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Mechanics of Life Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship Programme MPhil / PhD

Mechanics of Life Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship Programme MPhil / PhD


The Mechanics of Life Doctoral Scholarship Programme is a multi-disciplinary doctoral training scheme funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

This Programme aims to train future research leaders to tackle key outstanding questions in biology from a distinctly mechanical perspective. It will train interdisciplinary scientists to develop new techniques, methodologies and analytical tools required to resolve outstanding challenges underpinning Mechanobiology across a broad range of biological themes.

The course is unique to the UK and Europe it will build on current research and is complemented by the establishment of a wider international partnership.

Duration: 3.5 years

Study mode: Full-time


This doctoral scholarship programme is for physical and biological scientists - physicists, chemists, mathematicians, engineers, biophysicists, microbiologists, biochemists and related disciplines - who have an interest in unlocking the complexity and challenges of mechanobiology.

Students will be supported by two project co-supervisors. When possible one will be a physical scientist and the other a life scientist who are both fully committed to an interdisciplinary training approach.

Postgraduate training

The training included on the programme will include:

  • King’s central resources, encompassing transferrable skills training,
  • Tailored workshops in research integrity and ethics and Entrepreneurship, complemented by Bespoke resources, including a Mechanobiology bootcamp,
  • Research seminars delivered by the supervisory team, focusing on specific techniques and their applicability to research questions relevant to mechanobiology. These seminars will provide breadth to student education in mechanobiology that complements the focused, in-depth project-based research.
  • When possible, students will be encouraged to undertake a placement of up to 3 months.
  • Seminar Series - monthly research colloquia with speakers drawn from the Leverhulme PhD supervisor pool as well as outstanding external scientists. Speakers will target their talks to the level and scientific background of PhD students and aim to give ‘big picture’ insight into their research field and how it fits within the broader context of mechanobiology.
  • Annual Symposium. This two-day annual event will include scientific sessions that cover the breadth of interdisciplinary research fields included in the doctoral Programme and will feature first class national and international speakers who are invited by the students. Students will showcase their work with posters.

Head of group/division

Professor Sergi Garcia-Manyes, Director

Doctor Katelyn Spillane, Co-Director

Professor Juan Martin-Serrano

Professor Jody Rosenblatt

Professor Malcolm Irving


Fees and funding

Studentship Award and Eligibility

All studentships are funded awards for 3.5 years and include tuition fees, stipend, and a research and training support grant (RTSG).

Tuition fees: All tuition fees will be fully covered by the Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship Programme.

Stipend: Students will receive a tax-free stipend for each year of study at UKRI rates. For 2021/22, the stipend will be £17,285 per annum.

RTSG: A generous allowance will be provided for research-related costs, including consumables, attendance at UK and international conferences, and training.

Eligibility: Both UK and overseas students are eligible to apply.

How to Apply

Applications are now open for October 2021 entry. The Doctoral Scholarship Programme will be considering applications in several rounds until all places have been filled. The next application deadline is 22nd May 2021.

Further details about how to apply can be on the King’s College London website using the link below.

Please note that we do not accept CVs via email, to apply you will need to complete an application through the application portal.