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The British Heart Foundation 4-year PhD programme in Cardiovascular Science

The British Heart Foundation 4-year PhD programme in Cardiovascular Science

The University of Edinburgh, a world-leading institution for biomedical research, invites applications to The British Heart Foundation 4-year PhD programme in Cardiovascular Science. This prestigious research and training programme is focused on identifying causative mechanisms of cardiovascular disease.

We are currently offering 4 studentships to start in September 2021.

Research environment

The programme is held by the University/British Heart Foundation Centre for Cardiovascular Science. Research is investigator-led based around four focal disease themes:Metabolism Obesity and Diabetes, Cardiovascular Injury, Repair & Regeneration; Hypertension & Renal; Cardiometabolic Imaging and Data Science. Supported by excellent core research facilities, our experimental strategy spans molecular genetics, cell biology, in vivo physiology and experimental medicine. Our training emphasizes translation and encourages integration of diverse skills in multidisciplinary research projects.

Programme Structure

The first year of training involves three assessed laboratory-based research projects that develop key research and analytical skills. There may be options to pursue one of these research projects with our international collaborators across Europe and beyond. The core hands-on training is enhanced by Investigator-led small group tutorials highlighting recent advances in the literature. Workshops to develop transferrable skills, including critical reading, scientific presentation/writing and project planning as well as research ethics are also a key component of the training. Options are available for students to gain official recognition for training and contributions to public outreach, entrepreneurship, bioinformatics and other extracurricular activities.

PhD project

Project matching is a student-driven process and takes place towards the end of the first year. The experience gained during the first year enables each student to make an informed choice of research area/supervisory team, supported in this process by the Programme Directors, Professors Nik Morton and Matt Bailey. The PhD is undertaken from years 2-4 of the Programme and is distinct from the Masters.


Candidates will be promising and motivated students wishing to develop a career in cardiovascular research. Applicants will have a BSc (Hons) degree (First or Upper Second class or equivalent) or a Masters qualification (Distinction or Merit) in the biomedical sciences, including (bio)informatics, computational science and related disciplines that lend their expertise to the pursuit of the BHFs aims to address the burden of heart and circulatory disease. Previous research experience is desirable. It is expected that students will be informed about research within the Centre’s themes and be able to articulate interest in specific research areas.

We especially encourage applications from non-traditional backgrounds and those from under-represented groups. The University of Edinburgh holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. We are members of the Race Equality Charter and we are also Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champions, actively promoting LGBT equality.

A generous tax-free stipend, research costs and tuition fees are provided. International (including EU) fee waivers are available for successful candidates. Please verify your fee status with the University's Registry before making your application and consider the potential for visa costs at the outset.

Enquiries and Information

Please consult the website or contact Professor Nik Morton ( for further information.


Please include a one-page personal statement highlighting your motivation for applying to Edinburgh and indicating areas of our research in which you are interested as well as your CV and two academic references. All documents should be sent or emailed to:

Lynn Meikle
Centre for Cardiovascular Science
The Queen’s Medical Research Institute
47 Little France Crescent,
Edinburgh, EH16 4TJ. Tel: +44(0) 131 242 6724

Closing date: March 31st 2021
Interview date: Late April TBC

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