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Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology

Wellcome Four Year PhD Programme in Integrative Cell Mechanisms

Training the next generation of interdisciplinary scientists working to understand the living cell

University of Edinburgh

Application deadline: Monday 6 December 2023

The Wellcome Four Year PhD Programme in Integrative Cell Mechanisms (iCM) is closely associated with the Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology and trains the next generation of interdisciplinary scientists that apply quantitative methods to understand the inner workings of distinct cell types in different settings. This PhD programme combines scientific excellence with a commitment to improving the working environment and transition support for trainees. We are committed to being part of an evolving community of practitioners who will develop and share practice to bring science and culture together, placing both firmly at the heart of what we do.

iCM PhD projects are cross-disciplinary involving two primary supervisors with complementary expertise. Supervisor partnerships pair quantitative scientists with cell biologists ensuring that students develop pioneering cross-disciplinary collaborative projects to uncover cellular mechanisms relevant to health and disease.

Applications are encouraged from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds who have studied a variety of subjects including Biochemistry, Biomedical Science, Cell Biology, Chemistry, Computational Data Sciences, Engineering, Genetics, Mathematics, Molecular Biology and Physics. Students will be trained to adapt, broaden and apply their skill set to the understanding of cellular mechanisms of biomedical importance.

iCM will foster a culture of change by endeavouring to recruit cohorts with individuals from a range of backgrounds to promote awareness of the value of having diversity in each other’s knowledge base. Peer support within and between cohorts is embedded into the learning and cultural aspects of iCM through activities such as discussion-centred core modules and cohort-led public engagement projects. Frequent mentoring and career development meetings will encourage early thesis and career planning and identify any issues promptly, allowing timely engagement with a wide range of support services and guidance to manage challenges.

Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology

Copyright University of Edinburgh

Programme Details

In their first year students will undertake introductory core learning modules and rotation projects aligned with the projects on offer. The core learning modules will include technique workshops and training in critical thinking via interactive tutorial-style courses led by programme supervisors. Further training continues concurrently with PhD study.

Full time research for the PhD begins in March of the first year and will be conducted in a research group that hosted one of the rotation projects. Students will be primarily embedded in research groups with a strong track record in dissecting cellular mechanisms ranging from anti-microbial resistance, stochastic heterogeneity, epigenetic and chromatin-based regulation, control of gene expression, non-coding RNA and RNA processing, chromosome structure and segregation, cell-cycle and cell growth regulation.


Funding is provided for four years and includes a generous student stipend, tuition fees, research costs, travel and training. A unique feature of the Wellcome PhD Programmes in Science is the provision of transition funding, available to students after thesis submission, for training or work experience that will aid progress to the next stage of their career.

How to Apply

Applications from Members of groups under-represented in STEM are particularly encouraged.
For application forms and further information about the PhD Programme visit the programme website.