PhD scholarship in Intelligent Measurement Design for Hyperpolarized MRI

Friday 24 Sep 21

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A 3 year PhD stipend is announced for work with a new state-of-the-art clinical 3T MRI scanner located at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Copenhagen, Denmark. The project concerns measurement design for hyperpolarized magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The work involves advanced sequence and analysis design based on new principles (including machine learning and deep learning methods) as a next promising step in the MR section’s successful track record of MRI method development.

Background: MRI is sensitive to a wide range of parameters of importance for medical diagnosis and treatment monitoring, including metabolic rates and perfusion. Such parameters can be derived from time series of images acquired after injection of a hyperpolarized substance such as water or pyruvate, which may be magnetized ten to hundred thousand times more than attainable with normal MRI. This involves “dissolution DNP” which is a new technique that is currently progressing into clinical testing. It has attracted much international attention since it provides unique information about metabolism and hemodynamics in vivo (e.g. in tumors). However, it is of utmost importance to make the most of the precious magnetization that is lost within minutes. Hence, we want to develop intelligent methods that are focused on the sensitivity and robustness of selected measurement end-points rather than on the quality of individual measurements that are analyzed together. By focusing on the end-goal, the data acquisition strategy can be chosen smarter in an adaptive optimization process.

Responsibilities and qualifications
Our aim is development of robust, efficient techniques suited for humans and large animals. Your tasks include analysis and experimentation with respect to MRI sequence choices and validation. Simultaneously, you will advance your scientific career by learning and developing new techniques and publishing the results.

Flexibility and self-motivation are needed skills. In addition, we expect you to be eager to collaborate and take personal responsibility for your work. We offer substantial academic sparring in an informal atmosphere.

A background with aspects of machine learning, MRI development and/or analysis is preferred. Experience with hyperpolarized MRI is advantageous. MR sequence development and testing will be conducted using both general and vendor-specific scanner programming environments. Prior experience with such tools is not essential, but advantageous.

You will work at DTU Health Tech in close collaboration with experienced researchers in the fields of MR measurement design, hyperpolarization and machine learning, particularly Dr. Rie Beck Olin and Assoc. Profs. Kristoffer H. Madsen (DTU Compute) and Lars G. Hanson.

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years. The PhD appointment must be initiated in 2021.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here

Further information
Further information may be obtained from the supervisors, e.g. Lars G. Hanson, tel.: +45 45253686,

You can read more about HYPERMAG and the Section for Magnetic Resonance at and about DTU Health Tech at    

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.  

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 18 October 2021 (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Health Tech engages in research, education, and innovation base on technical and natural science for the healthcare sector. The Healthcare sector is a globally expanding market with demands for the most advanced technological solutions. DTU Health Tech creates the foundation for companies to develop new and innovative services and products which benefit people and create value for society. DTU Health Techs expertise spans from imaging and biosensor techniques, across digital health and biological modelling, to biopharma technologies. The department has a scientific staff of about 210 persons, 130 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 160 persons, of which a large majority contributes to our research infrastructure and related commercial activities.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.