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4 year DPhil (PhD) in Cardiovascular Science

Image Credit: Dr Eileen McNeill, Dr Asif Iqbal and Prof. David R Greaves

4 year DPhil (PhD) in Cardiovascular Science

Doctoral Programme, 2022 Entry

Cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes, remains the leading cause of premature death and disability in Europe and the USA. The need for a better understanding of the underlying disease processes and improved treatments for cardiovascular disease has spurred intense research into the basic biology of the heart and arteries in medical schools around the world.

Cardiovascular science is the primary research focus of around 30 different research groups within the University of Oxford. There are currently approximately 250 scientists and clinicians directly engaged in cardiovascular research in Oxford, covering all aspects of cardiovascular science including cardiac imaging, cell signalling, clinical trials & human genetics, developmental biology & regenerative medicine, myocardial biology, integrated physiology and vascular biology. There are multiple collaborations within and between different departments and research themes and research interactions have been greatly enhanced and facilitated by a British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) award, one of only six in the UK.

The British Heart Foundation funds a 4 year DPhil (PhD) in Cardiovascular Science at the University of Oxford. This DPhil programme is aimed at basic science graduates who want to undertake advanced research into cardiovascular disease and is open to applications from both life science and non-life science graduates. A maximum of four BHF Non-Clinical studentships are available for entry to the programme in October 2022. There are restrictions on eligibility for these studentships and you are encouraged to review these before applying (see Admissions Process).

There are seven research themes for the programme:

  • Atherosclerosis, Diabetes and Inflammation (Academic lead Charis Antoniades)
  • Cardiac Biology and Imaging (Academic lead Craig Lygate)
  • Cardiac Signalling and Metabolism (Academic lead Manuela Zaccolo)
  • Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine (Academic lead Nicola Smart)
  • Endothelial Cell and Vascular Biology (Academic Lead Kim Dora)
  • Contemporary Techniques and Technologies (Academic Lead Blanca Rodriguez)
  • Target Discovery and Chemical Biology (Academic Lead Angela Russell)

Structure and Organisation of the Programme

The programme provides students with a coordinated programme of post-graduate tutorials and talks in their first year and research experience in more than one laboratory. This is followed by a three year research project, under the supervision of two supervisors.

First year taught components are tailored for individual students, to complement their undergraduate studies and to provide a grounding in cardiovascular biology for their DPhil research project.

The first term of study will include a series of weekly graduate tutorials and ‘micro-rotations’ a series of visits to multiple research laboratories in Oxford where students meet with graduate students and principal investigators working in all seven research themes before choosing two laboratory ‘mini rotations’ of 10 weeks’ duration.

Previous BHF 4-year PhD studentship awards have fostered productive research collaborations between different cardiovascular research groups through co-supervision of PhD students resulting in papers in peer-reviewed journals and patent applications in the UK and US.

All applications must be received by the deadline of 12 noon UK time Friday 3 December 2021.

Click for more information on this programme, BHF studentships & how to apply.

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