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Our group in OCMR has an international reputation for cardiac MRI (CMR) research. We have recently moved into large scale multicentre clinical as well as epidemiological studies, and these large datasets present new opportunities and challenges for automated image analysis of cardiac pathophysiology. For this, we have set up the OCMR Core Lab, which is led by Prof. Stefan Piechnik.

The DPhil project would allow the student to make a significant contribution to the development and early application of this field. Specifically, the successful candidate will work on developing advanced image analysis tools to process a wide range of imaging modalities applied in a range of cardiac conditions to address clinically-relevant questions.

Training Opportunities

OCMR is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary, consisting of MR physicists, engineers, biomedical imaging experts, other physical scientists and clinician-scientists. The OCMR and its Core Lab are rich in training opportunities in a range of specialties, including biomedical image analysis and post-processing, programming, biomedical modelling, MR physics, handling of large imaging datasets, development of platforms and pipelines suitable for use both in research and clinical settings, and clinical applications of cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR). Opportunities for training include courses at the Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Medical Research Council (ERSRC-MRC) Centre for Doctoral Training in Biomedical Imaging. The University of Oxford Medical Sciences Division also offers a Skill Training programme with regular courses. Training will be tailored to the background of the student and skills required. As OCMR also offers a clinical CMR service run by clinical cardiologists, most of whom are also clinician-scientists who use CMR as a research tool, there is close interaction with clinicians in the unit, facilitating the development and translation of clinically-applicable methods.

As well as the specific training detailed above, students will have access to a wide-range of seminars and training opportunities through the many research institutes and centres based in Oxford. Students are also able to attend the Methods and Techniques course run by the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. This course runs through the year, ensuring that students have the opportunity to build a broad-based understanding of differing research techniques.

Generic skills training is offered through the Medical Sciences Division's Skills Training Programme. This programme offers a comprehensive range of courses covering many important areas of researcher development: knowledge and intellectual abilities, personal effectiveness, research governance and organisation, and engagement, influence and impact. Students are actively encouraged to take advantage of the training opportunities available to them.

The department has a successful mentoring scheme, open to graduate students, which provides an additional possible channel for personal and professional development outside the regular supervisory framework. We hold an Athena SWAN Silver Award in recognition of our efforts to support the careers of female students and staff.


1 Piechnik SK, Ferreira VM, Lewandowski AJ, Ntusi NA, Banerjee R, Holloway C, Hofman MB, Sado DM, Maestrini V, White SK, Lazdam M, Karamitsos T, Moon JC, Neubauer S, Leeson P, Robson MD. 2013. Normal variation of magnetic resonance T1 relaxation times in the human population at 1.5 T using ShMOLLI.J Cardiovasc Magn Reson,  15pp. 13. -
2 Ferreira VM, Piechnik SK, Dall'Armellina E, Karamitsos TD, Francis JM, Ntusi N, Holloway C, Choudhury RP, Kardos A, Robson MD, Friedrich MG, Neubauer S. 2014. Native T1-mapping detects the location, extent and patterns of acute myocarditis without the need for gadolinium contrast agents.J Cardiovasc Magn Reson,  16pp. 36. -

Research Themes, Tools and Technologies


Key Dates for October 2018 Entry

The deadline for funded applications was 8 January 2018.

We are still accepting applications from candidates who are able to secure funding elsewhere until 12 noon on Friday 27 July 2018.

Some projects may have earlier deadline dates. Please check the project description carefully if you are considering applying.

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How to apply

To apply for a place on the DPhil in Medical Sciences you will need to submit an application using the online application form.

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