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 


Please note that this programme has now stopped recruiting with the last in-take of students being in September 2020.

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 10-12 week research projects at three different laboratories. Research projects will all have an industrial slant and will be divided into three broad themes:

1. Therapeutic Focus: Neurodegenerative diseases, e.g. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, synucleinopathies and other related dementias  

2. Basic mechanisms and interventions, e.g. Proteinopathy / aggregation

3. Enabling Technologies / Platforms, e.g. ‘Disease-in-a-dish’ models of human disease (including iPSCs), Non-invasive translational biomarkers (e.g. fluid-based such as CSF, blood etc.) 

In each of the rotations, students will be expected to participate fully in the activities of the laboratories in which they are based, in order to gain an understanding 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 interdisciplinary 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 one of our funders, 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 Gill Bates
Professor Elizabeth Fisher
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 
Professor Helene Plun-Favreau
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 or other relevant discipline. Please note this is a strongly molecular PhD- those with psychology backgrounds may be better served in a different programme, although are welcome to apply. 

Entry requirements

You should have, or expect, a UK honours degree (minimum 2:1) or international equivalent, in relevant field as above. 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 [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 (only amounts up to EU fees are covered, but otherwise the studentship is the same). 


How to Apply

Non-clinical Applications

Please note that this programme is now closed and no longer recruiting.

Clinical Applications

Please note that this programme is now closed and no longer recruiting.