SB-02b PhD -Investigation of radio signal propagation modes inside the human body

cork, Cork, Ireland
14 Mar 2023
End of advertisement period
14 Apr 2023
Contract Type
Full Time

SB-02b PhD -Investigation of radio signal propagation modes inside the human body

Contract Type: Full Time/Fixed Term

Tyndall National Institute is offering a fully-funded PhD opportunity in the area of e-health.

Tyndall National Institute is a world leader in the development of sensors and systems for use in life sciences applications. Working closely with a global range of academic, business and end-user partners, our technology is under evaluation by several multinational corporations and is approaching market readiness in a number of areas. In parallel, Tyndall has an ambitious strategy that will leverage our core strengths in Information and Communications Technologies to develop deep tech next generation breakthrough sensors and systems for e-health. There is a growing demand for smart integrated monitoring systems for Gastrointestinal (GI) digestive disease applications.

Gastrointestinal (GI) digestive diseases (GID) are among the most common medical ailments and represent a major source of population morbidity and care costs worldwide.  It is estimated that GI diseases kill more than 200,000 EU citizens every year. Accurate and cost-effective diagnosis of GI diseases is difficult to estimate in a timely manner due to vague and often variable symptoms and also, difficulties in properly accessing the digestive tract. In this aspect, accurate, timely and cost-effective diagnoses is essential for delivering evidence-based effective care and achieving optimal therapy and patient outcomes.

Central to this project is the research and development of a smart multi-sensing minimally invasive implant platform capable of effective wireless communication to a smartphone application. The research project is expected to holistically approach the concept of in- and out-of body communications, by exploring RF hardware miniaturization aspects afforded through the use of new materials and antenna concepts, in combination with the necessary electronics and encapsulation techniques. The successful candidate will become part of The Wireless Communications Laboratory, collaborating closely with the vibrant Life Sciences Interface Group, be involved in cutting edge research, and be exposed to the world leading wireless experts. Furthermore, the successful candidate will have full access to world-class RF characterization, antenna measurement and manufacturing facilities.

Key responsibilities

This is an exciting project in a fast-moving, industrially relevant area. Reporting to the supervisor (and co supervisors as applicable), the candidate will work as part of a collaborative research group, but take a hands-on role, with responsibility for the day-to-day execution of the technical research tasks outlined above. Scientific dissemination (preparation of regular internal reports, journal and conference publications, and industrial liaison) is an integral part of the position. Regular international travel may also be expected. 

It is critical that the candidate has an ability to work in a team environment, as he/she will liaise closely with other consortium members engaged in developing complementary aspects of the platform.

  • Work under the direction of the Principal Investigator (PI) and co-supervisors. 
  • Review the state-of-the-art of e-health systems on an ongoing basis. 
  • Carry out ground-breaking and independent research in the area of RF/mm-waves with a focus on the design of innovative antenna and encapsulation techniques for in and out- of body communications. 
  • Perform electro-magnetic modelling, analysis and design of passive RF/mm-wave devices, such as antennas and RF/mm-wave characterization of prospective new materials.
  • Perform system simulations in order to characterize communication systems in terms of channel capacity metrics under laboratory conditions.
  • Develop hardware and software for remote monitoring of the capsule.
  • Construct demonstrator devices for internal and external showcase.
  • Carry out administrative work to support the programme of research and ensure all project deliverables and milestones are achieved in a timely manner.
  • Publish results in high impact journals and conferences.
  • Participate in Education and Public Engagement opportunities and disseminate research to a wider audience.
  • Write progress reports, literature reviews, and document the research.
  • Participate and present research in consortium meetings, conferences, workshops and outreach events. 
  • Perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein. 

Essential Criteria

  • Bachelor s degree or equivalent in a relevant field such as Electrical/Electronic engineering, biomedical engineering, or physics, preferably with an emphasis on RF/Microwave engineering.
  • The successful candidate should have taken classes in Electromagnetics, Electronic and RF circuits and have an appreciation of Microwave Engineering.
  • Knowledge of one or more RF/CAD tools, such as ADS. 
  • Knowledge using standard RF/mm-wave equipment, such as Vector Network Analyzers (VNAs), Spectrum Analyzers, probe stations and soldering.
  • Good mathematical skills and knowledge of mathematical modelling tools such as MATLAB
  • The candidate must demonstrate proficiency in English.

Desirable criteria

  • Master s degree in a relevant field
  • 1-2 years of academic or industry experience in areas such as RF antenna design, wireless microsensor technology, packaging and integration, microcontroller programming and rapid prototyping platforms, device test and characterisation, medical device design and development, biomedical engineering, and/or bioMEMS;
  • Prior experience of scientific paper writing, conference presentation and report writing.
  • A demonstrated capability in the delivery of research projects at undergraduate or postgraduate level. 

Funding Information


This is a 4 year fully funded PhD position in conjunction with HORIZON EUROPE funding. Horizon Europe is the EU s key funding programme for research and innovation with a budget of 95.5 billion.

It tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN s Sustainable Development Goals and boosts the EU s competitiveness and growth.

The programme facilitates collaboration and strengthens the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting and implementing EU policies while tackling global challenges. It supports creating and better dispersing of excellent knowledge and technologies.

It creates jobs, fully engages the EU s talent pool, boosts economic growth, promotes industrial competitiveness and optimises investment impact within a strengthened European Research Area. Legal entities from the EU and associated countries can participate.

An annual student stipend of 18,500 applies for this successful candidate for this position. The PhD student will be registered at University College Cork, and yearly University academic fees will paid by the Tyndall National Institute.

For any informal queries, please contact Dr Senad Bulja at

Application Instructions : Please click here to Apply

Please ensure that your motivation letter, CV and application letter are submitted in pdf format.

Postgraduate applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency as per UCC regulations ( Certificates should be valid (usually less than 2 years old) and should be uploaded with their application. In special circumstances the panel may consider a prior degree in English (e.g. Master thesis written in English) as evidence of English language proficiency.

Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.

Please note that an appointment to posts advertised will be dependent on University approval, together with the terms of the employment control framework for the higher education sector.

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