UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science


4-year PhD opportunity

This 4-year PhD programme offers an exciting opportunity for outstanding graduates to undertake research into health across the life course. The first year is spent enhancing your scientific skills through three mini-projects with different supervisors who are based at or affiliated with the LHA. The subsequent three years are spent on your chosen PhD research project.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2019

Modes and duration

Full time: 4 years


2019/20 rates: to be confirmed.
The current rate for Inside London 2018/19 is £16,777

Application dates

Close: 9th January 2019 5pm
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A first class or 2:1 UK Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate subject.  Preference will be given to candidates holding a recognised taught Master’s degree with a merit or distinction award, or with equivalent research experience.


Please check the MRC website for eligibility requirements


The MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL (LHA) is offering a new 4 year PhD programme for outstanding students across a range of different research topics. 

The mission of the LHA is to identify biological and social factors that affect lifelong health, ageing and the development of chronic disease, and to use findings to design and test interventions that enhance healthy ageing. The MRC National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD) is the core resource for this work. NSHD is a birth cohort established in 1946 with frequent follow up, and is enhanced by multidisciplinary collaboration with other national birth cohorts and population cohorts. We further aim to exchange knowledge gained with policymakers, health practitioners and other research users, and promote public understanding of healthy ageing.

 In order to provide excellent doctoral training for young scientists the Unit is offering up to three 4-year doctoral fellowships.  The first year is spent enhancing your scientific skills through three mini-projects with different supervisors who are based at or affiliated with the LHA. Cross disciplinary collaboration, including with groups outside the faculty (eg from the Faculties of Brain or Life Sciences) is encouraged.  At the end of the first year, students select a supervisor and PhD research project for years 2-4. 

During the PhD programme students will be encouraged to take part in taught methods and statistics courses, weekly student-run seminar series and present their findings at national and international conferences.

Research areas

  • Cardiology/cardiovascular science
  • Musculoskeletal metabolism
  • Acute illness and chronic function
  • Genetic epidemiology or bioinformatics
  • Quantitative social science
  • Neurovascular imaging
  • Chronic disease epidemiology
  • Life course statistics and/or causal analysis


These studentships are funded by a grant that is awarded from the MRC.


Recent graduates have taken up clinical, academic, and postdoctoral positions in the public and private sectors, nationally and internationally.


The Faculty of Population Health Sciences and specifically the MRC LHA offers a unique environment to study the biological and social mechanisms operating across the life course in relation to the life course and age-related disease.  We encourage engagement with colleagues with a wide range of professional experience in genetic epidemiology (via the UCL-LSHTM-Edinburgh-Bristol consortium of cohorts), MRI imaging, (access to experts in brain and cardiovascular imaging), basic science expertise (in collaboration with the Institute of Healthy Ageing), big data (currently the Farr Institute) and quantitative social science (with colleagues at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies).


Students are provided with a wide range of study, opportunities for networking, and career development. The institute runs a seminar programme that attracts high-profile national and international external speakers. In addition, academics have numerous national and international collaborative links with academic and commercial organisations. There is an annual careers event for students, which includes alumni, industry, healthcare and scientific publishing representatives.

Why study this degree at UCL

UCL is London’s global university, welcoming students from around the world. Set in the heart of London, the campus offers exposure to many different disciplines.  The PhD programme within the Institute will allow students to develop their research skills in a department that is internationally recognised as a world leader in epidemiology and healthy ageing research.  Students are fully supported during their studies by a panel of supervisors as well as having access to a variety of different training courses and developmental opportunities such as student led journal clubs, seminars and conferences.


How to Apply

Please submit applications to jane.johnson@ucl.ac.uk along with the relevant documents (detailed below and in the application form guidance notes). It may not be possible to acknowledge all of the applications received.

Please submit:

  • Completed Application Form
  • Two academic references using the Reference Form (sent from referees' email addresses)
  • Your up-to-date CV