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4-year PhD Programme in Neurodegeneration 

for Clinical and Non-clinical Fellows

funded by the Wolfson Foundation and Eisai 

 

 

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.

Supervisors
Dr Andrey Abramov
Principal Research Associate a.abramov@ucl.ac.uk 
Department of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology 
Professor Erik Arstad
Professor of Radiochemistry e.arstad@ucl.ac.uk
Institute of Nuclear Medicine, Division of Medicine 
Professor David Attwell, FRS
Jodrell Professor of Physiology d.attwell@ucl.ac.uk 
Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology, Division of Biosciences
Professor Frederik Barkhof
Chair of Neuroradiology
f.barkhof@ucl.ac.uk
 
Department of Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering;
Department of Brain Repair and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neurology
Professor Gill Bates, FRS
Professor of Molecular Neuroscience gillian.bates@ucl.ac.uk
Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, Institute of Neurology
Professor Mike Cheetham
Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology michael.cheetham@ucl.ac.uk
Institute of Ophthalmology
Professor John Christodoulou
Professor of Biological NMR Spectroscopy j.christodoulou@ucl.ac.uk
Research Department of Structural & Molecular Biology, Division of Biosciences
Dr Beverley Clark 
Director, Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research; Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience b.clark@ucl.ac.uk
Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research
Professor John Collinge, FRS
Director, MRC Prion Unit; Professor of Neurology j.collinge@ucl.ac.uk
MRC Prion UnitDepartment of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Institute of Neurology
Professor Stuart Cull-Candy, FMedSci, FRS
Gaddum Chair of Pharmacology s.cull-candy@ucl.ac.uk
Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, Division of Biosciences
Professor Michael Duchen
Professor of Physiology m.duchen@ucl.ac.uk
Cell and Developmental Biology, Division of Biosciences
Professor Elizabeth Fisher
Professor of Neurogenetics elizabeth.fisher@ucl.ac.uk
Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Institute of Neurology
Dr Thomas Foltynie
Clinical Senior Lecturer in Movement Disorders (Clinical Consultant Academic) t.foltynie@ucl.ac.uk
Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, Institute of Neurology
Professor Nick Fox
Director, Dementia Research Centre; Professor of Neurology n.fox@ucl.ac.uk
Dementia Research CentreDepartment of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Professor Linda Greensmith
Professor of Neuroscience l.greensmith@ucl.ac.uk
Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, Institute of Neurology
Professor John Hardy, FRS
Chair of the Molecular Biology of Neurological Disease j.hardy@ucl.ac.uk
Department of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology
Professor Henry Houlden
Professor of Neurology h.houlden@ucl.ac.uk
Department of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology
Professor Robert Howard
Professor of Old Age Psychiatry robert.howard@ucl.ac.uk
Division of Psychiatry
Dr Adrian Isaacs 
Reader in Neurodegenerative Disease
a.isaacs@prion.ucl.ac.uk
Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Institute of Neurology
Dr James Kilner 
Reader of Human Motor Neuroscience j.kilner@ucl.ac.uk
Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, Institute of Neurology
Professor Josef Kittler
Professor of Molecular Neurobiology j.kittler@ucl.ac.uk
Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, Division of Biosciences
Prof Simon Mead
Professor of Neurology s.mead@prion.ucl.ac.uk
MRC Prion Unit, Institute of Neurology

Dr Sara Mole
Reader in Molecular Cell Biology s.mole@ucl.ac.uk

 

Genetics, Evolution and Environment, Division of Biosciences
Professor Dame Linda Partridge, FRS
Professor of Genetics and Biometry linda.partridge@ucl.ac.uk
Genetics, Evolution and Environment, Division of Biosciences
Dr Helene Plun-Favreau
Senior Lecturer  h.plun-favreau@ucl.ac.uk
Department of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology
Professor William Richardson
Professor of Biology w.richardson@ucl.ac.uk
Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research
Dr Jason Rihel
Senior Research Fellow j.rihel@ucl.ac.uk
Cell and Developmental Biology, Division of Biosciences
Professor Patricia Salinas
Professor of Cellular Neurobiology p.salinas@ucl.ac.uk
Cell and Developmental Biology, Division of Biosciences
Professor Anthony Schapira, DSc MD FRCP FMedSci
Professor of Neurological Science a.schapira@ucl.ac.uk
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology
Professor Giampietro Schiavo
Professor of Cellular Neuroscience giampietro.schiavo@ucl.ac.uk
Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, Institute of Neurology
Dr Jonathan Schott
Reader in Clinical Neurology j.schott@ucl.ac.uk
Dementia Research Centre, Department of Neurodegenerative Disease
Professor Trevor Smart, FRPharmS, FMedSci
Schild Professor of Pharmacology t.smart@ucl.ac.uk
Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, Division of Biosciences
Dr Jim Staddon
Director at Eisai  James_Staddon@eisai.net
Eisai, Hatfield
Dr Jan-Willem Taanman
Reader in Clinical Neurosciences j.taanman@ucl.ac.uk
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology 

Professor Sarah Tabrizi BSc (Hons), MBChB (Hons), FRCP PhD
Director, UCL Huntington's Disease Centre; Professor of Clinical Neurology (Honorary Consultant Neurologist UCLH Trust) s.tabrizi@ucl.ac.uk

 

Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, Institute of Neurology
Professor Alan Thompson
Garfield Weston Professor of Clinical Neurology & Neurorehabilitation alan.thompson@ucl.ac.uk
Department of Brain Repair and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neurology
Professor Jernej Ule
Professor of Molecular Neuroscience j.ule@ucl.ac.uk
Department of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology; Francis Crick Institute
Professor Tom Warner
Chair of Clinical Neurology & Director of the Reta Lila Weston Institute t.warner@ucl.ac.uk
Department of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology; The Reta Lila Weston Institute of Neurological Studies

Professor Steve Wilson
Professor of Developmental Biology s.wilson@ucl.ac.uk

 

Cell & Developmental Biology, Division of Biosciences
Professor Jason Warren
Professor of Neurology jason.warren@ucl.ac.uk
Dementia Research Centre; Department of Neurodegenerative Disease
Professor John Wood
Professor of Molecular Neurobiology j.wood@ucl.ac.uk
Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research
Professor Nicholas Wood
Galton Professor of Genetics (Consultant)  n.wood@ucl.ac.uk
Department of Molecular Neuroscience
Professor Henrik Zetterberg
Professor of Neurochemistry henrik.zetterberg@clinchem.gu.se
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgranska Academy, University of Gothenburg
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. 

Funding

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, CV and SURNAME, PERSONAL 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 
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 currently closed for 2018/19.

Applications are anticipated to open again in Autumn 2018 for 2019/20 intake. However, occasionally opportunities do arise at other times of the year owing to additional funding secured, usually through donations. 

All opportunities are always advertised here and on findaphd.com. Clinical fellowship opportunities are always advertised via the UCL HR job vacancies pages. 

 

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