Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research



We provide a supportive training environment for postgraduate research. Our strengths fall within the approaches we use to underpin research in biological function, development, and disease processes.

Expertise in WIBR

  • Neuroscience: neural computation, neural signalling, neural plasticity, neurochemistry, neurodegeneration
  • Molecular neurobiology and nociception
  • Developmental neuroscience
  • Stem cell biology
  • Biological and medicinal chemistry
  • Molecular and cellular biology of pain

See our research hub for details of current projects and our Principal Investigators.

Research environment

There are usually 20-30 postgraduate students at the WIBR working towards a PhD, MD(Res) or MBPhD award. During their time with us, students are expected to:

  • attend and contribute to research seminars
  • use the skills and training courses provided
  • get involved with the postgraduate student society run with the UCL Cancer Institute.

WIBR postgraduate students have a full-time postgraduate tutor for mentoring and pastoral care. You will meet every month to discuss student-related issues, hold informal student research seminars, and listen to speakers invited by the students. Students provide feedback to staff via the graduate tutor or through our staff-student consultative committee.


Most PhD places at UCL are now four-year programmes. There is a taught element in the first year, plus three 3-month "rotation projects" in different labs. You then decide on a lab and project for the final three years. You should apply to these programmes directly, naming one or two preferred supervisors who are participants in the programme.

Programmes sponsored by traditional studentships (e.g. medical charities) tend not to include a specific taught element (other than the taught credits required of all PhD students at UCL) and they do not involve lab rotations.

How to join us

Some options for obtaining a PhD position at the WIBR are shown below.

Internal UCL schemes

Externally-funded PhD programmes

Traditional studentships

There are also some traditional studentships available through medical charities, such as:

Applications for these tend to involve a short project proposal (grant application) to the charity from the student and his/her chosen supervisor.

These and other UCL programmes in neuroscience and related disciplines can be found at:


Prof. James Cox
Deputy Graduate Tutor, WIBR, Division of Medicine
Email: j.j.cox@ucl.ac.uk

Tricia O'Dell
Senior Teaching Administrator (PGR, & Y4 MBBS Bloomsbury Campus)
Email: med.postgrad-research@ucl.ac.uk