PhD Studentship - Systems and Methods for Foot Drop Correction

Postgraduate Opportunities

Newcastle University

Reference code: EE046

Closing date: 15 September 2017

Supervisors: Dr Kianoush Nazarpour

Sponsor: This project is jointly funded by Newcastle University and Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Duration of the award: 3 years

Person Specification

Successful candidates will have a good undergraduate degree (Class 1 or 2:1) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics or other related disciplines.

Candidates with a postgraduate degree (MSc/MRes) in any of the following topics are particularly encouraged to apply: signal processing, machine learning, neural engineering or neuroscience.


Foot drop is a muscular weakness or paralysis that makes it difficult to lift the front part of your foot and toes. Patients with foot drop have a tendency to scuff their toes along the ground. This increases the risk of falls.

To prevent this, they may lift your foot higher than usual when walking which can be tiring and cumbersome. Foot drop is recognised as one of the common gait impairments associated with hemiplegia (unilateral weakness or paralysis) with an estimated 20% of all stroke survivors experiencing some degree of dropped foot. Physiotherapy, wearing an ankle-foot orthosis, electrical nerve and muscle stimulation and finally surgery are methods to circumvent foot drop partially.

The aim of this project is to develop and test a wearable multi-channel muscle and nerve stimulation system to help lifting the foot dynamically during the gait.

Full details of the funding opportunity can be found here.

Study information

Start month:

January 2018

Funding information

Funding applies to:
EU applicants (including UK)
Funding notes:

The successful candidate will receive a generous studentship of £20,000 per annum for three years (tax-free). The student will also benefit from additional allowance for attendance at conferences and training workshops.

Contacts and how to apply

Administrative contact and how to apply:

The candidate must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application form. Only mandatory fields need to be completed however, you will need to include the following information:

- insert the programme code: 8060F in the programme of study section
- select ‘PhD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (full time)’ as the programme of study
- insert the studentship code EE046 in the studentship/partnership reference field
- attach a covering letter, CV and (if English is not your first language) a copy of your English language qualifications. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, and state how your interests and experience relate to the project.

Application deadline:

15 September 2017