GW4 BioMed MRC Doctoral Training Partnership

Fully-funded PhD studentships with a focus on the interface between basic science and clinical science

About the GW4 BioMed MRC Doctoral Training Partnership

The partnership brings together the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff (lead) and Exeter to develop the next generation of biomedical researchers. Students will have access to the combined research strengths, training expertise and resources of the four research-intensive universities, with opportunities to participate in interdisciplinarity and 'team science'. Many of the PhD projects supported by the DTP will be co-supervised across at least two of the partner universities, allowing students to join existing and emerging research partnerships.


The DTP is awarding 54 studentships over 3 years and recruitment for the second cohort (commencing September 2018) closes on 24 November 2017. Most studentships will be 3.5 years full time or up to 7 years part-time, but can be extended where additional specialist training is integral to the project.

The GW4 BioMed MRC DTP is currently advertising 51 projects, and will be awarding up to 20 studentships to the best applicants, aligned with the following themes;

  • Infection, Immunity and Repair.
  • Neuroscience and Mental Health.
  • Population Health.

The portfolio of PhD projects available also reflects the collective strengths of the DTP: quantitative skills (including mathematical modelling), using data for discovery, in vivo skills, and interdisciplinary training and approaches, including imaging (physics, engineering), chemistry and health economics. The DTP welcomes students from non-medical backgrounds and can fund additional training to assist discipline conversion.

The training programme has three strands: research skills; professional and career development skills; and opportunities to broaden horizons, which might include placements, research visits, public engagement internships and a mini-MD programme of bespoke clinical exposure. Events throughout the programme will develop researcher communities across the partnerships.

International students

We welcome applicants from the UK and around the world. 


This studentship is funded through GW4 BioMed MRC Doctoral Training Partnership. It consists of full UK/EU tuition fees, as well as a Doctoral Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£14,553 p.a. for 2017/18, updated each year).

Additional research and training funding is available over the course of the programme. This will covers costs such as research consumables, courses, conferences and travel. Additional competitive funds are available for high-cost training/research.

The research projects listed are in competition with 55 other studentship projects available across the GW4 BioMed MRC Doctoral Training Partnership. Up to 19 studentships will be awarded to the best candidates from the UK or EU (who meet the RCUK residency requirements), to study one of the projects of their choice. In the event of a project being chosen by more than one successful student, then alternative projects may be offered.


For further information on eligibility please see

How to Apply

A list of all the projects available is at You are encouraged to apply for up to 3 projects.

Regardless of the institution at which you want to study you must, in the first instance, complete an application to the GW4 BioMed MRC DTP for an ‘offer of funding’.

Applicants to Cardiff University will also need to make an application for an ‘offer to study’ to Cardiff by 24 November 2017. For the Universities of Bristol, Bath and Exeter only those with an ‘offer of funding’ from the DTP will be invited to make an application to the University for an ‘offer of study’.

Please complete the online application form by Friday 24 November 2017.

The Research Theme Panels will complete the shortlisting and inform applicants by 19 December 2017.

If you are shortlisted you will need to;

  • arrange a meeting with your chosen supervisors (in person or via phone/video call) to discuss the project and your application between 3rd and 12th January;

  • submit two references and a copy of your academic transcript(s) by 18th January 2018;

  • attend an interview in Cardiff on 24th or 25th January 2018.

    Further details will be included in the shortlisting letter.

    Further Information

    For informal enquiries, please contact

    For project related queries, please contact the respective supervisors listed on the projects.


Contact us

Lindsey Watson
Graduate Office
Medical Sciences Building
University Walk
Bristol BS8 1TD
+44 (0)117 331 1535

Eligibility criteria

Please see for information on eligibility.

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