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MB PhD Programme

Welcome to our flagship MB PhD Programme

Cleo Bishop staff photo

Academic Lead
Professor Cleo Bishop

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 2343
Twitter: @CleoBishopLab

William Alazawi staff photo

Clinical Lead
Professor William Alazawi
MA(Cantab) MB Bchir PhD FRCP

Telephone: 020 7882 2308
Twitter: @willalazawi

We aim to support students on a five-year Primary Medical Qualification (MBBS, MBChB, etc.) to undertake a major research project and gain a PhD.

Please contact Cleo Bishop ( to find out more about this programme, the support we offer, and our eligibility requirements.

Our three-year research degree aims to nurture the development of highly skilled, independent clinical research scientists who can contribute to medical research as part of their clinical career.

We are looking for bright, motivated students with an interest in research, and a motivation to learn and develop new skills.

The programme runs between QMUL MBBS Year 3 and MBBS Year 4. Following completion of Year 3 of the QMUL MBBS Programme, student enter the full-time, three year MB PhD Programme. Following completion of the MB PhD, students then return to their host MBBS to complete MBBS Year 4 and Year 5 (or equivalents).

Our Academic and Clinical Leads work closely with you to identify the right project and supervisory team to foster your research interests. Research Projects are based within the Faculty of Medicine and can be located within any of our world leading Institute.

Students on the programme will benefit from a bespoke clinical teaching programme to ensure that your clinical skills and knowledge remain up to date during the period of the MB PhD.

We also provide dedicated mentoring to support your development, progression and wellbeing.

As there is a lot to put in place for a successful MB PhD application, we strongly encourage interested students to contact us as early on in their MBBS as possible, and ideally by the start of Year 3 at the latest.

Below is some guidance on the eligibility criteria for the MB PhD Programme.

Students studying in the UK

To be eligible to join this programme, you must currently be enrolled on a full five-year Primary Medical Qualification (MBBS, MBChB or equivalent) at a UK Medical School.

At the point of entry into the MB PhD Programme, all successful applicants must have:

  • Completed at least the first two years of a full five years' primary medical qualification
    *note this criteria may vary depending on the funding source, so please refer to the funding page for further details
  • Achieved an upper-second or first-class honours degree (or iBSc).

If you are an external applicant, you must:

  • Be eligible to return to your own Medical School to complete your MBBS.
  • Meet QMUL Medical School's entry requirements.

Students studying outside the UK

If you are studying for a Primary Medical Qualification outside the UK, please contact Cleo Bishop ( to discuss your eligibility.

If you need further information to work out if you are eligible for this programme, please contact Cleo Bishop ( for more information.

The MB PhD Supervisory Panel

In line with QMUL Academic Regulations, all MB PhD Students have a Primary and Secondary Supervisor.

Your Primary Supervisor should be based within the Faculty of Medicine at one of our world leading research Institutes

  • Barts Cancer Institute
  • Blizard Institute
  • Institute of Health Sciences
  • William Harvey Research Institute
  • Wolfson Institute of Population Health

You can find out more about the world class research that we do within the Faculty.

The Programme Leads, Cleo Bishop and Will Alazawi, will support you to identify and connect with prospective MB PhD Supervisors. We encourage students to take time to make this important decision, so getting in touch early is important.

MB PhD Supervisors’ duties

You can find the full details of the duties and responsibilities of MB PhD Supervisors.


The MB PhD Programme Leads, Cleo Bishop and Will Alazawi, are here to support prospective students to identify sources of studentship funding.

Typical funding includes the following:

  • An annual stipend to support your living expenses.
  • QMUL Home level PhD tuition fees.
  • A contribution to the laboratory costs of the proposed MB PhD Project.

Please note the level of contribution(s) will vary depending on the individual funder.

If you are an overseas student either studying in the UK or abroad, please contact us to discuss the overseas PhD tuition fees rate.

CRUK City of London Centre MB PhD Studentships

QMUL is part of the CRUK CoL Centre MB PhD Programme, which offers fully funded three year MB PhD Studentships.

Full details about the programme and eligibility requirements for this funding.

If you are interested in applying to this programme, please get in touch with Cleo Bishop ( to discuss your application.

All MB PhD studentships commence at the start of the QMUL Academic Year.

QMUL MB PhD Programme

We accept applications onto the QMUL MB PhD programme throughout the year.

CRUK CoL Centre MB PhD Programme

If you are interested in applying to the CRUK CoL Centre MB PhD Programme, there are specific deadlines for applications to this programme.

For students interested in starting a CRUK CoL Centre MB PhD in September 2023 the important dates are

  • Applications open: mid February 2023
  • Closing date for applications to QMUL Projects: 31 March 2023
  • Interviews: 19 May 2023

Before submitting an application to either programme, please contact Cleo Bishop ( to discuss your submission.

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