Integrative Cardiovascular Science (BHF)

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Run by Faculty of Biomedical Sciences
Awards available PhD
Programme length Four years full-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available No, full-time only
Start date September 2018

Programme overview

We are seeking applications from outstanding graduates who are motivated to become the next generation of interdisciplinary cardiovascular scientists. If you are accepted on to the programme you will benefit from a vibrant and collegiate environment, as well as cutting-edge interdisciplinary training.

Successful applicants will enrol on a 1+3 year PhD course, with the first year providing unique opportunities to develop a firm foundation in cardiovascular research across the disciplines. This first year includes two four-month research projects aimed at delivering advanced practical training in areas that underpin your subsequent three-year main project.

Your choice of final three-year project will be made during the recruitment process (if shortlisted for interview) so that your project direction is clear from the outset. The School of Biomedical Sciences website contains some example project titles.

PhD projects will be cross-disciplinary and involve at least two principal investigators from different disciplines. Additional research and transferable skills training will be offered by the programme, along with competitive funds for travel to conferences and workshops.

Please be aware that, due to the nature of the funding, this programme is open to UK/EU students only.

Fees for 2018/19

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2018/19 are as follows:

UK/EU: full-time
UK/EU: part-time

Bench fees: For postgraduate research students who are not funded by UK Research Councils or (specific) UK charities, it is usual to charge a bench fee. A bench fee covers the costs of laboratory consumables, specialist equipment and other relevant costs (e.g. training) for the duration of the programme. The bench fee charged can vary considerably depending on the nature of the programme being undertaken. Details of specific bench fee charges can be provided on request and will made clear in the offer letter sent to applicants.

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2018/19

These awards will normally only be available to nationals from the UK and EU. The BHF provides funding to cover PhD programme fees at UK/EU student rate only. Current (2017) first year stipend rates are £19,919 per annum. This is a tax-free sum and not subject to any deductions. Tuition fees as well as research costs are covered for the four years of the programme.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

The first year will provide the training and expertise required for your main project, which takes place in years two to four.

Year 1

  • A comprehensive four-week induction
  • Two four-month mini-projects tailored to the training needs and interests of the individual student
  • A final three-month block spent developing and refining the project proposal for the main PhD project in consultation with their supervisory team

Years 2-4

This will comprise the main project, co-supervised by individuals from across at least two disciplines of fundamental biology, clinical science and population health. There will be regular opportunities to present your work, both in Bristol and beyond, and regular points of interaction with other members of your cohort of students on the BHF programme, as well as other similar programmes funded in the University of Bristol.

Entry requirements

A first or upper-second class honours degree in a biomedical science discipline or closely related discipline (eg medical sciences, genetics, imaging, mathematics, computing).

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile C
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Research groups


This programme will train the next generation of cardiovascular research leaders. You will learn how to apply the latest research methodology, techniques and knowledge to help patients and the wider public.

Staff profiles

Biological and translational science

Professor Mark Cannell BSc(UCLond), PhD(UCLond), FRSNZ, (Chair in Cardiac Cell Biology), cardiac excitation-contraction coupling; cardiac rhythm

Professor Costanza Emanueli PhD(Catania), (BHF Chair of Cardiovascular Science), cardiac ischaemia therapeutics; cardiac regeneration

Professor Sarah George BSc, PhD(Wales), (Professor of Cardiovascular Signalling), atherogenesis; vascular biology; vein graft failure

Professor Jules Hancox BSc(Leeds), PhD(StAnd), (Professor of Cardiac Electrophysiology), acquired arrhythmias; cardiac electrophysiology; drug safety

Dr Ingeborg Hers MSc(Amst), PhD(Utrecht), (Reader in Pharmacology and Cell Signalling), atherothrombosis; metabolic disease; platelet signalling

Professor Paolo Madeddu, (Professor of Experimental Cardiovascular Medicine), regenerative cardiovascular medicine

Professor David Murphy BSc(Edin), PhD(Lond), (Professor of Experimental Medicine), central mechanisms of cardiovascular control; hypertension

Professor Julian Paton BSc(Birm), PhD(Lond), (Professorial Research Fellow in Physiology), autonomic cardiovascular control; hypertension

Professor Alastair Poole VetMB, MA, PhD(Cantab), MRCVS, (Professor of Pharmacology and Cell Biology), atherothrombosis; cardiac regeneration; platelet biology

Clinical science

Professor Gianni Angelini MD(Sienna), MCh(Wales), FRCS(Glas), FETCS, (BHF Professor of Cardiac Surgery and Director), cardiac surgery

Professor Raimondo Ascione MD(Naples), MSc, ChM (Bristol), FETCS, FRCS ad eundem, (Professor of Cardiac Surgery and Translational Research and Director of TBRC), cardiac regeneration; graft bioengineering; myocardial protection

Professor Massimo Caputo MD(Naples), MCh(Bristol), (Professor of Congenital Heart Surgery), congenital cardiac surgery; congenital heart defects


Professor George Davey Smith MA(Oxon), MD,BChir(Cantab), MSc(Lond), (Professor of Clinical Epidemiology), causal analysis methods; clinical and genetic epidemiology

Dr Tom Gaunt BSc, PhD(Soton), (Reader in Bioinformatics), bioinformatics; genetic epidemiology; omic integration; prediction

Professor Debbie Lawlor MSc(Lond), MBChB, PhD(Bristol), MPH(Leeds), MRCGP, MFPHM, (Professor of Epidemiology), molecular, lifecourse and clinical epidemiology; prediction; prevention

Dr Nic Timpson BA(Oxon), MSc(Oxon), PhD(Bristol), PGCHE, (Professor of Genetic Epidemiology), complex traits; genetic and lifecourse epidemiology; recall studies

How to apply
Application deadline:

To be confirmed.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 31% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 48% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 20% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 1% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

Get in touch

Mrs Lindsey Watson Graduate Administration Manager Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 1535 Email:

Faculty of Biomedical Sciences
Graduate School Office
Biomedical Sciences Building
University Walk
Bristol BS8 1TD


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