PhD programme

IEU programme

 The IEU offers individual studentships once a year for set projects. When available, they are advertised on Findaphd and our current opportunities page here. 


Our ability to fully exploit new molecular and genetic technologies in epidemiology depends on a new generation of inter-disciplinary scientists who can harness the benefits of these technologies in exciting and productive ways. These innovative four-year PhD programmes equip students with the knowledge and technical skills to achieve this.

Are you:
  • a mathematician or statistician? Your expertise could contribute to causal analyses in population health. 
  • a chemist? Your knowledge could contribute to our molecular understanding of disease.
  • a computer scientist? Your skills could contribute to complex data integration and analysis.
  • a biologist or biochemist? Your expertise could contribute to our understanding of molecular pathways in disease.
  • an engineer? Your skills could contribute to new methods in wearable sensors for health research.
  • a psychologist? Your skills could contribute to understanding the links between behaviour, health and mental health.

The programme

The MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol has a 4 year inter-disciplinary PhD programme registered with the Bristol Medical School.

The aim of our Integrative Epidemiology PhD programmes is to train graduates from a wide range of disciplines (e.g. natural sciences, biostatistics, molecular genetics, econometrics, biochemistry, mathematics, statistics, physics, engineering and computational science) to integrate molecular, cellular, clinical and population data to identify the causal effects of potentially modifiable exposures on health-related outcomes.

The PhD studentship is funded for 4 years and has two components:

1) a foundation year combining specific and generic skills training with practical experience gained from undertaking three 'mini-projects' each lasting 3 months and reflecting the programmes and cross-cutting themes of the Unit. Mini projects can be chosen from a range of topics to match individual training needs:

  • Causal and translational epidemiology
  • Data mining and bioinformatics
  • Molecular/genetic sciences, including metabolomics and epigenetics and a laboratory attachment
  • Statistical and econometric methodology
  • Innovative data capture
  • Methods and cohort study methods in epidemiology

The rotations will be integrated with attendance at 1-5 day basic and advanced research skills training. Details on training courses offered.

2) a 3-Yr PhD project.

The University

All of your studies will be at the University of Bristol, a leading UK research university. The University is near the centre of Bristol, a vibrant and leading UK city.

The MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol offers an integrated approach to postgraduate education in a collaborative and multidisciplinary environment. It complements parallel PhD programmes at the University including (amongst others) those in Molecular, Genetic and Lifecourse Epidemiology; Dynamic Cell Biology; Neurosciences; and Complexity Sciences.

How to apply

We have no current vacancies. New opportunities will be advertised later in the year.

Apply online 

When applying your application must contain the following information:

  • A completed University of Bristol application form.
  • An academic curriculum vitae
  • A covering letter stating clearly that you are applying for the  4 -Year Joint MRC/University of Bristol Integrative Epidemiology Unit . The letter should include a personal  statement regarding your career aspirations.
  • A research proposal up to two A4 pages (aims, background, methods, references).  Applications received without a fully developed research proposal will be returned to the applicant, with a request for this information
  • Two academic references
  • Certified copies of degree certificates and transcripts
  • Names of supervisors with whom you have discussed your proposal

 Please email   for further details.  


The MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol provides support for four years and includes a stipend, PhD registration fees at UK rate, research expenses, travel and transferable-skills training.

This studentship is an open competition for applicants who satisfy the eligibility requirements and are awarded for a period of four years. The studentship covers university tuition fees and for those eligible, a stipend of at least  £15,609 per year. Students also receive a research budget and a travel/conference allowance of £5,300 per year.

For further details about the 4 Year MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol studentships,  please email 

Please note: Only UK residents are eligible for these programmes.

Self-funded, well-qualified UK/EU/International applicants who wish to follow this 4 year PhD model are also encouraged to apply. 

Edit this page