Doctoral training programme (EID)

As one of six successful applicants you will join a doctoral program, with dual/tri supervision: at least one supervisor will be from an academic partner and at least one from a non-academic partner:

Biomaterials

Development of multisubstituted hydroxyapatite (SrMgHA) for orthopaedic cements and putties to enhance bone regeneration in spinal fusion. Based at the University of Sheffield (UK), with major secondment to Università di Bologna (Italy), the National Centre for Spinal Disorders (Budapest, Hungary) and Fin-Ceramica Faenza (Italy).

Development of osteoinductive coatings for spinal implants. Based at the University of Sheffield (UK), with major secondment to Fin-Ceramica Faenza (Italy) and Aesculap AG (Tuttlingen, Germany).

Clinical Biomechanics

Integration of clinical experience and in vitro biomechanical testing to improve spinal repair. Based at the Università di Bologna (Italy), with major secondment to the National Centre for Spinal Disorders (Budapest, Hungary).

Spinal balance: movement and alignment analysis before and patient motion after spinal treatments. Based at the Università di Bologna (Italy), with major secondment to the National Centre for Spinal Disorders (Budapest, Hungary) and the University of Sheffield (UK).

In vitro testing

Mechanical characterization of tissues and biomaterials. Università di Bologna (Italy) will provide training on the methods for the mechanical characterization of biological tissue (e.g. hard and soft spine tissues) and biomaterials developed by Fin-Ceramica (Faenza, Italy) and Aesculap AG (Tuttlingen, Germany).

Multiscale biomechanical testing. Testing of natural and treated spine specimens at different dimensional level (from single vertebra to multi-vertebrae segments) will be subjected to biomechanical at Università di Bologna (Italy) to assess the performance of biomaterials and devices developed by Fin-Ceramica (Faenza, Italy) and Aesculap AG (Tuttlingen, Germany), including surgical techniques and boundary conditions from National Centre for Spinal Disorders (Budapest, Hungary).

In silico Biomechanics

Patient specific FE modelling of spinal surgical procedures. Based at Ansys SAS (Villeurbanne, France), with major secondment to the University of Sheffield (UK), which will be the degree awarding partner.

Statistical shape modelling and reduced order modelling techniques for patient-specific spine models. Based at Adagos (Ramonville, France), with major secondment to the National Centre for Spinal Disorders (Budapest, Hungary) and the University of Sheffield (UK), which will be the degree awarding partner.

Inter-disciplinary training between academia and industry

Your training will consist of two parts: a common training, covering soft skills and the interdisciplinary aspects related to biomedical devices development and validation, and ESR-specific training programs, focused on technical needs, research career and individual background. You will spend the first 2-3 months at their recruiting organisation to settle in and to get a basic technical training in methodologies, as well as specific theoretical/ practical training to cover the gaps in your knowledge. For example, if you have a degree in chemistry, you would be well qualified for Biomaterials projects but need to be trained in basic cell biology in order to understand the biological tests to be performed later. A mechanical engineer would be well qualified for Spinal balance: movement and alignment analysis before and patient motion after spinal treatments and the In-silico Biomechanics programmes, but would need specific anatomy training to understand the structure of the spine, clinical conditions and the unique properties of biological tissues.

Those not recruited at a University will visit your home University for about 2 months in the first 6 months for registration, library access, and planning of mandatory progress meetings.