UCL Institute of Ophthalmology



The Institute of Ophthalmology is a vibrant and stimulating learning environment in which to carry out postgraduate research. Postgraduate students are supervised by internationally renowned experts in their field with access to state-of-the-art laboratories. In addition, our close contacts with clinicians in Moorfields Eye Hospital allows for rapid translation of basic research to address clinically relevant eye diseases and disorders.

Postgraduate students at the Institute are fully integrated into university life at UCL and will benefit, academically and personally, from the services and facilities of the university’s Graduate School, plus accessing social and sporting facilities through the UCL Union.

There are two main types of research degree opportunities:

PhD Studentships provide funding that cover tuition fees, student living expenses and often some research expenses. Usually they will have been awarded to specific supervisors or programmes. Any Institute of Ophthalmology studentships will be featured here, but you may also want to regularly check relevant websites.

Studentships Available

We are currently recruiting two funded PhD studentships.

Project details: Bill Brown Studentship funded by Moorfields Eye Charity

Dept/School: Institute of Ophthalmology

Project Supervisors: Prof Philip Luthert and Prof Clare Futter

Funding Availability: Directly funded Project (European/UK Students Only)

Application Deadline: 21st October 2016

Age-related macular disease (AMD) is the cause of over half of the cases of visual impairment in the UK but early intervention in the disease before the onset of blinding complications is not currently possible. We are looking for highly motivated candidates with excellent scientific potential for two studentships at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology aimed at increasing our understanding of early events leading to AMD, to identify novel avenues for therapeutic intervention.

Project 1:

Title: Building predictive computational models of how debris outside of cells is cleared into the circulation and how this might fail in AMD. Supervised by Professor Philip Luthert.

Project 2:

Title: Modelling the role of lysosome dysfunction in the retinal pigment epithelium in the development of early age-related macular disease. Supervised by Professor Clare Futter.

Speculative opportunities - If you can’t find a studentship in a research project that interests you or you have your own funding, the best way to find a PhD project is to approach a potential supervisor directly. Exceptional students, that meet the entrance requirements, are encouraged to be proactive to identify opportunities with UCL academics whose recent research closely matches their interests.

A summary of the research interests of each of our supervisors can be found on the webpage of each principal investigator.

You may also wish to:

  • browse the UCL's online Graduate Prospectus to find centres of research in your area of interest. Click through to the department or centre website to find staff profiles.
  • search our online research repository (UCL Discovery) where UCL’s research papers are published, subject to approvals. If you identify a research paper that particularly interests you it is likely that one of the authors would be a suitable research supervisor.

If an academic is very impressed with your research experience and proposal they may be able to help you to identify sources of funding, including from their own, or departmental, research funds. There are also UCL scholarships that they can nominate you for.