab and working in a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment are desirable.
  • Good written and oral communication skills are essential.

The candidate is expected to acquire an extensive set of skills combining microfabrication, nano-engineering, flow diagnostics and biosensing, imaging and data processing in a translational environment. The project is highly interdisciplinary in nature and will provide opportunities to collaborate with leading engineers and clinicians within UCL as well as the All India Institute of Medial Sciences (AIIMS), India.

Closing Date and Start Date:

We will be continuously having informal discussion with interested candidates until 31 May 2019. The studentship will start in July 2019.

Value of award:

Full tuition fees and stipend of up to £16,777 per annum (for 4 years)


This funding is for UK/EU nationals. Please do not enquire about this studentship if you are ineligible. Please refer to the following website for eligibility criteria:

Application Process:

Eligible applicants should first contact Prof Stavroula Balabani, ( quoting the Job reference. Please enclose a cover letter (including the names and contact details of two referees), one-page research statement and two pages CV.

The supervisory team will arrange interviews for short-listed candidates. After interview, the successful candidate will be given instructions to formally apply online via the UCL website. For further information, see

Please apply via recruiter’s website.