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PhD in Integrative Epidemiology 3.5 year programme

MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit 4-year PhD Programme

New molecular and genetic technologies are transforming our understanding of health and disease. We are training a new generation of inter-disciplinary scientists who can harness the benefits of these technologies in exciting and productive ways. Our 4-year PhD programme is open to graduates from all science/technology subjects. If you are interested in a PhD in population health research we would love to hear from you!

The Programme

The MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit offers a 4 year inter-disciplinary PhD programme in a world-class research environment. The aim of our programme is to train graduates from a wide range of disciplines (e.g. natural sciences, biostatistics, genetics, econometrics, biochemistry, mathematics, statistics, physics, engineering and computer science) to integrate molecular, cellular, clinical and population data to identify the causal effects of potentially modifiable exposures on health-related outcomes.


We strongly encourage applications from other disciplines, for example:

  • Are you an engineer? Your engineering skills can contribute to new ways to measure disease risk traits in the population.
  • Are you a computer scientist? Your computational skills can help us explore the wealth of complex health data to discover new drug targets and disease risk factors.
  • Are you a statistician? Your statistical knowledge can measure the burden of disease in the population, or inform new health policy.
  • Are you a chemist? Your chemistry knowledge can be applied to metabolomics or proteomics research into the causes of cancer.

Our community of researchers come from many different scientific backgrounds, and our PhD programme and training environment will provide non-epidemiologists with the necessary training to apply their skills in this field.

MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit 4-year PhD Programme

Programme structure

The PhD studentships are funded for 4 years and have two components:

  1. Our foundation year combines specific and generic skills training with practical experience gained from undertaking three 'mini-projects'. Your 10-week mini-projects can be chosen from a range of topics to match your training needs and interests:
    • Causal and translational epidemiology
    • Data mining and bioinformatics
    • Molecular/genetic sciences, including metabolomics and epigenetics and a laboratory attachment
    • Statistical and econometric methodology
    • Innovative Data capture
    • Methods in Epidemiology

    You will have the opportunity to integrate these rotations with your choice of 1-5 day basic and advanced research skills training short courses.

  2. Years 2-4 are spent undertaking your main PhD research project. You will be encouraged to continue attending courses and conferences throughout your studentship, with a focus on presenting your results at international conferences towards the end of your project.

The University

All of your studies will be at the University of Bristol, a leading UK research university. The university is near the centre of Bristol, a vibrant and leading UK city.

The MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol offers an integrated approach to postgraduate education in a collaborative and multidisciplinary environment. It complements parallel PhD programmes at the University, including (amongst others) those in: Molecular, Genetic and Lifecourse Epidemiology; Dynamic Cell Biology; Neuroscience; and Systems Biology.

How to Apply

The MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol provides support for four years and includes a stipend of at least £14,296 per annum (tax free). The studentship also funds PhD registration fees at the UK rate, research expenses of at least £21,000, travel and transferable-skills training. These studentships are in open competition for applicants who satisfy the eligibility requirements. Please note that only UK residents should apply. You should have resided within the UK for 3 years prior to application and have no visa restrictions.

For further details about the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol studentships, potential topics and supervisors please email [email protected]

Closing date: 19th December 2016 for 2 studentships to start in October 2017

Interviews will be held 24th January 2017

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