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NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre 4-year PhD studentship programme

NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre 4-year PhD studentship programme

We are seeking an enthusiastic health researcher, social scientist or clinically qualified candidate with skills in qualitative methods, health research or patient-orientated approaches to join the next generation of inter-disciplinary researchers who will improve people’s health through developing new approaches for improving surgical outcomes. Our innovative four-year PhD programme offers you the opportunity to develop the knowledge and technical skills to become a future leader in surgical and orthopaedic research.

The successful candidate can choose from three potential projects, which are available on the programme website, with details of supervisors. There are opportunities for applicants to adapt example projects or propose their own project ideas, but these will need to be within the remit of the Bristol BRC. We strongly encourage applicants who wish to propose their own projects to discuss this with potential supervisors before submitting their application. We provide support for four years, which includes a stipend at UKRI rates, PhD registration fees (UK), and funds for research expenses and travel. Clinically qualified candidates may choose to complete the programme in 3 years.

Programme structure

This studentship is fully funded for 4 years. Our PhD programme has two major components:

  1. Your first year will combine specific and generic skills training with practical experience gained from undertaking a four-month ‘mini project’. The mini-projects are integrated with training from a menu of 1-5 day short courses which you will select on the basis of experience and training needs. These courses cover qualitative research skills, study design, reproducible research and other research skills. You will also have the opportunity to attend external specialist courses and international meetings.
  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.

Towards the end of your studentship a range of training opportunities are available to support your transition into the next stage of your career.

About us

All your studies will be in the Bristol Medical School at the University of Bristol, a leading UK research university. The university is near the centre of Bristol, a vibrant city in the South West of England. You will be part of the NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre, which focuses on early phase translational and experimental medicine research.

How to apply

One studentship is available with a start date of October 2023. You will need to apply online at Please check the programme website for details of what is required.

Closing date: 11:59 GMT, 21st July 2023 for 1 studentship to start in October 2023 (non-clinical) or by October 2024 (clinical).

Interviews will be held in week commencing 31st July 2023. Shortlisted applicants will be asked to give a 5 minute presentation on their preferred project at interview outlining background, objectives, methods and training plan.

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