Applying for a PhD or MD(Res)
Before you apply
Check your eligibility for study
Please check the College’s entry requirements for graduate programmes to ensure you are eligible to apply.
The National Heart and Lung Institute will accept the following for entry to the PhD or MD(Res) programme:
- External applicants (full-time or part-time study)
- Imperial College London staff (part-time study only)
- NHS staff (part-time study only)
Fees for Imperial staff
- Please note that staff who are employed by Imperial College London or with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (e.g. as Clinical Research Fellows) need to upload a copy of their current contract along with their application.
- As a member of staff, you are entitled to a discounted rate of fees for the period of time that your contract covers. If your contract does not cover the entirety of your study period, you will not be entitled to a fees remission but will only be eligible for half-priced fees as a part-time student. For more information, please refer to the College’s Tuition Fee Remission Scheme.
Identify and contact a supervisor
You need to:
contact and make an agreement with an NHLI academic supervisor with an outline of your research project
- apply for a studentship
Please read through the research interests of our Department to find out more about our supervisors and our research. Applications without a named supervisor will not be considered.
How to apply
Submit a College application online
Once you have an agreement with an NHLI supervisor, you will need to submit a formal application for admission via Imperial College London's online application site (called Imperial Gateway).
- PhD: A3Z1DH
- MD(Res): A3P1DH
Full-time (FT) or part-time (PT) study
- True part-time students are required to complete a Part-time student application (DOC)
- Part-time students devoting 80-100% of their time to the programme will follow 'FT milestones'
- Part-time students devoting 50-79% of their time to the programme will follow 'True PT milestones'
- All Imperial College London staff are considered part-time and must select the ‘Staff Research Students’ field in their application. However, they are still able to follow full-time milestones, if their supervisor agrees
- NHS employees are always considered part-time students
Please note: You are not eligible to study if you can only devote less than 50% of your week’s time to the degree programme.
Provide two referees
You will be asked to provide the contact details of two referees in your application. The reference should indicate your suitability to undertake a PhD or MD(Res). You cannot use your proposed supervisor(s) as referee(s).
Once your application is received, the referees will be sent a link from Imperial's Registry where they can submit their references. You will be able to see the status of your references through your account.
In case there are any problems or delays, one or both references can be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org as long they are sent by the referee from an official University or company email address.
Please follow up any outstanding references as this will delay your application progressing.
How we process your application
Initial processing by College Admissions team
Your application is assessed for eligibility by the Medicine Postgraduate Admissions team in the College. When this has been confirmed, the application is forwarded on to the Department (NHLI PGR Team) for consideration.
Processing by NHLI PGR team
Once your application is with NHLI PGR team there are several steps to the application:
- The proposed supervisor(s) must confirm that they have an agreement with you.
- Once your references have been received and initial checks of your application completed by the PGR Admissions Administrator, including supervisor agreement and funding status, then your application will proceed to the next step. If your application is backdated then a backdated case will need to be made by you and your supervisor and considered by the Director of Postgraduate Studies.
- The PGR Admissions Administrator will arrange an interview between you and a postgraduate research tutor. This is in addition to any interview your supervisors may have already conducted. This interview is to determine, independently from your supervisor(s), your potential to undertake a PhD or MD(Res) within NHLI.
- The applicant and proposed supervisor(s) must complete and sign the NHLI PGR registration form (DOC) detailing the proposed project, funding, start date and supervisory package.
- If your application relates to the Partner Research Institution (PRI) scheme or Split PhD scheme, or is the outcome of a funded studentship application, then the necessary documents need to be forwarded with your application to the Director of Postgraduate Studies for final approval.
- We are happy to receive the research proposal as part of the registration process; however, it can also be submitted up to six weeks after your start date. This should be prepared by you with input from your supervisor(s). You can see our Research proposal guide (doc) for advice on writing a research proposal.
- The PGR Admissions Administrator will forward your application and documents to the Director of Postgraduate Studies. Only when approval is received from the Director of Postgraduate Studies can your application be accepted by the Department and an offer made by Medicine Postgraduate Admissions.
Clinical Research Fellows:
Please note that for clinical postgraduate students, employment as a Clinical Research Fellow does not automatically guarantee registration for a higher degree. You need to submit an application and follow the process detailed above. You also need to send your employment contract to email@example.com once an offer has been made on your Imperial Gateway account. Please ensure your employment contract dates cover the entirety of the research programme for eligibility for fees remission (please refer to the 'Tuition Fees' section above).
Your proposed start date should allow at least two to three clear calendar months from submitting your application.
Postgraduate Medicine Admissions will only allow backdating in exceptional circumstances and not beyond three months from the date an offer is made.
- Please refer to the flowchart below to give you an idea on the application process and its duration.