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Summer School, June 2009 Photos from the London Pain Consortium Summer School, held 21st-26th June 2009 in El Escorial, Madrid, Spain.

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Ph.D. Positions
Structure of the 4 year PhD programme in pain research
The first year
The four year programme provides a broad research training in pain neuroscience, and allows students to make a more informed choice of supervisor and project. This is achieved by having an initial training year in which the students attend some specialized courses, journal clubs and workshops and do three brief (3 month) research projects in different labs in the Pain consortium. These 'rotation' projects will be organised such that students gain experience in at least two of the following broad categories of pain research:- molecular, cellular, developmental and systems (including human). By working in different labs, the students will have the opportunity to acquire a broader range of experimental and theoretical techniques, and to work with supervisors with whom they may wish to do research for the PhD.

Student progress during the first year is assessed by:
(i) a write-up and 10 minute oral presentation on each lab placement
(ii) their placement supervisor's assessment of their work
(iii) their contribution to journal clubs they attend
(iv) the writing of a research plan outlining their proposed PhD project for the subsequent 3 years.

Examples of typical rotation projects undertaken in previous years

The 3 PhD years
After their first year, students will choose to work with one primary supervisor doing research for the PhD (this might be in one of the labs they worked in during the first year, or a different lab). However all PhD projects involve a collaboration between at least two laboratories (of which at least one will be a Consortium member) so the student will continue to gain experience in a number of experimental approaches to a research question. During the PhD students will be encouraged to attend advanced training courses and research meetings in the UK and overseas. Specimen PhD projects

Pastoral care
Throughout the 4 years, the student's progress will be monitored and assessed by members of the Consortium responsible for the training provided. Professor Tony Dickenson provides informal advice and help at any time. Students will be integrated into the community of pain researchers within the Consortium by participation in journal clubs and social events (many of which are arranged by the students and postdocs themselves). Career advice will be given in the last year to prepare the student for their post doctoral career.