CMBI Clinical PhD Programme

The CMBI Clinical Research Training Fellowship is aimed at clinically qualified professionals (usually at speciality Registrar level) with training in microbiology and/or infectious diseases, or possible other infection related specialities such as intensive care, gastroenterology or respiratory medicine, who wish to undertake a PhD. Specifically, the focus will be on providing future clinical academics with the knowledge and analytical skills that will enable them to pursue high quality and clinically relevant independent research in the field of bacterial infection biology.

Applications are invited from exceptional medical graduates who demonstrate a commitment to a research career and aspire to become the next generation of clinical academic leaders to join our prestigious PhD Fellowship Programmes.

There are two Fellowships available, based at the South Kensington campus, providing an ideal base for those wishing to pursue a career in academic clinical science. Applicants do not require prior laboratory experience though this would be desirable. Applicants are also welcome to propose topics in bacterial infection biology that are suitable for PhD study and complement ongoing research programmes in the CMBI.

The Fellowships will be full-time and fixed term for three years, part time options will be considered. The scheme funding covers clinical salary, PhD registration fees at the UK/EU rate, College fees, associated project costs and general training costs.

Applicants must be GMC registered, fully qualified medical doctors in training in the UK, and at Core Training level or above, in any specialty. The fellowships will be fully funded for three years and the PhD is expected to be completed within this period, after which the post holder will return to their postgraduate clinical training.

Applicants should apply via the Imperial College Job website here

Application deadline: 14th December 2018

Interviews: 15th January 2019

PhD Studentships in Bacterial Pathogenesis and Infection

By collaborating extensively with Imperial College-associated hospitals, centres of research excellence and industry, the CMBI aims to understand molecular and structural mechanisms underlying bacterial pathogenesis, host immunity and antimicrobial resistance. This knowledge is then exploited to develop novel therapeutic approaches to combat bacterial infections.

Up to four fully funded, 3.5-year PhD studentships are available to commence in October 2019. The studentships are open to UK and EU nationals and include home/EU tuition fees and a stipend of £18,000 per year. Please note that EU nationals must have lived in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of the studentship (including for the purpose of full-time education). Applicants who do not meet these eligibility requirements will not be considered.

Successful candidates will have or expect to gain a first class or upper second class Honours degree in biological sciences (or other appropriate science subject), and a Master’s degree or equivalent research experience in a relevant subject area. Applicants are requested to send a full CV (including the names and email addresses of at least two academic referees) and a personal statement outlining how a PhD degree will impact upon their career aspirations. Applicants are also requested to identify two projects (indicating order of preference) from this list for which they wish to be considered.

All applications should be sent to 

Application deadline: 1st January 2019

Interviews: 5th & 7th February 2019


For informal enquiries relating to the above opportunities, please contact Professor Ramesh Wigneshweraraj.

For general information on postgraduate study at Imperial College please see Research opportunities.



CMBI PhD Studentship : Structural analysis of the Legionella pneumophila type IV secretion system by single particle cryo-electron microscopy.

A 3.5-year MRC funded PhD studentship is available to work in the laboratory of Dr Tiago Costa, in the Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection (CMBI) at Imperial College London. The successful applicant will be joining an internationally-renowned Research Centre, within one of the world’s top research universities.  The studentship covers tuition fees and provides a tax-free stipend of £18,000 per year.

About the project
Legionella pneumophila, (the causative agent of Legionnaires' disease) developed a specialized type IV secretion system (T4SS), to transport >300 toxins, into host cells (Costa et al, Nat Rev Micro, 2015). Some of the characterized translocated toxins play a critical role in hijacking host cellular pathways to establish the intracellular niche where the bacteria survive, replicate and ultimately cause disease.

The goal of the project is to investigate the atomic structure of the L. pneumophila T4SS using cutting-edge single particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) (Costa et al, Methods in Molecular Biology, 2017). The near-atomic details obtained from the 3D structure will provide unique insights into how toxins are recruited by the secretion system, how is the secretion system gated, and which is the toxins route within the secretion system. The project will pave the way for rational design of drugs that will abolish toxin secretion preventing bacterial survival and disease.  

The project will provide training in the biochemical isolation and characterization of large membrane protein complexes, cutting-edge single particle cryo-EM data collection and processing (Costa et al, Cell, 2016). This work will take advantage of the state-of-the-art electron microscopy infrastructures located at the Francis Crick Institute and Diamond Light Source.

About the candidate
The candidates should have a strong background in protein biochemistry and an interest in bacterial secretion systems. Prior experience with cryo-electron microscopy is desirable but not essential.

Candidates must have a first class or upper second class Honours degree in biological sciences (or other appropriate science subject), and a Master’s degree or equivalent research experience in a relevant subject area. Only UK or EU nationals who have been resident in the UK for the last 3 years are eligible.  To apply, please send a copy of your CV, a cover letter describing why you are suitable for this PhD studentship.  

All applications should be sent to: 

Application deadline: 1st January 2019

Interviews: Early February 2019



For informal enquiries relating to the above opportunities, please contact Dr Tiago Costa 

For general information on postgraduate study at Imperial College please see Research opportunities.