Development of a paper-based lateral flow assay platform for the point-of-care management of coagulopathy


An opportunity to apply for a full-time PhD in the College of Health, Science and Society.

The studentship will be funded by the UWE Bristol Wallscourt Foundation: Ref 2324-APR-HSS02.

The expected start date of this studentship is 1 April 2024.

The closing date for applications is 17 January 2024.

About the studentship

We are inviting applicants for the PhD position in ‘Development of a paper-based lateral flow assay platform for the point-of-care management of coagulopathy’. This is a prestigious and fully-funded PhD studentship supported by the Wallscourt Foundation, a charitable organisation with historic links to UWE Bristol, as part of a wider project on long-term health conditions.

Coagulopathies cause excessive bleeding or clotting, resulting in extensive morbidity and mortality. Venous thromboembolism is the cause of one-in-four deaths worldwide, while maternal death rates due to post-partum haemorrhage are extremely high in resource-poor regions. In the developed world, acute bleeding and thrombosis may emerge from precipitating events such as trauma, or relate to pre-existing risk factors, exacerbated by age, infirmity, and comorbidity. Testing for coagulopathy remains largely confined to the hospital, and a lack of early, rapid, and accessible testing delays or prevents diagnosis and treatment, increasing the risk of death and disability. There is, as yet no screening panel that has the potential to be cost-effective and deployable in prehospital emergency/distributed care, or in low-resource environments where access to a healthcare system is not available.

On-going research at UWE Bristol is exploring the development of a multi-assay platform for the diagnosis and management of coagulopathies which is simple and sustainable for deployment at the point-of-care and in low-resource settings. To achieve this, the technology is based on the emerging concept of ‘frugal innovation’ and employs paper-based lateral flow assay platforms. UWE has already developed a number of such assays for assessing blood coagulation.

We now invite applicants to continue this exciting and impactful research and technological development programme. This project will focus on the development of novel assay strategies to detect both quantitative and qualitative abnormalities of platelets and Von Willebrand Factor in clotting. Through an understanding of the cellular and biochemical processes involved in platelet activation and the lateral flow behaviour of blood samples, we will develop novel assay strategies to identify and quantify these abnormalities and test them in patient cohorts with our healthcare partners.

The longer term programme goal will look to integrate these assays into a fully integrated diagnostic platform and explore its deployment in low resource settings in both developed and low and middle income countries.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Tony Killard at


The studentship is available from 1 April 2024 for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax exempt stipend, which is currently £18.622 per annum.

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years for Home and Overseas applicants.


Applicants must have a BSc degree (2:1) or equivalent, or MSc degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate biological or bioanalytical discipline and ideally will have a First class relevant BSc/MSc (or equivalent). The studentship is open to international applicants.

International students are required to have IELTS 7.0 or above.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted use the reference number 2324-APR-HSS02.

Supporting documentation: you will need to upload your research proposal, all your degree certificates and transcripts and your proof of English language proficiency as attachments to your application so please have these available when you complete the application form.

References: you will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Your referee will be asked for a reference at the time you submit your application, so please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references within 14 days of your application being submitted.

Further information

Interviews will take place on 29 and 30 January 2024. If you have not heard from us by the week commencing 5 February 2024, we thank you for your application but on this occasion you have not been successful.

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