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Fully Funded 4-Year Cheney Scholarship PhD Programme in In Situ Structural Biology

Fully Funded 4-Year Cheney Scholarship PhD Programme in In Situ Structural Biology

Our programme

Exciting new developments in imaging and structural methods, known as “in situ structural biology”, can reveal the structure and behaviour of biological macromolecules inside healthy and diseased cells and tissues. The pioneering Cheney Scholarship 4-year PhD programme at the University of Leeds will train the next generation of researchers to exploit these new developments across a broad range of research areas with a great potential for translation.

This unique PhD programme will bring together world-leading research from the Faculty of Biological Sciences and the Leeds Biomedical Research Centre based in the Faculty of Medicine and Health. It will be housed in a brand-new, state-of-the-art hub: the Cheney Biomedical Accelerator. This exciting hub has been enabled by a philanthropic gift from Peter and Susan Cheney. The Cheney Biomedical Accelerator will incorporate advanced facilities to enable a novel approach for scientists and clinicians to work together, helping to fast-track the rate at which discovery can lead to translation and addressing some of the currently intractable questions in biomedicine.

The new facilities in the Cheney Biomedical Accelerator, alongside facilities for light and electron microscopy within the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology are state-of-the-art. These include in-house access to focused ion beam milling, cryo-electron microscopy/ tomography, super-resolution light microscopy, NMR, Mass Spectrometry, high-speed AFM and much more. We provide a vibrant, interdisciplinary environment with an outstanding positive research culture, where a new generation of scientists who are passionate about doing cutting edge research can flourish.

The aims of the programme are to understand life in molecular detail, and to understand how changes in protein structure in situ lead to dysregulation and disease, The Cheney Biomedical Accelerator will advance our ability to translate fundamental science towards treatments that benefit patients. This is a new multi-year PhD programme, and applications are now invited for up to 2 new scholarships, commencing October 2024. The application deadline is Tuesday 7th May 2024 and interviews will take place on Thursday 16th May 2024.

Students working in the laboratory


Applicants must be eligible under the UK Home Fees status criteria. You should have, or expecting to obtain, a first class undergraduate degree (British Bachelors Honours degree or equivalent) or an upper second class undergraduate degree alongside a Master degree in a relevant area. This could include: biochemistry, biological sciences, structural biology, biomedical sciences, imaging, chemistry or physics. Applicants must not already hold a doctoral degree. We welcome applicants from all suitably qualified candidates and particularly encourage applications from under-represented groups. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of candidate potential. Applicants whose first language is not English must meet the Programme's English Language requirements, where applicable.


These 4-year scholarships will cover the cost of academic fees (at the UK Home Fee rate for postgraduate researchers) and an enhanced PhD stipend (£21,099 - £23,055 per year, based on 2023/24 rates). Scholarship also includes budgets for research consumables, facility access, training, and funding to attend relevant scientific meetings.

Find out more

Detailed information about our programme can be found on our website. For more details around key dates and how to apply please see our scholarship web page. You can also contact us at