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International PhD Academy: Medical Research

International PhD Academy: Medical Research

The International PhD Academy: Medical Research is based in the Leeds Institute of Medical Research at the University of Leeds, St James’s University Hospital Campus. Our vision is to impact locally, nationally and globally on biomedical and clinical research with a primary emphasis on health outcomes. We bring together scientists and clinicians to focus collaboratively on biomedical research and its translation to the benefit of patients. We train the next generation of scientists through state-of-the-art research-led teaching.

You will be part of a prestigious, research-intensive Russell Group university. We are ranked in the top ten universities in the UK and top 40 International universities in the World by the Times Good University Guide 2020 and 2021. Furthermore, we were awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework, the highest award possible, reflecting the quality of our teaching. Here, you will have an exceptional student experience.

Take advantage of this life-changing opportunity. You will gain skills that will be invaluable to you, personally and professionally; be mentored by experts who share your research interest and passion; make an impact and learn how to define problems and find the answers. Research will be at the heart of your studies and you'll hear about new discoveries as they're happening.

International PhD Academy: Medical Research

We offer a duel PhD structure of 4 or 3 years dependent on individual students background.

The 4-year PhD programme is tailored to train and equip you with the necessary knowledge and research skills to embark on your PhD project. The programme is especially suitable for candidates who have limited research experience and for students who already have a MSc but wish to update their skills or change research area. The first year combines taught modules and two mini research projects to provide you with in-depth specialist scientific knowledge and research skills relevant to your PhD. The PhD research project will occupy years 2-4. The design of the 4-year PhD programme allows the creation of a personalised programme for each student with complementary modules chosen to meet your specific development needs relevant not only to your PhD, but your future career and employability.

We also offer a three year PhD through our Academy for applicants with suitable research experience, or with a Masters degree featuring research modules in a relevant field.

Examples of future career paths for some of our recent international PhD graduates include Post-Doctoral Fellowships within the UK or USA or have been promoted to Faculty Academic Positions (Lecturer and Senior Lecturer) within their home institution.

This programme is only available to self-funded students. Applications with government scholarships or other sources are welcome at any time though the Academy has one intake per year for the 4-year PhD programme in mid-September 2021 with 5 places available for 2021. Self-funded applicants must be able to provide overseas rate University Tuition Fees (see Leeds University Website) plus laboratory consumable costs for years 2-4 (ranging from £10,000 to £15,000 per year). This is in addition to the provision of personal living expenses.

International PhD Academy: Medical Research

Available projects

A range of projects are available in the following research areas:

  • Cancer biology
  • Diagnostics & Pathology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Genetics
  • Haematology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Translational Medicine

For further information about available projects and how to apply please visit our website.

Enquiries regarding the application process should be directed to the Faculty of Medicine and Health Graduate School ( Informal enquires about regarding the bespoke taught first year of the PhD programme can be made to the academic team (

Project Listings

Cancer: Inhibiting cell metabolism to enhance tumour cell deathDetails
Cancer: Repurposing drugs as new treatments for breast cancerDetails
Cancer: Why and how do brain tumour cells invade ‘mini-brains’?Details
Clinical Gastroenterology: Investigation of Fidaxomicin Resistance Mechanisms in Clostridium difficileDetails
Clinical Gastroenterology: The regulation of GDH expression in Clostridioides difficileDetails
Clinical: Gastroesophageal reflux in respiratory disease: pathogenic role and improved managementDetails
Genetics: Genetic studies of developmental eye disorders to investigate genotype-phenotype correlationsDetails
Genetics: Investigating the molecular basis of optic nerve degeneration in glaucoma to try and develop a personalized medicine strategy for treatmentDetails
Haematology: Oncogenic reprogramming of immune cellsDetails
Immunotherapy: Killing Cancer using Dead VirusDetails
Immunotherapy: Manipulating T cell metabolism to improve anti-tumour immunityDetails
Virology: Sun exposure as a novel risk factor for Zika virus infectionDetails
Virology: Unique Antiviral Therapy targeting Zika and Related VirusesDetails