UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


UCL PhD studentship in Kidney Research

Using three-dimensional human vessels in a dish to understand cardiovascular disease in children with chronic kidney disease.

A 3-year PhD Studentship funded by Kidney Research UK is available in the Kidney Development and Disease group https://www.ich-kidney.co.uk/ within the Developmental Biology and Cancer Research and Teaching Department, Great Ormond Street UCL Institute of Child Health. The studentship will commence at the start of 2023 under the supervision of Professor David Long and Professor Rukshana Shroff.


Project description

The aim of the studentship is to develop a human model to investigate changes in blood vessels that occur in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD). To do this, the student will utilise 3-dimensional human vascular organoids from stem cells, which when exposed to a milieu of growth factors self-assemble into vessel networks. We will use the organoids to (i) examine how blood vessels change when exposed to serum from children with CKD and (ii) establish a model of vascular calcification to test therapeutic drugs. This project will allow a student to establish their research career in a dynamic laboratory which is developing new treatments for children with kidney disease. They will learn cutting-edge techniques such as organoid culture, three-dimensional imaging, analysis of blood vessel function and structure and genomic techniques. The PhD student will also obtain generic skills by attending relevant courses run by UCL. 

The student will receive a starting stipend of £19,668 per annum (including London weighting) as well as the cost of tuition fees based on UK fee status. 

Personal Specification

Applicants should have a good first degree (UK 1st class or upper 2nd class honours degree or equivalent from abroad) and a Master’s degree (or equivalent work experience) in a relevant discipline by the time of registration.


This studentship covers the cost of tuition fees based on the UK (Home) rate.  Non-UK students can apply but will have to personally fund the difference between the UK (Home) rate and the overseas rate where they are not eligible for UK fee status.

NB: You will be asked about your likely fee status at the interview so we would advise you to contact the UCL Graduate Admissions Office for advice should you be unsure whether or not you meet the eligibility criteria for Home fee status.  Further information on Brexit and the definitions for fee status assessment can be found on the UCL website and also the UKCISA website (Higher Education: Definitions for fee status assessment).


To apply, please send a current CV including the contact details of two professional referees as well as a cover letter to ich.dbc.admin@ucl.ac.uk. Enquiries regarding the post can be made to Professor Long, d.long@ucl.ac.uk .

Deadline for receipt of applications: 5pm, Friday 25th November

Interview date: TBD