PhD opportunity at UKHSA/Oxford University

Development of an emergency personal dosimetry system for ionizing radiation exposures using alanine-based chip cards

See for full project details and application criteria. Closing date: Friday 20 January 2023


Whilst the ERDS project is already established, there are still a number of questions that remain related to alanine dosimetry, and many factors that need to be addressed to further develop and convert the current state-of-the-art in scientific knowledge into a working system of emergency dosimetry for roll-out in the UK and the US. The current PhD studentship aims to explore and assist in the resolution of these issues, in parallel with continued collaboration with GRT. The ultimate aim of the PhD project is to develop a prototype alanine dosimetry service, as a proof-of-concept that such a capability is possible and can reliably deliver dose estimates for potentially large numbers of exposed individuals (e.g., >1 million individuals) in a short timeframe (e.g., 24-48 hours).

The multidisciplinary nature of the proposed project means that it is open to development according to the interests of the student. Nevertheless, it is anticipated that the main tasks within the PhD project may be broken down into three key areas:

1)    Establishment of the laboratory environment and acquisition of the necessary skills and knowledge of the appropriate experimental techniques;

2)    Conducting novel research, both in terms of physical experiments with alanine cards and the card reader (including further optimizing the alanine dosemeters to get the best radiation response) as well as mathematical modelling of system deployment in response to exposure scenarios;

3)    Exploration of the various factors and issues that need to be resolved to transform the laboratory protocols and results into a useable, mass-scale dosimetry service.

The experimental work will be carried out primarily in the Secondary Standards exposure facilities of the UKHSA located in Chilton, near Oxford, UK. This will include use of a suite of X-ray and radionuclide fields. Time will also be spent performing measurements at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the United States under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with GRT.

The student will also be expected to participate in appropriate committees of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) as an invited member, and attend national and international meetings and conferences as needed.