New Epilepsy Doctoral Training Hub for Newcastle

Epilepsy Research UK (ERUK) has awarded Newcastle University funding to create an Epilepsy Doctoral Training hub. This represents an investment of more than £500k to train and support new research students in the field of epilepsy.

The new Epilepsy Doctoral Training hub will pair established research leaders with up-and-coming researchers to supervise six Masters students and six PhD fellows. The research projects are bespoke but share a common theme of using new technology and innovative mechanisms to analyse data and improve treatments and understanding of epilepsy.

The projects are diverse and include studying human tissue donated following epilepsy surgery, wearable brain wave devices that can record months of information, and the impact of digestion and diet on seizures. They build on existing expertise combining technology and computing to help us better understand how seizure start and how to predict them.

The Doctoral Hub is co-led by Andrew Trevelyan, Professor of Network Neuroscience and Dr Rhys Thomas, Clinical Lecturer at Newcastle University and Honorary Consultant Neurologist. Professor Trevelyan said: “It is our hope and expectation that many of these new epilepsy students will spend four years with us, graduating from the Masters course straight in to their PhD.”

You can view and apply for these studentships on the Newcastle University website.


The ERUK Doctoral Hub, has created new partnerships and cemented established collaborations. These projects build upon years of research experience at Newcastle University working together with the Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Epilepsy service. The hub brings together key areas including the Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research and School of Computing.

The hub also has two industrial partners who are providing financial support for the programme. Arvelle Therapeutics and UNEEG medical who will host a PhD student for up to a year at their innovation centre in Denmark.

Dr Thomas said: “This represents a significant investment for a new generation of epilepsy researchers, and a significant investment for Newcastle. You reap the maximum benefits when you invest in people.”

Our region

The North East of England has the highest rates of epilepsy in England, and one in a hundred adults here take medication for their epilepsy. The PhD hub will create a critical mass of epilepsy research and epilepsy researchers at Newcastle. Forming a crucible of innovation, where the alchemy of talent and hard work will conspire to create new research leaders.

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