BHF Cardiovascular Biomedicine 4-year PhD studentships

This four-year PhD programme provides an exciting opportunity for outstanding graduates with an interest in cardiovascular disease. We are particularly keen to encourage graduates from a wide range of disciplines, such as engineering, data science or epidemiology to apply. A four-year course offers a broader and deeper research training, and, in addition, facilitates moving from other disciplines in a way that would not be possible on a three-year PhD scheme. Four studentships are awarded annually by the British Heart Foundation.

PLEASE NOTE: applications for the September 2019 intake will open on Monday 12 November 2018 and close on Wednesday 12 December

UCL is a world-class centre of excellence in cardiovascular research and medicine. Over 400 cardiovascular scientists and cardiologists undertake basic, clinical and population-based research to improve our understanding of disease and provide new diagnostics, therapies and preventative strategies.

Structure of the 4-year programme

The first year of the programme provides postgraduate-level tuition in selected relevant topics, training in transferable research skills, and the opportunity to undertake three three-month projects, working with different cardiovascular scientists across UCL. These projects provide a basis for you to select a doctoral project and supervisors.

During your PhD thesis research, you will be encouraged to present your work at international meetings, and funds will be made available for this. PhD projects will cover the entire range of activity across the UCL campus, and so applicants are encouraged to familiarise themselves with our research.

As a postgraduate research student within the institute, you will have the opportunity to connect with cardiovascular scientists, and to form links with researchers in engineering, nanotechnology, chemistry and genetics. You will gain skills suitable for a career in research, the pharmaceutical industry or related fields.

 Research areas

The programme is themed around 4 key cardiovascular research strengths at UCL:

  • Fundamental Biology and Discovery Science
  • Therapeutic and Diagnostic Innovation
  • Populations Science and Experimental Medicine
  • Data Science and Health Informatics

The programme is led by the Institute of Cardiovascular Science, but students can and do undertake PhDs in other Faculties and Institutes. More information can be found on the Institute  website: British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Biomedicine PhD

 Eligibility & Funding

Applicant entry requirement: a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate subject (or overseas equivalent), or a recognised taught Master’s degree.

This programme is funded by the British Heart Foundation.  Studentships cover tuition fees (UK/EU rate set by UCL), a stipend (estimated £22,278 in year 1), a consumables allowance and a travel fund.

Tuition fees are covered at the home UK/EU rate set by UCL (£5,502 for 2019/20).  Non UK/EU applicants must show evidence of their ability to cover the difference between home fees (£5,502 for 2019/20) and overseas fees (£24,717 for 2019/20) for the duration of study, and will also need to satisfy UKBA visa requirements.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

 Why study this degree at UCL?

Outstanding research opportunities

University College London (UCL) offers unrivalled opportunities for PhD research in all aspects of Cardiovascular Biomedicine. The Institute of Cardiovascular Science was set up in 2011 and is a centre of excellence in preventative and therapeutic cardiovascular medicine. Our academic staff have international reputations and ICS provides a stimulating academic setting. Research labs are well-funded and equipped, so that PhD students have the best chance of getting off to a productive start straightaway.

Pastoral care

Throughout the 4 years, all student’s progress will be monitored and assessed by a committee responsible for the training provided. Students will be integrated into the community of cardiovascular researchers at UCL by participation in journal clubs, seminars and social events. Career advice will be given in the last year.

Cultural and social opportunities provided by London

UCL is located in Bloomsbury, close to the entertainment areas of the West End and South Bank which offer an enormous range of music, art, theatre and film, and a vast number of restaurants and bars. London is extremely socially diverse: most PhD students rapidly establish a thriving social life.


As well as post-doctoral fellowships (UK and abroad), UCL British Heart Foundation PhD students have gone on to form start-up companies, work for research organisations, teach, and work for Research Councils.


Our breadth allows engagement with colleagues with professional experience in imaging, regenerative medicine, genetics, epidemiology and translational cardiovascular genomics, prevention and outcomes, and cardiology. A PhD at ICS provides the student with an opportunity to consider cardiovascular disease from the bench to the bedside.


Our academics have numerous national and international collaborations with academic and commercial organisations, which provides students with broad opportunities for networking and career development.


Programme Contacts

Visit the official link

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