UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Academic Neurorehabilitation PhD programme

UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and the Wellington Hospital are delighted to provide a new fellowship scheme for junior doctors.

Brain network diagram

The new fellowship scheme offers junior doctors an opportunity to study for a PhD in Neurorehabilitation at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, while working at the UK's largest private hospital providing specialist acute and early multidisciplinary inpatient rehabilitation after neurological events.

This programme offers a unique opportunity for PhD research in all aspects of neurorehabilitation. Within our programme, we study the behavioural and neural basis of healthy and pathological movement, develop scientifically motivated approaches to neurologic rehabilitation, deliver step-changing improvements in outcome for patients with neurological disability due to acquired brain injury, and provide world-class training in basic and translational research for future generations of students working in academic neurorehabilitation.

The UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology has an unrivalled core of senior academic neurologists and neuroscientists who share the vision of advancing neurorestorative neurology through world-class research and clinical translation. The rehabilitation services are run by highly experienced academic clinicians at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and the Wellington hospital. Fellows additionally benefit from the close proximity to world-leading research departments including the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, and research departments within the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology. Clinical Fellows will have access to common activities such as journal clubs, cohort building activities, relevant training and development, pastoral care, and will be part of the Institute’s other networks of postgraduate students and staff.

Our co-ordinated and supportive PhD programme will help to build on our current strengths in clinical neurological rehabilitation and experimental neuroscience to achieve ground-breaking advances for the benefit of patients with neuro-disability.

The Environment

The bedrock of the translational PhD programme is the specialist clinical services that are run at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square. These include the upper-limb and aphasia programmes, which are unique in the UK and beyond, and are already deeply embedded in the research of our groups. Our academic supervisors include world-leading neuroscientists with expertise in invasive and non-invasive brain stimulation, structural and functional brain imaging, EEG and MEG measurement, large-data analysis, and eTherapy development.

The PhD Programme

Fellows will benefit from a range of PhD projects, with the possibility to conduct short rotation within the clinical services and research laboratories to enable us to explore which project best suits them. Projects include quantitative and qualitative research, with diverse methodologies that our supervisory pool offers, all focussed around the patient-led and translational research activities in our labs at UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, and anchored in the unique rehabilitation programmes in The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and the Wellington Hospital.

Students will also benefit from being full members of the doctoral training programme at the UCL Institute of Neurology, which provides peer-support via regular clinical PhD meetings, journal clubs and academic meetings (e.g. Centre for Neurorehabilitation monthly seminars and biannual symposia), and pastoral care.

Our academic governance management structure and commitment to responsible and transparent research, ensures that Fellows thrive within a supportive academic learning and research environment where clinicians can develop their translational research skills in academic neurorehabilitation.

Eligibility and funding

Applicants must be medical doctors who are registered with the GMC with a current licence to practise and hold MRCP or an equivalent postgraduate medical diploma.  They should have 36 months minimum post graduate clinical experience (not including Foundation modules), of which at least 6 months has been in clinical neurology, stroke medicine or rehabilitation medicine at SHO and/or SpR level and display good spoken and written command of the English language.

The Clinical element of the role, based at The Wellington hospital, is a commitment of 120 hours every 4 weeks. This will be on a rolling rota which will include a combination of weekdays, weekends and bank holidays. Candidates apply to the programme via the HCAcareers website, and can apply at any time. The posts include salaries (45K/annum), UK/EU student fees, and full running costs for the PhD, funded and provided by HCA Healthcare UK- Wellington Hospital until complete.

Academic and Clinical Supervisors

Professor Nick Ward, Prof Alex Leff, Prof Sven Bestmann, Prof James Kilner, Prof Jenny Crinion, Dr Richard Greenwood, Dr Orlando Swayne, Dr Richard Sylvester, Dr Rachel Farrell, Dr Sara Ajina, Dr Val Stevenson, Dr Gerry Christofi and Dr. Annapoorna Kuppuswamy.

Please note that candidates can apply throughout the year until all posts are filled

If you have any questions

For further inquiries, please contact :