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Medical Research Council (MRC) GW4 BioMed Doctoral Training Partnership

Find out about PhD funding opportunities offered by the MRC GW4 BioMed Doctoral Training Partnership.

About the Partnership

The MRC GW4 BioMed Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) brings together the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter to develop the next generation of medical researchers, helping them to be collaborative, curious, critical and confident.

Students will have access to the combined research strengths, training expertise and resources of the four research-intensive universities, with opportunities to participate in interdisciplinarity and 'team science'. Many of the PhD projects available will be co-supervised across at least two of the partner universities, allowing students to join existing and emerging research partnerships.

The MRC GW4 BioMed DTP training programme has three strands:

  • research skills
  • professional and career development skills
  • opportunities to broaden horizons, which might include placements, research visits, public engagement internships and a mini-MD programme of bespoke clinical exposure

Events throughout the programme will develop researcher communities across the partnership.

Project portfolio

The portfolio of PhD projects available reflects the collective strengths of the DTP:

  • quantitative skills (including mathematical modelling)
  • using data for discovery
  • in vivo skills
  • interdisciplinary training and approaches, including imaging (physics, engineering), chemistry and health economics

The DTP places a strong emphasis on developing these cross-cutting skills.

PhD Projects

PhD projects are aligned with one of the three strategic research themes that characterise the DTP:

  • Infection, Immunity and Repair
  • Neuroscience and Mental Health
  • Population Health

You can identify a project or projects that you are interested in by browsing the list of available projects.

Funding eligibility

UK students will be considered for 3.5-year studentships consisting of Home tuition fees, maintenance at the UKRI standard doctoral stipend rate (£15,285 per annum for 2020/21, updated each year) and a research and training support allowance of between £2,000 and £5,000 per annum. International applicants (including EU applicants) are eligible to apply but will be responsible for the difference between the Home UKRI tuition fee and the Overseas tuition fee rate at Bath. Confirmation of ability to fund the tuition fee difference will be required.


Applicants must have obtained, or be expected to obtain, at least an Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualification gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of medical sciences. However, the DTP also welcomes students from non-medical backgrounds, especially in areas of computing, mathematics and the physical sciences. Please check the specific requirements of each project of interest before completing your application. Academic qualifications are considered alongside any significant relevant non-academic experience. If English is not your first language, you will need to have achieved at least 6.5 overall in Academic IELTS (with no less than 6.0 in any individual skill). See our Postgraduate English language requirements for more information.

How to apply

Applicants should apply to the DTP, using their centralised application form.

Those who are successful in obtaining an offer of funding from the DTP should then apply to one of the relevant PhD programmes at Bath:

  • PhD in Biology
  • PhD in Biochemistry
  • PhD in Chemical Engineering
  • PhD in Chemistry
  • PhD in Health
  • PhD in Pharmacy and Pharmacology
  • PhD in Physics
  • PhD in Psychology

Applicants must state in the ‘Finance’ section of the application form that they have been awarded a GW4 BioMed MRC studentship and quoting the project title and supervisor’s name in the ‘Your research interests’ section.

More information on the application process may be found on the MRC GW4 BioMed DTP website.


Applications for October 2021 entry are now open and will close at 17:00 GMT on Monday 23 November 2020.


If you have any questions, please contact us.