Wellcome Trust and AHSC funded Clinical PhD Programmes

Wellcome Trust and AHSC funded Clinical PhD Programmes

Wellcome Trust and AHSC funded Clinical PhD Programmes

Wellcome Trust and AHSC funded Clinical PhD Programmes

Wellcome Trust and AHSC funded Clinical PhD Programmes

Key features

Our 4i Clinical PhD Programmes are typically 3 years in duration and funding provides:

  • A clinical salary
  • PhD registration fees at the UK/EU rate
  • Research expenses

 

Imperial College London is keen to attract and cultivate the most promising clinical academic researchers at all stages of their careers. The Faculty of Medicine is one of the largest in Europe and is at the forefront of translating biomedical discoveries into patient benefit.

Available annually, we have a number of funded PhD programme fellowships for clinicians. Our doctoral training programmes immerse researchers in world-leading scientific discovery and its translation, focussing on the academic strengths of Imperial that are relevant to all major health problems. Our schemes enable early career success by placing talented individuals in a highly supportive environment and providing each fellow with cutting-edge research projects under experienced supervision and mentorship, regardless of the potential clinical specialty of the applicant.

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. Applicants must be fully qualified medical doctors in training in the UK and at Core Training level or above (or in GP Training), in any specialty. GP Trainees may apply if within 12 months of having CCT.

Funding is available through our Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD 4i programme (4i); Lee Family Faculty of Medicine Scholarship (LFFMS) and British Heart Foundation PhD Fellowships in AI in Cardiovascular Science. For more information about these schemes please read below.


Accordion widget - Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome 4i Clinical PhD Programme

Our aim is to develop the clinical academic leaders of the future. The clinician scientist, through education and training in both biomedical science and clinical medicine, is uniquely positioned to develop key insights and identify knowledge gaps between biomedical research and clinical practice.

The Imperial Immunity, Inflammation, Infection and Informatics (4i) programme offers an unparalleled and comprehensive portfolio of high quality internationally competitive research fellowships.

The Imperial Clinician Scientist programme focuses on the academic strengths of the College that are relevant to major health problems: Immunity, Inflammation, Infection and Informatics.

We have shaped our scheme to enable ‘early career success’ by placing talented individuals in a highly supportive environment and providing each individual with cutting-edge research projects under experienced supervision and mentorship.

Through joint appointments and satellite laboratories with the Francis Crick Institute, our programme can offer training opportunities within this interdisciplinary biomedical research institute. There is also the opportunity of training in the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, which is jointly managed by Imperial College and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. 

Successful candidates will be selected on the basis of academic potential, regardless of clinical specialty and matched to projects and supervisors during exploratory discussions with our PhD Programmes selection panel.

There is a single application process for Wellcome and other 4i funded fellowships (Imperial BRC/ Imperial AHSC/ BHF AI for Healthcare). Candidates can submit one application only and need not specify which post they are applying for unless highlighting an interest in the AI programme in Cardiovascular Science. This will be discussed at the time of interview.

ICCIS and LFFMS Clinical PhD schemes

Both the Imperial College Clinician-Investigator Scholarship, ICCIS (generously funded by a private donor) and The Lee Family Faculty of Medicine Scholarships, LFFMS (funded through generous gift from the Lee Charitable Foundation) support doctors demonstrating exceptional clinical academic merit and potential and who wish to undertake rigorous research training within the Faculty of Medicine working in partnership with its NHS partners in the Imperial College AHSC.  ICCIS and LFFMS funded fellows are not expected to identify research projects prior to applying and have the option to undertake research projects under the Immunity, Inflammation, Infection and Informatics 4i research themes, or to go beyond the parameters of the themes, providing the project focuses on the academic strengths of Imperial and there is agreement to do so.

Successful candidates will be selected on the basis of academic potential, regardless of clinical specialty, and matched to projects and supervisors during exploratory discussions with our PhD Programmes selection panel.

There is a single application process for all Imperial 4i funded fellowships. Candidates can submit one application only and need not specify which post they are applying for, this will be discussed at the time of interview. 

The British Heart Foundation Fellowships

The British Heart Foundation fellowships: AI in cardiovascular science

The British Heart Foundation has pioneered initiatives to bring together cardiovascular and non-biological science with their Centres of Excellence scheme. During 2020 they have funded a £4M Centre of Excellence at Imperial to harness the interactions between cardiovascular science, bioengineering, advanced imaging and Artificial Intelligence.  PhD students will join multidisciplinary teams based in our state of the art buildings on the Imperial Hammersmith and White City Campus to use these interactions to produce new therapies and diagnostic tools.  British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence

AI for Healthcare - UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training

The Centre’s vision is to train a new-generation of innovators in Artificial Intelligence (AI) applied to Healthcare and is inviting applications from clinical PhD fellows, along with non-clinical PhDs.

We take the view that AI is ultimately a question about how to realise artificial systems that solve problems presently requiring human intelligence to solve (e.g. problems solved by clinicians, nurses and therapists). The contemporary answer to the AI research question is machine learning, i.e. learning how to solve the problem from experience instead of programming it. Learning in turn requires data, which extends our view of AI to encompass also data science and data engineering. However, AI in our Centre implies an entire system that solves a practical (healthcare) problem, this may require combining different algorithmic and representational approaches that encompass machine learning, robotics, optimisation, symbolic reasoning, natural language processing, and computer vision. Our training outcomes are AI researchers who have learned to move fluidly across the disciplinary AI/healthcare boundaries and can develop and implement deployable solutions with the ultimate goal to transform patient treatment.

The training programme offers expert supervision (each doctoral researcher will have at least 1 AI and 1 clinical supervisor), cohort and integrated training. The clinical supervisors and healthcare partners span the full breadth of healthcare challenges facing society, such as dementia, brain and mental health, infectious diseases, cancer and surgery, obesity and diabetes, cardiovascular and lung diseases, intensive care and primary care.

A limited number of PhD fellowships will be available for clinicians to start this programme in September/October 2020.  

This programme is separate to the 4i scheme, please visit the AI for Health website for further details and how to apply https://ai4health.io/

Recruitment information

Recruitment to our PhD Fellowships runs on an annual cycle and launches every October. 


Why Choose Imperial?

We have designed the Clinical PhD schemes to enable ‘early career success’ by placing talented individuals within a highly supportive and cutting edge research environment.

Successful candidates will:

  • Meet with at least two potential supervisors to identify a suitable research project
  • If necessary, lab visits can be arranged to facilitate project selection.

 During the Clinical PhD our Fellows will benefit from:

  • Two highly qualified and experienced PhD supervisors
  • Mentoring from an established clinical academic who is independent from the Fellow’s training environment
  • Regular research meetings and social events organised specifically for the 4i Fellows 
  • Broad skills training and development opportunities provided by the Imperial College London Graduate School
  • Regular input and guidance from our dedicated Clinical PhD Programme Committee (CPPC)
  • Dedicated scheme support from the Imperial Clinical Academic Training Office (CATO)

Towards the end of the PhD our Fellows will have:

  • A planned meeting with the scheme Director and their specialty training programme Director to develop a bespoke plan for reintegration back into clinical training
  • An opportunity to attend out-patient clinics and specialty-specific procedures 

Eligibility and how to apply

We are looking to recruit talented individuals with strong intellectual achievements who possess the highest possible academic potential.   Please refer to the job description 4i Job Description (2019) for our selection criteria.

Eligibility requirements – applicants should:

  • Be a GMC registered Doctor in training in the UK.
  • Be at Core Training level or above (or in GP Training)
  • GP Trainees may apply if within 12 months of having CCT.
  • Be eligible to take time out of their clinical training programme (OOPR)

 How to apply

  • Applications and CV's should be submitted online via the Job Applicant section of the Imperial College London website. 
  • The closing date for submitting applications in 2020 is TBA.
  • We may take up references for all shortlisted applicants prior to the interview.
  • After accepting an offer successful candidates will be introduced to potential supervisors to develop a research proposal and, when approved are required to submit a formal application to Imperial College London to register for a PhD using the postgraduate research application form.
  • Applicants interested in being considered for the BHF AI programme in cardiovascular science should state this in their opening sentence in the ‘supporting statement’ section of the College job application form.
  • Interviews usually take place annually, in early January.

 Additional information

  • Recruitment starts towards the end of each year with a view to successful candidates starting the research fellowship in the following autumn.  There is no fixed start date as we recognise the need to fit with clinical training requirements, however, we expect that fellows will have started by Christmas of the following year.
  • Candidates are not required to have chosen a research project for this application. Following interviews, we will match successful candidates to supervisors, research groups and projects.
  • Some applicants may have a defined project which they are welcome to discuss at interview, but this is not a prerequisite, nor is it guaranteed that the project will be approved.
  • All 4i/ICCIS/LFFMS PhD fellows are expected to conform to all requirements stated by the Imperial College London Graduate School Professional Skills programme as part of their PhD research degree registration.
  • Recruitment enquiries should be submitted by email only to: cato@imperial.ac.uk (please note the CATO office opening hours are Monday to Friday, 09.00 - 17.00) 

Recruitment FAQs

Frequently asked questions:

Q. Can I apply to the 4i/ICCIS/LFFMs schemes to part-fund an existing research?
A. No. The schemes do not part-fund existing research.

 Q. Can I (and/or my supervisor) propose a research project?
A.  Ideally, candidates will not have identified research projects prior to applying. An important aspect of the scheme is the matching of successful applicants to the most appropriate research programme within the research portfolio. Choosing the right research programme is a critical step in the career pathway for the clinician scientist. The scheme will enable successful applicants to meet several supervisors to identify a suitable project and to discuss potential projects with experienced independent scientists. The ICCIS and LFFMS PhDs may also be offered under the auspices of the Wellcome 4i scheme arrangements.  ICCIS and LFFMS Fellows will have the option to undertake projects under the Immunity, Inflammation, Infection and Informatics 4i research themes, or  to go beyond the parameters of the themes, providing the project focuses on the academic strengths of Imperial and there is agreement and appropriate supervision and support to do so.

Applicants who have developed a research interest, e.g. an ACF with pilot data are welcome to propose that they continue this. If successful, the project will need to be formally approved by the 4i Programme Panel.

Q. Do I need to include a project proposal with my application?
A. Some applicants, e.g. ACF's may have a defined project which they are welcome to discuss at interview, but this is not a prerequisite, nor is it guaranteed that the project will be approved.

Q.  Are Vets/Dentists eligible to apply for the Wellcome 4i/ ICCIS/LFFMS/BHF PhD schemes?
A.  No. The Imperial Clinical Research Fellowship schemes are not open to veterinary and dental graduates.

Q.  Are the Wellcome 4i/ ICCIS/LFFMS/BHF PhD schemes open to clinicians who have completed clinical training?
A.  No.  Clinicians with CCT are not eligible to apply.

Q.  How are the Wellcome 4i/ ICCIS/LFFMS/BHF PhD fellowships funded?
A.  Successful candidates will be appointed on an Imperial College London Clinical Research Fellow contract and paid a monthly salary.  PhD registration fees and research expenses are included and managed through local departmental processes.  

Q.  What are the key stages of the recruitment project approval process to the Wellcome 4i/ ICCIS/LFFMS PhD fellowships?
A.   Informal offers will be made to successful candidate very soon after the interviews.  Offer holders will then meet representatives of the selection panel and prospective supervisors to start exploring potential areas of research. Once a suitable match is agreed the offer holder submits project proposals for approval by the panel.  After approval has been granted a formal contract will be issued, PhD registration is submitted, and the start date is negotiated.

Indicative recruitment timelines

Recruitment to the Fellowships operates on an annual cycle: 


• October: Open for applications to start in Autumn of the following year (via Imperial College London website, Job Applicants section) 

• December: Closing date for applications 

• January: Interviews 

• January/February: Welcome/Information meeting with offer holders 

• February–May: Exploratory project discussions with potential supervisors 

• July-October: Fellows start posts (must be in post by 31 December latest) 

Supervisors and projects

Our supervisors are independent clinical and non-clinical scientists, who are leading high-quality research programmes within the portfolio of the 4i theme. We have high-quality researchers across the 4i themes, including a large number of Wellcome Trust Investigators, located across different faculties of the College and within the MRC LMS and Francis Crick Institute. Our overall strategy is to offer a wide range of research projects within the 4i domains so that we can attract and accommodate a broad range of applicants.

03.02.2020 - Indicative Supervisors List

Supporting academic leaders of the future

Celebrating the Imperial 4i Clinician Scientist Training Programme event: December 2019

As 2019 drew to a close, the Imperial 4i PhD Fellows came together with colleagues from across the College, Imperial College AHSC and funding bodies to celebrate their research and achievements. Taking place at South Kensington’s historic 170 Queen’s Gate just before Christmas, the event featured a thought-provoking keynote talk from Professor Sir Mark Walport on 'The future landscape of biomedical science’ and engaging presentations from our 2017 intake of Fellows on how their research has progressed so far. Other Fellows on the programme also displayed posters presenting their research topics and took the opportunity to discuss their research and catch up over refreshments and wine at the end of the showcase.

Follow this link to see the College news story about the event: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/194956/imperial-researchers-showcase-projects-tackle-major/

4i Fellows with Directors of the scheme, Professor Matthew Pickering and Professor Clare Lloyd