Background

The Oxford-Nottingham Biomedical Imaging (ONBI) CDT brings together two of the UK's world-leading research universities in an innovative programme of teaching and research in biomedical imaging. The ONBI CDT provides doctoral students with a uniquely broad exposure to all aspects of biomedical imaging, from cellular microscopy to clinical radiology, and from hardware development to image analysis. Research projects will intentionally include complementary elements from different ends of this spectrum, such that students can cross-fertilize ideas across imaging scales and disciplines. Areas of prominent research expertise across the institutions include light microscopy, MRI, magnetoencephalography, positron emission tomography, and image analysis.

The EPSRC-MRC ONBI CDT provides a comprehensive training programme to graduates primarily from the physical sciences who wish to undertake research careers in biomedical imaging. Students are registered either with the University of Oxford, or with the University of Nottingham, but all students spend their first year together in Oxford as part of the interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) and remain part of an interacting cohort for the duration of their training.

The doctoral degree is four years long and based around an initial year of training, which includes two short research projects (unless an industry-linked project has been pre-selected), followed by a further three years of research. ONBI projects offer a spectrum of opportunities, intentionally involving collaborative aspects, including some collaborative projects with industry.

The training components in the first year include: the mathematical foundations of image formation and reconstruction; training in the biological and clinical applications of imaging; descriptions of various imaging modalities, including light microscopy, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine techniques; image analysis methods; scientific programming; and the use of contrast agents and 'probes' in biomedical imaging.

Alongside the academic training is a comprehensive four-year programme in research skills. Here we cover areas such as project management, presentation skills, research ethics, safety and the regulatory environment, commercial awareness, and intellectual property.

ONBI is one of seven programmes (see links on the left) that make up the DTC. These programmes each offer their own unique perspectives and research opportunities, but are linked by their position at the interface between the quantitative and biological sciences.