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PhD Scholarship project 1

SBBS Research Scholarships 2023: Project 1

PhD Studentship in Neuroscience/ Neuropharmacology/ Neuroinflammation

Investigation of novel pharmacotherapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative disease

PI: Dr Derek Costello
Studentship details: Stipend of €20,000/year (plus EU tuition fees) for 4 years
Start date: no later than 1 October 2023

Project description:
Brain disorders account for almost 30% of overall disease burden in Europe. Prevalent among these
are chronic degenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Moreover,
neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases are considered the leading cause of disability
worldwide, and the additional long-term impact of COVID-19 infection to their prevalence and
severity remains unknown. Despite some recent advances, a paucity of universally-effective
treatments still exists. In most cases, there is no cure or effective therapy to modify disease
progression. Therefore neurodegeneration remains one of the most critical global unmet clinical
The current collaborative and multi-disciplinary project will interrogate novel, multi-functional
pharmacological agents and naturally-occurring compounds as potential therapeutic interventions
into neurodegeneration. In doing so, we hope also to validate novel molecular therapeutic targets
and highlight factors which promote vulnerability to disease.
The study will involve cell culture and pharmacology, model organisms, behavioural analyses, in
vitro electrophysiology, and a range of cellular assays. The successful candidate will be enrolled in a
4-year structured PhD programme in the UCD School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, based in
UCD Conway Institute and will receive a stipend of €20,000 p.a. and full EU tuition fees.

Requirements: Applicants should have a minimum of upper 2nd class honours
degree (or equivalent) in Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Physiology or related biomedical science
discipline. Research experience with cell culture, protein/nucleic acid expression analysis, animal
models/model organisms, electrophysiology and/or behavioural analysis is encouraged but not
essential. EU/UK applicants only.


  1. September/October 2023 start date.
  2. Full EU fees + €20,000 per annum stipend over four years.
  3. The student will be enrolled in a Structured PhD programme, associated with the School.
  4. Each student is required to demonstrate in appropriate laboratory practicals as part of their funded scholarship.  Demonstrating hours and lab practicals are detailed and assigned by the SBBS Demonstrating Committee (maximum hours: 288 per annum) .
  5. The student and supervisor are required to submit an application for an IRC Postgraduate Scholarship in the first year of their SBBS-funded research scholarship.

Apply: Applications should contain a 1-page cover letter outlining your interest and suitability for the
position, a detailed CV and contact information for 2 referees. Applications should be received by
email to derek.costello@ucd.ie, no later than July 31st 2023. Informal inquiries may be made by
email prior to the application deadline.

Contact the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science

H1.38 O’Brien Centre for Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 2130 | E: undergrad.sbbs@ucd.ie | Location Map