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The William Harvey Research Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Postgraduate Research


The William Harvey Research Institute (WHRI) is one of the UK's leading research-focused higher education institutes. We offer world-class research training for our Postgraduate Research students encompassing discovery and translational research in the areas of cardiovascular pharmacology, immunology, endocrinology and genomics.

Research opportunities

PhD opportunities

  • If you have already secured personal funding and would like to apply for a PhD at the WHRI, please see the research areas where we are able to offer projects.
  • Currently available PhD projects within the WHRI are listed here.
  • Once you have identified an area of research or specific PhD project that interests you please contact the listed supervisor to discuss it further.
  • If you wish to discuss PhD projects and research opportunities further please contact Dr James Whiteford (Director of Graduate Studies).
  • Once you have identified a suitable project and supervisor please submit an online application where you should select the relevant WHRI course.
  • For further information please see PhD Opportunities.

Translational Cardiovascular Medicine Academy

In the area of cardiovascular sciences, a key element of our NIHR Barts Biomedical Research Centre is the creation of a Translational Cardiovascular Medicine Academy. Since 2013, this has been enhanced by our BHF 4-year MRes/PhD Programme. This provides students of the highest calibre with an opportunity to receive training in cardiovascular science from the molecular and cellular level, to in vivo models to healthy volunteer and patient-based studies.

British Heart Foundation (BHF) 4-year MRes/PhD programme

Since October 2013 WHRI has been one of nine UK centres hosting a British Heart Foundation 4 year MRes/PhD programme. For outstanding applicants this programme consists of an MRes course for the first year of study, providing students with the foundation knowledge and abilities they need to proceed to their cardiovascular PhD training.

For more information, including how to apply, visit the BHF 4-year MRes/PhD programme webpage.

MRC Combined MRes/PhD DTP in Translational Immunology

  • Delivered in partnership with the University of Southampton
  • Students will complete an MRes in year 1 before progressing to a PhD
  • The MRes will involve 4 taught modules and 3 rotational projects
  • Students will then select one of their MRes rotational projects as the subject of their PhD.

For further information about this programme please contact Professor John Marshall at 


We frequently advertise stand-alone PhD studentships funded by charitable bodies, industry and Queen Mary University of London.


During their studies, the progression of each research student is closely monitored. For PhD and MD(Res) students, there are progression points at 9, 18 and 30 months when students produce interim reports of their progress and future plans for consideration by two independent assessors in conjunction with reports from the supervisors. Students also present at ‘Research In Progress’ meetings, at which PhD students and junior post-doctoral researchers share their on-going experimental work with researchers from across the WHRI.

Within the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, all students participate fully in a doctoral development training scheme, based on the Vitae Researcher Development Framework. This approach means that students are well prepared to become successful independent researchers and fully equipped with the necessary skills to enter the workplace. During their training period, students work with their supervisors and independent assessors to identify their individual training needs. In addition to opportunities within the WHRI, students can undertake training programmes from a range of activities offered by the wider Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and by the Queen Mary Academy.


Our aim is to provide all our students with the experience of cutting-edge research conducted at the highest level, coupled with the attainment of the transferable skills essential for success in research and research-related careers. Former students and fellows include Professors at Yale, Singapore, Frankfurt, Washington, and institutions throughout the UK, as well as CEOs and R&D Directors of major companies. 

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