UK-Singapore Joint PhD Studentship in Statistical Science

Start Date: April 2014

Studentship Information Applications are invited for a PhD funding opportunity offered jointly by the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, UCL and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. The studentship will commence in April 2014 and is based both at A*STAR and the UCL Department of Statistical Science.

Spatial models, statistical machine learning, and cognitive vision for histopathological data.

Definitive diagnosis of many diseases is often only possible with a biopsy but ageing populations and large-scale screening programmes are putting an ever-increasing strain on workloads to the extent that there is now a worldwide shortage of histopathologists. However, given recent advances in spectroscopic imaging modalities, high-throughput tissue banks, and the move towards digitized histological archives, it is now becoming feasible to use computer-aided image analysis to facilitate diagnosis.

This project will progress automated detection in this evolving field by developing spatial-statistical models and statistical machine learning methodology/algorithms. Unlike previous research, the work may incorporate the expertise of pathologists by adopting a cognitive vision approach to model complicated visual attentive behaviours involved during the pathologists’ diagnosis process.

Candidates with an interest in one or more of the following areas are strongly encouraged to apply: spatial models, random fields, statistical machine learning, computer vision, and image analysis. Informal enquiries to Dr James Nelson ( are welcomed.


The studentship is 3.5 years in duration with year 1 spent at UCL, years 2 and 3 at A*STAR, and a final writing-up period of 6 months at UCL. The award covers tuition fees plus a maintenance stipend (£15,726 pro rata in years 1 and 4, during years 2 and 3, the student will receive a full stipend direct from A*STAR). This studentship may only be awarded to applicants liable to pay tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (i.e. it cannot be used to part-cover overseas tuition fees). The procedure for determining one’s tuition fee status is outlined on the UCL website.

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The requirement for admission to the MPhil/PhD in Statistical Science is a 1st class or high upper 2nd class Bachelor’s degree, or a Master’s degree with merit or distinction in Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, or a related quantitative discipline. Overseas qualifications of an equivalent standard are also acceptable. Further details can be found on the Departmental website.

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