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PhD opportunities at the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification

4-year PhD funding on the topic of "Histomorphometric changes on the clavicle: aging, age-related pathologies, and biomechanics on cortical and trabecular bone". Application deadline: 16. July 2023.

University of Dundee
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Greenhouse Research Studentship Programme

The School of Science and Engineering are delighted to offer a 4 year fully funded (UK/EU) PhD studentship based within the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID).

An essential part of the remit of the Greenhouse Research Studentship Programme is that successful applicants are required to teach in the dissecting room throughout semesters 1 and 2 and to assist with other classes as and when required.

Ideally, the successful candidate will commence their studentship in September 2023. The 2023/2024 tax free stipend for the scholarship is £18,622 per annum.


Candidates must be UK students and must have an undergraduate and/or Master’s degree which includes experience of full body gross anatomical human dissection. Applicants who do not have such experience will not be considered for the scholarship.

PhD Greenhouse projects

A research topic is offered to potential candidates who wish to apply for the Greenhouse scholarship award.

Histomorphometric changes on the clavicle: aging, age-related pathologies, and biomechanics on cortical and trabecular bone

Supervisory team: Julieta Gomez Garcia-Donas, Craig Cunningham

Department: Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID)


Bone micro-anatomical features can assist to estimate age-at-death, understand pathological changes, and explore biomechanical influences. At the microscopic level, both cortical and trabecular bony structures can provide a complete multifactorial picture of skeletal tissue providing insights on the role of intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

Previous studies have shown the relationship between age and cortical and trabecular bone for clinical purposes, and cortical and trabecular assessment separately for anatomical and anthropological research. However, both cortical and trabecular bone through a systematic 2D and 3D imaging approach for further understanding aging and age-relate changes, pathology and biomechanics have still not been fully explored.

Project aims

This study proposes a systematic examination of cortical and trabecular microscopic changes on elderly individuals, and it will provide further insights about the microscopic status of bone throughout the later years of the human life. The sample used for this project will consist of collar bones collected from the cadaveric sample in CAHID. The impact of other factors influencing bone histomorphometric parameters such as sex and pathology will be further investigated.


An assessment of traditional 2D histology cortical bone microstructural features related to age.
A 3D analysis of trabecular bone using uCT scans considering parameters related to age.
Explore sampling areas related issues for cortical and trabecular bone
The potential of exploring age-related changes on both skeletal tissues for anthropological applications
Consideration of other factors affecting the parameters under consideration such as sex and caused of death (among others).

How to apply

We invite applications from suitably qualified candidates.

Candidates are requested:

to submit their full CV,
to provide a one page A4 summary of their suggestions for developing the research project further.

Applications should reach Dr Julieta G García-Donas ( no later than midnight on July 16 2023.

Shortlisted applicants will be notified for interview in the week commencing July 24 2023. Interviews are planned for August 8 2023, but date may be subject to change.