UCL Logo


PhD Opportunities
PhD studentships at the Health Behaviour Research Centre (HBRC)
Current PhD Students
What the PhD students at HBRC say
What do our PhD students do next?
Frequently asked questions

PhD Opportunities
Students with excellent academic backgrounds, who are interested in conducting projects within the diet, smoking or screening areas of the HBRC's research interests, are encouraged to make contact and apply for studentships. As funding become available, studentships are advertised on the Epidemiology and Public Health website: www.ucl.ac.uk/epidemiology/vacancies

PhD studentships at the Health Behaviour Research Centre (HBRC)
HBRC PhD students are registered for their PhD at University College London (UCL), which offers a wide range of opportunities for academic, professional and personal development. With its central location, the HBRC is ideally suited for those wanting to explore the wealth of activities London has to offer. UCL has a very active student body, and with over 60 research students from various countries, the HBRC alone provides a supportive and socially integrative environment for new students. Visit the UCL Graduate School website for more information about the School and its facilities. Within UCL, the HBRC is part of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Professor Jane Wardle is Director of the HBRC and Professor Robert West is deputy director responsible for tobacco research.

The HBRC provides a dynamic and interactive environment where staff and students work closely together to achieve research outcomes of the highest international standard. There is a strong emphasis in the department to nurture creative scientific thinking. Students are encouraged from the very beginning to develop their independent thinking and to participate in the scientific discourse of their topic area. Regular meetings of the individual research groups ensure that emerging information from different angles of each respective field of research is shared and discussed, keeping all members equally up-to date. The meetings also provide a space to share and develop ideas and to think freely and creatively abut ways to drive the field of health behaviour research forward. Frequent seminars featuring external speakers enable staff and students to naturally build and maintain a knowledge base outside their specialized areas of research.

Collaborations with national and international institutions provide a platform for students to build wide-reaching networks during their training at the HBRC. Students are also encouraged to attend UK and international conferences to present their work and to become a part of the scientific community.

A key point in student's progress is a presentation and viva completed in the second year as part of upgrading their registration from MPhil to PhD. Throughout the PhD, students have access to specialised IT and training workshops provided by UCL Graduate School.

Current PhD Students
Our current PhD students work on a variety of projects, including barriers to the uptake of cancer screening, reasons for delaying cancer diagnosis, the genetic roots of obesity in children and adults, the contribution of the home environment to childhood obesity, novel methods to motivate behaviour change, and the causes and consequences of illicit tobacco use. For detailed profiles of our current PhD students please click on the pictures below.

What the PhD students at HBRC say……
"The HBRC is an exciting, fun and dynamic place to work. Everyone is willing to help each other out, making for a supportive environment and exposure to different research areas. It's also an internationally recognised department so is an excellent place to start your career in academia." (Chloe, 2nd Year PhD student)

"There is a focus on writing papers up for publication from day one, which is good for building up your CV and for career development." (Clare, 2nd Year PhD student)

"The HBRC is a progressive and stimulating place to work because our work links to government policy and practice - the department is often asked to inform and influence policy and our research concerns real life. We also have opportunities to be involved in media coverage of our research." (Laura, 3rd Year PhD student)

"There is excellent social support and camaraderie from other PhD students and staff. We also have regular/daily access to supervisors and everyone is really approachable no matter what their seniority is." (Alice, 2nd Year PhD student)

What do our PhD students do next?
Completing a PhD at the HBRC provides a strong foundation for a career inside and outside academia. Most of our students stay in academia, taking up research/teaching positions in the UK and around the world. For example, students have gone on to work in the US (e.g. New York Obesity Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine) and Australia (University of Sydney).

Frequently asked questions
Who should apply?
We invite talented and motivated individuals to apply for our PhD studentships. Applicants should be recent graduates or final year students on target to receive a 2:1 or 1st class honours degree in an appropriate subject (e.g. psychology). An MSc is desirable for applicants for the 3 year studentships Applicants should also satisfy UCL's English language requirements.

How does funding work?
PhD students in the HBRC are mostly funded by MRC and CR-UK. Non-taxable living stipends are usually awarded, and funding covers the cost of tuition fees and running expenses. For more information on potential avenues for funding within UCL please visit the Scholarships and Funding website. The HBRC advertises new PhD studentships on jobs.ac.uk.

Can international students apply?
Yes, students from all countries are invited to apply for graduate studentships, but the studentships only cover the European Union level of fees.

What degree will I receive?
You will be registered at and awarded your PhD degree by University College London (UCL).
If I am successful, when will I start my PhD?
Most students commence their PhD in September or October.

Who should I contact for further information about the HBRC?
For general enquiries about the Health Behaviour Research Centre, please contact Merle Owens on:
Tel. +44 (0)20 7679 1720
Fax +44 (0)20 7679 8354
Email: merle.owens@ucl.ac.uk

This page last modified 10 Oct, 2011 by Mark Livermore

UCL people

University College London- Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT - Telephone: +44 (0)20 7679 1720 - © 2010 UCL

Search by Google
Tobacco Group Diet and Obesity Group Cancer Screening Group Sam Smith Alison Fildes Alex Ghanouni Clare Llewellyn Susanne Meisel Sarah Young