UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


4-year PhD Programme in Neurodegeneration 

for Clinical and Non-clinical Fellows

funded by Eisai, Ltd and the Wolfson Foundation 



Content and Structure

This is a four year programme consisting of taught courses and lab rotations in the first year, followed by the PhD research project in years two-four. The taught courses include:

1. Statistics and data analysis

2. Library and database usage

3. MSc modules, as required. (See MSc Dementia for examples) 

During the first year, students will also conduct three 12 week research projects at three different laboratories. Research projects will be divided into three broad themes:

1. Mechanisms of neurodegeneration. Projects in this theme will equip students with a broad understanding of the methods used and the important questions to be addressed in understanding disease mechanisms

2. Biomarkers. This theme will address the techniques, methods and the potential of biomarker discovery and development in detecting the early onset of NDD

3. First in Human Studies. This theme focuses on translating research initiatives from the lab bench to human subjects and is closely linked to the other two themes

In each of the 12 week rotations, students will be expected to participate fully in the activities of the laboratories in which they are based, in order to gain an undertanding of the practical research skills and knowledge in which that lab is expert.

The experience and knowledge gained through the taught courses and lab rotations will help students to identify their supervisor(s) and PhD project of interest, which they will then follow for the remaining three years of the programme. It is anticipated that students will have a large input into the development of interdiscplinary research projects, combining the projects undertaken during their lab rotations to develop new and innovative ideas.

In addition to the range of projects offered within UCL, there will be opportunities for students to take advantage of our close links with Eisai, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical research companies. Students will be able to engage in rotation projects and develop their PhD studies within their laboratories.

Professor Andrey Abramov
Professor Gill Bates
Professor Elizabeth Fisher
Professor Nick Fox
Dr Pietro Fratta 
Dr Sonia Gandhi 
Professor Linda Greensmith
Professor John Hardy
Professor Adrian Isaacs 
Professor Josef Kittler
Dr Tammaryn Lashley 
Professor Simon Mead
Professor Huw Morris 
Dr Rickie Patani 
Dr Helene Plun-Favreau
Professor Anthony Schapira
Professor Giampietro Schiavo

Professor Sarah Tabrizi

Professor Jernej Ule
Professor Tom Warner
Professor Nicholas Wood
Dr Selina Wray 
Professor Henrik Zetterberg
Eligibility and Funding

Non-clinical PhD Programme

This programme is aimed at graduates with a strong interest in multi-disciplinary research in neurodegeneration. Applications are invited from students whose first degree is in a biological, physical or chemical discipline. 

Entry requirements

You should have, or expect, a UK honours degree (minimum 2:1) or international equivalent, in biological, chemical or physical sciences. The UCL English Language proficiency requirement must have already been met at the time of application. 


Studentships cover UK/EU tuition fees and pay a generous tax-free stipend, starting at £22,278 in the first year (as of 2014 rates) [see Wellcome Trust funding rates for full details]. Students are also given an allowance of £4k for travel and £36k for project consumables. 

Applications from overseas students will be considered; however, you must provide evidence that you are able to cover the difference in tuition fees. 


How to Apply

Non-clinical Applications

Application is made by submitting a CV and personal statement. Your personal statement should be no longer than 2 sides of A4. Your application should be emailed to e.halton@ucl.ac.uk. Word documents or PDF files will be accepted. We require two files clearly labelled: SURNAME, FIRST NAME_CV and SURNAME, FIRST NAME_STATEMENT. No other documents will be accepted.

What should I include in my CV?
Undergraduate and/or Master's degrees, including results or expected results (if expected, please include marks from individual modules) 
Any relevant work experience
Any relevant voluntary research/clinical experience
Academic publications, conference presentations or posters
Academic prizes
Two academic referees (include name and email address); if shortlisted, we will contact your referees directly to collect references (THERE IS NO NEED TO CONTACT REFEREES YOURSELF. WE DO NOT NEED TO RECEIVE REFERENCE LETTERS BY THE CLOSING DATE.) 

What should I include in my personal statement?
You should not repeat the information presented in your CV but expand upon it.  Specifically you should address:
What you will bring to this programme
What you hope to learn
How a PhD in neurodegeneration will facilitate your career plans
Why this four year programme is attractive to you (as opposed to a standard three year programme) 

Closing date
Applications are now open for 2019/20 entry. Closing date Monday, 7 January, 23:59. 

We anticipate interviews will be held on or around 14 February. ONLY SHORTLISTED CANDIDATES WILL BE CONTACTED. If you have not been contacted by 1 February, please assume you were not successful. 

All opportunities are advertised here and on findaphd.com. We anticipate there will be funding for two non-clinical fellowships this intake. 

Any queries regarding the application process should be emailed to e.halton@ucl.ac.uk

Clinical Applications

Clinical fellowship opportunities are advertised via the UCL HR job vacancies pages. Applications for 2019/20 will open soon and will have a similar closing date to the non-clinical fellowships. We anticipate there will be funding for one clinical fellowship this intake. 

Any queries regarding the application process should be emailed to e.halton@ucl.ac.uk