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Research Opportunities


Postdoctoral Research

1. Technologies for better functioning in Autism Spectrum Disorders

2. Stem cell delivery to the myocardium

4. Development of Bioactive Therapeutics Harnessing Stem Cell Mechanobiology

5. Development of an extracellular matrix derived scaffold for articular cartilage repair

PhD Research

1. Analysis of Physiological Signal Changes during Sleep Bruzism before and after the use of an Occlusal Splint

2. Constitutive modelling of passive skeletal muscle for equipment design

3. ERC funded PhD studentships in corneal bioengineering


ERC funded PhD studentships in corneal bioengineering

Following the award of a European Research Council starting grant, two fully funded PhD studentships have become available in the area of corneal bioengineering. The aim of these projects will be to characterize corneal cell behaviour and design of biomaterial scaffolds for corneal regeneration. The successful candidates will receive training in a variety of biological and bioengineering techniques and have access to state-of-the-art facilities at the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering. There will also be the opportunity to attend international conferences.Candidates should ideally have a 1st class honours primary degree or MSc degree in a relevant science, medical or engineering discipline. Experience or knowledge in any of the following is desirable but not essential as training will be provided: molecular techniques; cell culture and imaging; cell biology; biomaterials synthesis and scaffold fabrication; tissue engineering and ophthalmology.
Two fully funded PhD Studentship at Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin are available that include fees (at EU student rate only) and a competitive stipend starting 1st September, 2015. Closing date for applications is 31st May 2015. Interested candidates for this exciting opportunity should send a CV, cover letter and contact details for two referees to Dr. Mark Ahearne via e-mail ( Informal enquires are welcome.
Further details about Dr. Ahearnes research and the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering can be found at and

Constitutive modelling of passive skeletal muscle for equipment design

The School of Engineering and the Centre for Bioengineering at Trinity College Dublin in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame is pleased to announce a four-year PhD position in Soft Tissue Mechanics, starting in September 2015 and funded by the Naughton Graduate Fellowship. See here for more details.


Development of an extracellular matrix derived scaffold for articular cartilage repair

The Trinity Centre for Bioengineering currently has an open postdoctoral research position available in the area of orthopaedic tissue engineering, in particular on the development of an extracellular matrix derived scaffold for chondral and osteochondral defect repair.

Technologies for better functioning in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Background: ASD and related neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. Fragile X Syndrome, Prader Willi Syndrome) are lifelong conditions associated with impaired social and adaptive functioning. People with ASD have difficulties engaging in social situations that can lead to isolation, withdrawal and worsening mental health. Additionally even where cognitive abilities are relatively unimpaired people with ASD many have low levels of adaptive ability and are therefore limited in their ability to achieve independent living. Unfortunately also this can be associated with worsening employment prospects, decreased engagement in society and as a consequence, further deterioration in adaptive functioning.
Technological supports for independent living are increasingly providing novel ways to manage disability and promote health and societal engagement. There is now a rich literature on research into normal and abnormal ageing demonstrating the impact of technology supporting healthcare assessment and delivery. However, the application of technologies to support individuals with ASD and other related neurodevelopmental disorders has yet to make such an impact. Here we are aiming to apply technology to better support the acquisition of health related data in people with ASD and to develop technology based interventions to support the development of both core skills, such as basic social cognition, and adaptive skills such as the ability to function in socially demanding situations.
The focus of this project is on the development of gaming based software that may be utilized both for the acquisition of EEG data to support both clinical and research investigation in neurodevelopmental disorders such as ASD and intellectual disability. There will be a further focus on the implementation of gaming scenarios for the development of skills addressing both core deficits and adaptive functioning. The emphasis will be on the development of scenarios with broad appeal and application such that they may be implemented in naturalistic environments with friends and family members promoting generalization of skills into real-life scenarios. The fellowship will focus on the development of clinical skills, namely the assessment and measurement of the ASD phenotype and associated endophenotypes. Additionally technical skills in the design and implementation of paradigms for EEG and the processing and analysis of EEG data will be acquired. Finally the applicant will learn how to apply technology and EEG methods in the context of a therapeutic application for ASD. The potential fellow may be from a behavioural sciences or computer sciences background.

An ideal environment exists at Trinity College Dublin to provide the holder of this fellowship with the support to undertake this research opportunity. The Autism and Rare Neurodevelopmental Disorder Research Group is part of the Neuropsychiatric Genetics group within the School of Medicine. It includes a multidisciplinary team with extensive expertise on clinical assessment, neuropsychology, neurophysiology, neuroimaging, molecular genetics, bioinformatics and functional biology of autism and developmental disorders. The Trinity Centre for Bioengineering within the School of Medicine and School of Engineering has extensive experience in EEG neuroimaging methods and analysis for clinical applications. The holder of this fellowship will be able to avail of training with Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research Group and the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering to complement their expertise.

Further information can be obtained by contacting
Professor Richard Reilly
Trinity Centre for Bioengineering

Postdoctoral Fellowship/ Research Scientist
Development of Bioactive Therapeutics Harnessing Stem Cell Mechanobiology

The Tissue Engineering Research Group at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland currently has a research position available in the area of tissue engineering, in particular the development of bioactive therapeutics harnessing stem cell mechanobiology. The researcher will work closely with other members of a multidisciplinary project team including principal investigators, postdoctoral researchers, postgraduate students and clinicians. The position will be associated with the Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research (AMBER) Centre.

Briefly, the project will entail elucidating the mechanisms behind the effect of previously identified mechanosensitive signalling factors capable of inducing bone regeneration. Furthermore, novel mechanosensitive signalling factors associated with age will be examined as a means of recapitulating the advanced healing capacity of children. The information generated from these analyses will be used to identify potential therapeutics that can be incorporated in tissue engineered scaffolds via suitable delivery platforms. These bioactive scaffolds will then be tested using an in vivo animal model to validate their potential for clinical applications.
Candidates should have a PhD (or equivalent experience) in tissue engineering, bioengineering or related disciplines, ideally with specific experience in mechanobiology, biomaterials, cell culture techniques, biological assays (e.g. proliferation assays, qPCR, microarrays, flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, etc) and histological techniques. Additional experience in delivery platforms (protein, gene and microRNA) and in vivo models would be considered beneficial.

CVs with the names and addresses of three referees should be submitted to:
Prof. Fergal J. O'Brien, PhD
Dept. of Anatomy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 123 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland

This 3 year position is funded by a Health Research Board grant and is available from October 2014

School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin & Trinity Centre for Bioengineering


Postdoctoral Researcher (Stem cell delivery to the myocardium)
2 year postdoc position in Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, School of Engineering, Trinity College Dublin,

The TCBE cardiovascular group was recently successful in securing collaborative 7th Framework Programme European Commission funding to develop an integrated materials-therapeutic-medical device approach for regenerating damaged cardiac tissue. We are currently inviting applications for a 2 year Postdoctoral Research fellow to advance the medical device aspect of this programme.
The researcher will be involved with developing a new medical device to deliver novel biomaterials that are impregnated with allogeneic bone marrow derived stem cells. The research strategy is focused on developing a solution that will result in greater retention of therapeutics at the injection site. The researcher will collaborate with a number of European academic and industrial partners for example Cardio3 Biosciences and Boston Scientific are the catheter based medical device partners, while the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland are the grant coordinator and the Fraunhofer Institute will provide biocompatibility testing on the therapeutic system.
TCD Cardiovascular Group Background:
Key research areas of the TCD Cardiovascular medical device group are: Mitral valve disease, developing decellularized tissue components to repair and replace the damaged/diseased cardiovascular system, the delivery of therapeutics via novel catheters.
Role & Responsibilities
The position involves working within the cardiovascular medical device design group within the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering. The candidate will form an integral part of the R&D team. The candidate will be involved in the research and development of an intramyocardial delivery therapeutic delivery catheter, from concept to pre-clinical evaluation.
The tasks will include the design, development and testing of the catheter in laboratory models and pre-clinical models.
Essential requirements:
 Mechanical Engineering degree or Biomedical Engineering degree
 PhD in the Lifesciences area
Skills Required
 Solidworks/CREO proficient
 Knowledge of medical device design procedures
 Strong laboratory practical skills
 Good technical writing skills to ensure documentation of design/development/test activities as required in Engineering Laboratory notebooks.
 Ability to liaise with external vendors to ensure timely delivery of prototypes.

Please submit applications with a CV and covering letter to: Bruce Murphy, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Parsons Building, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2
For more information contact Tel: 01 896 8503
Closing Date for applications: 20 July 2014
Start Date: Immediate


School of Dental Science and Trinity Centre for Bioengineering

PhD Research Position in Neural Engineering

Analysis of Physiological Signal Changes during Sleep Bruxism before and after the use of an Occlusal Splint

Sleep bruxism (night-time tooth grinding) is a very common and destructive clinical condition about which relatively little is understood.  It is most commonly managed with occlusal splints but there is a lack of clinical consensus on best practice for their use and very little scientific knowledge of their mechanism of action.  This project aims to combine historical and clinical data in a novel analysis to establish baseline characteristics of bruxers and their response to splint use.

Sleep bruxism affects 8% of the adult population. While it is known to be associated with transient lightening of the sleep state, the underlying aetological trigger is not well understood.  In severe cases, or cases that are poorly managed over time, bruxism can cause considerable damage to teeth and restorations.   For instance, veneers fail 7 times more quickly in bruxers compared to non-bruxers and implant restorations have 68% more technical complications. Occlusal splints are the international standard of care for bruxism patients. The mechanism of action of splints is as yet unclear and little is known about the determinants of a favourable treatment response.  It has been reported that there is some variability in patients’ response to this treatment modality but no physiological basis for this inconsistency has been established.  In addition, there are no detailed data available on how the splint response progresses over the first three months of use. As a result, there is a lack of consensus amongst clinicians about the appropriate duration of use of splints for bruxism patients.  Addressing these two areas would provide greater scientific insight on a possible mechanism of action of splints and greater clinical clarity on best practice for early splint use.

This research project will examine the early response of bruxers to splint provision using retrospective and prospective approaches. A unique database of sleep studies that recorded the effect of splints on bruxism patients will be accessed from a specialized sleep centre in Canada. Detailed analysis of multiple physiological variables recorded in these sleep studies will be carried out to elucidate whether this could suggest a mechanism of action for splints. A prospective study will involve patients whose bruxism activity is analysed every night for 3 months, using a combination of devices, including a novel, sensor-containing splint. This will generate a very detailed picture of the variety of responses to splint treatment and help to provide guidance on clinical usage in the early stages of management.

The overall aim of the project is to examine and clarify how bruxism activity is influenced by the provision of a splint. The following objectives will be

  • to examine baseline physiological characteristics of bruxers during sleep, before and after splint use.
  • to evaluate the ability of a novel splint device to measure bruxism during sleep.
  • to monitor the effect of the splint on bruxism over a period of time. The null hypothesis is that an occlusal splint has no effect on sleep bruxism or its associated physiological changes.

A 3-year scholarship is available. More details can be found here



Are you interested in pursuing your PhD degree or carrying out post-doctoral research in the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering?

If so, please email with the following information

  1. The Research theme you are most interested in (Biomaterials, Regenerative Medicine, Neural Engineering, Muskuloskeletal or Cardiovascular)
  2. A cover letter detailing your background and research interests
  3. Your C.V.
  4. Any papers and publications you were involved in


Last updated 23 March 2015 by Trinity Centre for Bioengineering (Email).