PhD programme

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The MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (IEU) offers a unique and vibrant training environment, working with leading researchers to solve some of the biggest challenges in population health. We welcome enthusiastic early-career scientists who are keen to join our diverse multi-disciplinary team.

Projects for 2023

About the programme

Our four-year PhD programme consists of:

  • an initial training year, in which you will carry out two 4-month mini-projects and complete short courses and training workshops. Your choice of mini-projects and training courses will be guided by discussion with your supervisors to ensure you develop the skills you need for your main PhD project
  • a 3-year PhD project that will be submitted as a thesis for the degree of PhD at the University of Bristol.

Your training year will include attendance at some of our world-leading short courses, training in coding, statistics, high performance computing and core skills such as writing research papers and presenting your research.

To be selected for the programme you will apply for a specific PhD project from one of our seven MRC-funded programmes. During your training year you will have the opportunity to refine the planned project in collaboration with your supervisors as new data become available and your knowledge and skills increase.

What we offer

  • A 4-year PhD studentship with a range of research training opportunities, including short courses in research, statistical, computational and generic skills
  • A tax-free stipend equivalent to UKRI rates (at the “outside London” level)
  • £3,000/year research costs in year 1 and £4,000/year research costs in years 2-4
  • Tuition fees for UK students.

Note: non-UK applicants must be able to fund the difference between UK and non-UK fees themselves, as this will not be funded by UKRI. Other costs for non-UK applicants (NHS surcharge and visa costs) are also not covered by this funding, and represent a significant financial commitment.

How to apply

The IEU is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and we welcome and encourage applications from all sections of the community. We are keen to recruit enthusiastic applicants from a wide range of training backgrounds who are interested in a career in health sciences. We offer cutting-edge multi-disciplinary training opportunities in integrative epidemiology.

You are strongly encouraged to contact supervisors before applying, and take the opportunity to arrange a meeting with them.

All applications must be submitted via the online application system.

Your application must include:

  • A covering letter stating that you are applying for the MRC Integrative Epidemiology PhD programme, and listing the project title and supervisor names.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV/Resume).
  • Personal statement highlighting your motivation for, and interest in, postgraduate research. We are keen to support applicants from minority and under-represented backgrounds (based on protected characteristics) and those who have experienced other challenges or disadvantages. We encourage you to use your personal statement to ensure we are aware of these factors. Maximum 1 A4 page, 11pt Arial font.
  • Research Statement: You should write a research proposal that describes the propsed project in your own words, and showing evidence of wider reading of the literature. Include “Background”, “Aims and objectives”, “Methods” and “Timeline”. Maximum 2 A4 pages, 11pt Arial font
  • References: We require two academic references.
  • Degree certificate(s) and academic transcripts
  • Evidence of meeting the English language profile as stated on the Postgraduate Prospectus


IEU PhD programme

The IEU offers 4-year PhD studentships for specific advertised projects. These are advertised on Findaphd, and we encourage you to contact supervisors before applying.

Apply now

Candidates must select the Population Health PhD programme and enter supervisor names as listed under the project title for which they are applying. Please state IEU funding in the funding box. Full details on what to include in your application can be found in the Admissions Statement.

I have really enjoyed the first few years of my PhD. Everyone at the IEU has been very friendly and welcoming, and the training and advice has been great.

Emma Hazelwood, PhD student
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