Deep-tissue optical imaging

The CMOS Sensors and Systems Group, of the Institute for Integrated Micro and Nano Systems within the University Of Edinburgh School Of Engineering, invites applications for a PhD position focused on deep-tissue optical imaging, supported by an EPSRC 2050 proposal.

The proposal envisages a world in 2050, where walking through a revolving door or archway allows non-visible light to generate detailed 3D images of any patient with high resolution. This will allow targeting very early detection of disease using non-ionising radiation and novel detectors, in association with fast computational methods and algorithms. This will be transformative, is a practical reality, and in addition potentially offers unique treatment options for the healthcare needs of 2050.

Work on the different elements needed to create this technology platform will be undertaken by investigators at Edinburgh and Nottingham and Southampton Universities and the researchers will spend time in each other’s labs and will involve Chemists, Engineers, Computational Scientists, Optical Physicists, Clinician’s and Biomedical Scientists to develop and test/evaluate the technology.

The successful applicant will pursue research to push the attainable depths and resolution of optical sensing within tissue, combining machine-learning and signal processing algorithms with new detector technology, optical-systems and light-sources. Such advances will contribute to the routine, low-cost, rapid monitoring of health throughout the population. This research will produce techniques combining state of the art optical sensors in the near-infrared band, with novel data-processing and reconstruction algorithms. 

  • Essential
    • A first degree or Masters in numerate discipline.
    • Experience with a numerical programming language such as MATLAB, Python or C.
  • Desirable
    • Experience with image and/or signal processing.
    • Experience with machine learning, inverse problems and optimisation.
    • Understanding of optical systems and detectors.
    • Control of instrumentation in LabVIEW, MATLAB, Python or C.
    • Self-motivated, able to work independently and collaboratively and meet deliverables.
    • Experience of working in a multi-disciplinary team.


Further Information:

The University of Edinburgh is committed to equality of opportunity for all its staff and students, and promotes a culture of inclusivity. Please see details here:

Closing Date: 

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Principal Supervisor: 

Assistant Supervisor: 


Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.


Applications are welcomed from self-funded students, or students who are applying for scholarships from the University of Edinburgh or elsewhere

Tuition fees + stipend are available for Home rate students (International students not eligible)

Further information and other funding options.

Informal Enquiries: