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Wellcome Trust PhD Programme for Clinicians

Wellcome PhD Fellowship

The 2020 Application Round

Recruitment for the 2020 round of the Wellcome Clinical PhD fellowships has now closed. Please check back in the autumn for details on the next round. For further infomation please go to the website

UCL hosts a Wellcome Trust funded PhD programme for clinicians. This enables us to support the most promising medically qualified clinicians who wish to undertake rigorous research training at UCL. Our programme exploits the outstanding science community at UCL and the Francis Crick Institute to provide a unique training programme for clinicians. The guiding principles of our programme are to encourage clinical fellows to consider a broad range of PIs that are outside their clinical discipline as potential supervisors, and to mentor them through their PhD to intermediate clinical fellowships and beyond.

Applications are invited as part of a national advertisement. You do not need to have worked at UCL or UCLH previously to apply, and the programme will provide a fully-funded research studentship to enable talented clinicians to sample high-quality research environments at UCL and the Francis Crick Institute before they develop a research proposal that is tailored to their individual interest. The UCL SLMS Academic Careers Office will provide advice and support. Finally, at the end of the programme the Clinical Academic Next Steps scheme will provide advice and support extending into your next clinical post to facilitate your progression as a clinical academic leader of the future.

2019 Appointed Fellows

  • Alasdair Warwick- Institute of Cardiovascular Science (Population Health)
  • William Scotton- Dementia Research Centre
  • Danielle Solomon- Institute for Global Health 
  • George Collins- Infection and Immunity
  • Jonathan Rogers- Divison of Psychiatry

2018 Appointed Fellows

  • Thomas Fox- Infection and Immunity
  • Robert Lever- Infection and Immunity
  • Sinead McGlacken-Byrne- Institute of Child Health
  • Matthew Nour - Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Aging Research
  • Nekisa Zakeri- Infection and Immunity

2017 Appointed Fellows

  • Angharad Davis - Division of Biosciences
  • Ehsan Ghorani- Cancer Institute 
  • Neha Pathak- Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care
  • Adam Pennycuick- Centre for Respiratory Biology
  • Ramya Srinivasan- Division of Psychiatry

2016 Appointed Fellows

  • Deepak Chandrasekharan- Lungs for Living 
  • Dami Collier- Division of Infection and Immunity
  • Douglas Fink - Division of Infection and Immunity
  • Constantinos Parisinos- Institute of Health Informatics 
  • Emily Shaw-Wise- Division of Infection and Immunity

2015 Appointed Fellows 

  • Anna Aryee- Institute of Health Informatics
  • Anob Chakrabati- UCL Genetics Institute (UGI) 
  • Kate El Bouzadi- Division of Infection and Immunity
  • Neil Halliday- Division of Infection and Immunity
  • Valerie Kuan- Cell and Developmental Biology

2014 'Next Steps' Fellows 

  • Cordelia Coltart- Department of Infection and Population Health 
  • Maryam Khosravi - Divison of Biosciences
  • Neelam Kumar- Divison of Medicine 
  • Richard Rosch- Institute of Neurology 
  • Taavi Tillman- Institute of Epidemiology and Health care 

 

Programme Director

Mahdad
Mahdad Noursadeghi is Professor of Infectious Diseases and a Wellcome Trust Investigator, studying the immunology of human infectious diseases with a focus on tuberculosis. He has hosted clinical fellows in his group continuously since 2008 and provided academic mentorship for clinician scientists through the UCL Academic Careers Office since 2013, with the aim of encouraging and enabling inquisitive clinicians to break new ground in our understanding of health and disease through innovative and rigorous science.     

Contacts

If you have any questions about the programme, please contact Jo Rickett j.rickett@ucl.ac.uk  in the Academic Careers Office in the School of Life and Medical Sciences

Academic Careers Office

School of Life & Medical Sciences
University College London
1st Floor Maple House
149 Tottenham Court Road
London W1T 7NF

Supervisor Profiles

Our programme is very diverse and draws together research scientists and clinical academics across many different Departments and Institutes at UCL, plus the Francis Crick Institute in which UCL is a founding partner.

We currently have 103 high quality Principal Investigators across eight research areas, all of whom are fully committed to providing excellent clinical academic training for our fellows. 

Clicking on the links below will allow access to the Supervisor's research profile and contact details.

Basic Life Sciences

Cancer

Cardiometabolic Science

Infection, Immunology and Inflammation

Neuroscience

Reproduction & Development

Population Health

Missing information or incorrect links?  Please contact Jo Rickett j.rickett@ucl.ac.uk  to address.

 

Programme Structure

After appointment the successful fellow will meet with the Director/Deputy Director and a representative of the domain (or Francis Crick lead) for his/her area of interest.

  • Fellows will be required to meet PIs in different domains and to consider a wide range of options for their PhD ('thinking outside the box'). 
  • In order to help the fellow make the best choice, if necessary we will fund and facilitate a three month OOPR prior to take up of the Fellowship. 
  • This will allow the fellow to undertake 3 x 1 month mini-projects in order to experience working with different PIs and to allow them to develop a PhD project. 
  • They will then select a primary and secondary PhD supervisor and write a full grant application on which they will be assessed by a viva examination prior to starting their PhD. 

Progress through the first year report and submission of a final PhD thesis will follow the existing University regulations.

  • Some fellows will require a period of additional training to develop appropriate skills before embarking on their PhD. 
  • These are typically in epidemiology, computational biology, machine learning, imaging and advanced bioinformatics but may also be in emerging areas such as nanotechnology and medicinal chemistry. 
  • In these cases we will offer a one year taught MSc/MRes selected from the extensive modular curriculum available at UCL to develop the skills required for their PhD.
  • Individuals who select this option will be required to pass the assessment stipulated in the degree and will not be offered the 3 month OOPR (see below).

During their PhD fellows will be required to engage in a range of additional training activities that take advantage of unique aspects of the UCL environment. These will include training in

  • enterprise/entrepreneurship (through the UCL Institute for Biomedical Engineering and UCL Advances)
  • public engagement (UCL is a Beacon for Public Engagement)
  • experimental medicine (through our Clinical Research Facilities). 

As active members of the scholarly community, fellows will also be expected to contribute to broader College-wide activities such as the UCL Grand Challenges and Global Citizenship agendas.

 
Application Process

Who can Apply?

The overarching quality that we are looking for in applicants are academic excellence and the potential to pursue a career in academic medicine.  You should be able to demonstrate your potential in your application and at interview.

We are also looking for individuals who wish to take advantage of our outstanding supervisor pool and consider a range of possible projects and supervisors. It is not necessary to have a specific project in mind, but you will need to be able to articulate which areas and/or supervisors you might be interested in working with.

To apply, you need to be a GMC-registered clinician. You can be at any stage of your training; although some applicants will have commenced their specialist training, this is not essential.

  • Applicants who have already finished their training and received a CCT are not eligible.

When can I Apply?

The 2019 round is now closed. Please check back here Autumn 2019 for details of the 2020 application round.

  • At interview you will be expected to answer questions about your previous research experience and potential for a clinical academic career.
  • The interview panel will include the Programme Directors, a representative from the Francis Crick Institute and a selection of Principal Investigators from each programme plus a current Fellow.
  • We will also invite a Director of another Wellcome Trust PhD Programme for Clinicians to join the panel.

How to Apply?

Application will be online, and should be supported by your CV and a one page statement detailing how your previous academic and research performance demonstrates potential for a career in academic medicine, and explaining your interest in this specific programme and/or particular research themes at UCL. 

What Funding is Provided

Each successful Fellow will be awarded a grant from the Wellcome Trust that will cover:

    • A clinical salary
    • University fees paid at the home/EU rate
    • Research expenses
    • A contribution towards travel expenses
    • A contribution towards general training costs

An allowance for animal costs is also available if required (on a case by case basis) subject to approval by the Wellcome Trust.

Note that if you do not qualify for home/EU fees at UCL then you will be required to pay fees at the overseas rate and the difference between home/EU and overseas fees will not be covered by the grant.

If this is the case, you will need to find these funds yourself. If you think this may apply to you, then please read the UCL guidance on fees  or contact the Jo Rickett j.rickett@ucl.ac.uk if additional guidance is required.