Application deadline: 7 January 2021 5pm UK time.

Start date: September 2021


IMPACT (Integrated Midlands Partnership for Biomedical Training) is a Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) funded by the MRC between three academic partners – Universities of Birmingham, Nottingham, and Leicester. Research projects within the DTP are focused around the theme of Complex Disease, which allows doctoral students to benefit from a diverse range of projects and skills within the cohort, stimulating students to think ‘outside the box’ and perform innovative, world-leading research.

Doctoral Training Partnerships

Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) are multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional schemes designed to support the training of the next generation of world-class researchers. The University of Leicester is a lead partner in four DTPs/CDTs through which we can offer funded PhD studentships in a wide range of research areas. 

Studentships are available to highly motivated and qualified applicants and provide a generous support package usually including a full fee waiver, annual stipend, and research training support grant. Studentships are in most cases offered early in the year for September start. Enquiries outside of the main application periods are welcomed.

Projects for 2021

IMPACT Projects

Project title: Investigating the interaction between frailty and hypoglycaemia to predict admissions in elderly people with diabetes
Supervisors: Pratik Choudhary (University of Leicester) and Thomas Jackson

Project title: Defining the effects of CD247 (CD3z) genetic variants on T-cell function in asthma
Supervisors: David Cousins (University of Leicester) and Ian Sayers

Project title: Studying the role of the Sin3A/HDAC1 complex in DNA replication and Mitosis using novel therapeutic approaches
Supervisors: Shawn Cowley (University of Leicester) and Eva Petermann

Project title: Characterising cortical network dysfunction in schizophrenia in human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells
Supervisors: Todor Gerdjikov (University of Leicester), Ian Forsythe and Cinzia Allegrucci

Project title: The interplay between air pollution, viruses and respiratory disease
Supervisors: Julie Morrissey (University of Leicester), Anna Hansell and Rachel Clifford

Project title: Investigating the role played by inflammation in the development of colorectal cancer
Supervisors: Alessandro Rufini (University of Leicester) and Abdol Sham-Nateri

iCASE Projects

Project title: Antibodies that redirect T cells to kill aggressive lymphomas
Supervisors: Harriet Walter (University of Leicester), Martin Dyer, Edward McGowan (Isogenica), Sandrine Jayne and Naeem Khan



Successful candidates will be awarded a 3.5 year stipend at UKRI rates and UK Tuition fees.

Tuition fees
Applicants that are classed as an international student will receive a full award, to include a stipend and tuition fees at the home level. 

International applicants will need to submit evidence with their application that they are able to “top up” the home tuition fee rate to the relevant institution international fee rate for 3.5 years from a scholarship or other source, not to be from your personal/family funds.  This could be between £21,000 and £25,000 (subject to increase for 2021 academic year). 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
Minimum qualifications and experience to undertake a research degree are detailed in the QAA UK Quality for Higher Education. For some subject areas, there is also an expectation that an individual will have undertaken a Masters qualification before beginning a doctoral programme. Candidates should possess the relevant qualifications and/or experience to demonstrate a capability to undertake a doctorate, which will be assessed during the recruitment process. 

More details can be found on the MRC website

Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries

Project / Funding Enquiries: 

Application enquiries to  

How to apply

How to apply

How to apply for IMPACT projects

Select your project and follow the guidelines on the IMPACT website

Please complete the IMPACT 2021 Application form one and IMPACT 2021 Application form two as well as the Equal opportunities form

You will need to ensure that your referees complete the IMPACT Referee form 2021.

Completed applications to be submitted to

Please also refer to PhD Opportunities on the IMAPCT website

How to apply for iCASE projects

Select your project

Please complete the iCASE 2021 Application form one and iCASE 2021 Application form two as well as the Equal opportunities form

You will need to ensure that your referees complete the iCASE Referee form 2021.

Completed applications to be submitted to

Please also refer to PhD Opportunities on the IMAPCT website



The MRC IMPACT studentships are available to UK nationals, EU nationals and international* applicants. 

Full details on eligibility, including residence requirements can be found on the Full Eligibility Criteria or on the UKRI website

*funding restrictions apply