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PhD Studentship in Genomic and Environmental Medicine

   MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health

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  Prof Deborah Jarvis, Dr Andre Amaral  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Three-year PhD studentship jointly funded by the Medical Research Council Centre for Environment and Health (MRC-CEH) and the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI)

We invite applications for three-year PhD studentship based within Genomic and Environmental Medicine at the NHLI, Imperial College. These are jointly funded by the MRC-CEH and NHLI.

The MRC-CEH trains and develops the next generation of academic and policy leaders in the field of environment and health research. These PhDs, in addition, will focus on the development of knowledge and skills within the field of respiratory health. Successful candidates will be supported by a training programme within the MRC-CEH and within Imperial College. 

The NHLI-based group utilises large scale population/occupational-based epidemiological studies and ‘big data’ (e.g. primary care electronic health records). Research includes:

  • occupational causes of respiratory disease, work-related respiratory disability; laboratory-based investigations of occupational allergy/immunology,
  • national and international (including low- and middle-income countries) cross-sectional/cohort studies of asthma, allergy and COPD
  • role of indoor/outdoor pollutants and vegetation (pollen, green spaces) on respiratory disease
  • investigation of genetic risk factors for respiratory disease

We seek outstanding candidates with an interest in environmental research, as related to respiratory health, and with experience in, at least one of, the following research areas:

  • Observational epidemiology
  • Occupational respiratory medicine
  • Medical statistics, biostatistics, statistical genetics
  • Non-communicable respiratory disease and global health
  • Molecular signatures of exposures and disease pathways


Candidates should hold, or achieve by the start of the programme, a Master's degree, in addition to a Bachelor's degree with a UK First- or Upper Second-Class honours grade or equivalent, in a relevant life science or quantitative science subject. Candidates must have strong statistical/computational skills.

Candidates MUST start the PhD by 1 April 2023 at the latest.

Applications from unsuccessful candidates in previous recruitment rounds for MRC-CEH/NHLI studentships will not be considered.

Funding notes - £19,668

Studentships include funding for HOME (UK/Ireland) tuition fees, plus stipend (£19,668 per annum).

  • Candidates from any nationality may apply.
  • Successful non-UK/Ireland candidates MUST pay the difference between Home and International tuition fees (for 2022/2023, this difference was £35,310 per year). 

Potential projects are described below. Applicants with relevant knowledge, skills and ambition outside the scope of the projects listed are encouraged to apply (relevant projects will be identified following successful interview).

How to Apply

Please complete the application form here (https://environment-health.ac.uk/nhli-phd-studentships/ ) and email to Dr Andre Amaral ([Email Address Removed]). Queries to Professor Deborah Jarvis ([Email Address Removed]).

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Closing date: 30 November 2022.

Applicants unable to attend interview in person will undergo an online interview and be invited for a second face-to-face meeting before confirmation of offer.

Both the MRC-CEH Centre and NHLI are committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment.

Potential projects

The role of pollen and pollution on asthma severity and progression using large population-based epidemiological studies in the UK. This project will use routinely collected de-identified primary care electronic healthcare record data as well as data from the large UK Biobank cohort to explore the relationship between pollen and pollution, as well as their interaction, on the incidence and progression of asthma. Primary Supervisor: Prof. Jennifer Quint; Co-supervisor: Dr Elaine Fuertes

The effect of the indoor environment on asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This project will use data from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) to test the hypothesis that adverse indoor exposures have a detrimental effect on the onset and exacerbation of asthma and COPD. Primary Supervisor: Dr Andre Amaral; Co-supervisor: Dr Elaine Fuertes

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