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British Heart Foundation 4-Year PhD Studentships 2021

British Heart Foundation 4-Year PhD Studentships 2021

The University of Leicester has an international reputation for excellence in cardiovascular research, with research spanning the full spectrum from bench to bedside. We are one of the few universities to hold a prestigious British Heart Foundation (BHF) Research Accelerator Award. We have hosted a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Unit in Cardiovascular Disease since 2009 and a Cardiovascular Theme is one of the three core themes of our current NIHR Biomedical Research Centre.

Additionally, we host the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration East Midlands with multiple work streams on cardiometabolic diseases.

The University of Leicester has an excellent track-record of high-quality PhD training, and many students receiving national/international prizes. The University currently has over 1,700 PhD students and runs a number of successful 3.5- or 4-year doctoral training programmes (DTPs) funded by the MRC, BBSRC, ESRC, NERC, AHRC and Wellcome Trust, respectively. The BHF 4-year PhD Programme will be set within a vibrant training environment, alongside the other DTPs, with well-established training and management infrastructure.

Our BHF 4-year PhD programme provides tailored training in cardiovascular sciences and includes broad training in general research and transferrable skills. Five fully-funded studentships (3 funded by BHF and 2 by the University) are available annually, starting in September each year.

Key features of the Programme

  • The Programme incorporates an MRes in Cardiovascular Science in year 1 followed by a PhD project in years 2-4. Students who successfully complete this 4-year training programme will gain both an MRes CVS degree and a PhD degree.
  • The MRes in the first year enables students from different backgrounds to develop a sound knowledge-base of cardiovascular sciences and a wide range of research and technical skills, for a solid preparation for their PhD. The MRes includes also mini-projects providing the opportunity for students to broaden their research experience and to input into the design of their final PhD project.
  • There are opportunities for students to undertake projects under the guidance of principal investigators with world-leading expertise in a cutting-edge research area such as cardiovascular genomics, proteomics, biomarker discovery, data science, lifestyle risk factors, clinical translational research, and interdisciplinary cardiovascular research.
  • Each studentship provides an attractive stipend (£19,919 per annum) and covers tuition fees at standard home student rate.


Applicants for the Programme must hold a UK undergraduate (Bachelors) degree with at least first class or upper second class honours, or a UK MSc with merit or distinction, or an equivalent qualification from a recognised overseas institution. International students will need to satisfy the English language entry requirements (

Funding and stipend

All entrants into this PhD programme receive prestigious funding, which covers the tuition fees at standard home student rate and provides a tax-free stipend start at £19,919 per annum and associated research consumables.

Exceptional candidates who qualify as international students will be considered, but must pay the difference between UK and overseas fees themselves.

Making an application

To apply for a place in this Programme, you are required to complete follow the guidance and complete an online application from here.

Initial deadline for Applications: 28th February 2021.

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