PhD Studentship (Choice of Projects)

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Closing date: 18th June


This 3-year PhD project offers an exciting opportunity to undertake research into health across the life course and across generations.

The MRC LHA is an interdisciplinary Unit and our research combines rich biomedical, social and psychological data from across the life course to help us lead on discoveries into life course determinants of physical and mental health. LHA is offering a BRC funded 3-year PhD project for an outstanding student in one of two specific research topics detailed below.

About the role

A choice of 2 projects is offered, as described here:

  1. Circulating proteins hold much promise for diagnosing, prognosing and providing new treatment targets for major cerebrovascular diseases, such as stroke and vascular dementia. This potential can be explored with unprecedented breadth using proteomics – technology measuring thousands of proteins in a single biological sample. This PhD project will use proteomic data from the Olink Explore platform (measuring ~1500 circulating proteins) alongside cutting-edge subclinical measures of cerebrovascular health from neuroimaging of participants in several population-based cohort studies, including UK Biobank, the 1946 British birth cohort, and Southall and Brent Revisited (SABRE). There may be the opportunity to leverage data from further studies. The candidate will learn and apply data science methodologies to integrate complex biological, genetic and clinical data to evaluate which proteins hold clinical utility for detecting, preventing or treating cerebrovascular diseases.
  2. The response to exercise is an integrative measure of circulatory capacity and predicts future cardiovascular (CV) disease. The determinants of peak adult circulatory capacity are not well understood. In this PhD project you will use data collected from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) birth-cohort at age 30 to investigate several key likely influences on peak circulatory capacity: 1) adiposity gain; 2) physical inactivity; 3) lifetime adversity/disadvantage. Circulatory capacity has been assessed during graded exercise via the following outcomes: peak oxygen consumption (VO2), cardiac output and skeletal muscle microvascular haemodynamics.


Project 1) Dr Dylan Williams, Dr Rebecca Green;

Project 2) Dr Siana Jones

If you have any questions or would like to discuss either project further, please contact Dr Dylan Williams for project 1 ( or Dr Siana Jones for project 2 (

About you

Who might be interested in this PhD? Someone interested in population health and how trends in different population health indicators are relevant for understanding health and disease.

A background in epidemiology, statistics, health data science, physiology or any other relevant discipline would be desirable.

Both projects described above are quantitative projects using existing cohort study data, so an interest/aptitude in data analysis and advanced quantitative skills are essential.

How to Apply

Please visit the following link to apply:

Please use the application form and reference form provided. If you cannot access them, email and request them.

Please submit applications to along with the relevant documents (detailed below and in the application form guidance notes).

Key information

Programme starts: July 2023 onwards (start date negotiable)

Modes and duration: Full time, 3 years

Stipend 2022/23 rates: £19,668 including London weighting

Application dates close: 18th June 2023

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements – A first class or 2:1 UK Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate subject or international equivalent and a recognised Master’s degree with a merit or distinction award, or with equivalent research experience.

Eligibility – This studentship covers the cost of tuition fees based on the UK (Home) rate. Non-UK students can apply but will have to personally fund the difference between the UK (Home) rate and the overseas rate where they are not eligible for UK fee status.

NB: You will be asked about your likely fee status at the interview so we would advise you to contact the UCL Graduate Admissions Office for advice should you be unsure whether or not you meet the eligibility criteria for Home fee status.

Further information on Brexit and the definitions for fee status assessment can be found on the UCL website and also the UKCISA website (Higher Education: Definitions for fee status assessment).

To apply for this job please visit

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