Wellcome Trust 4 Year PhD Studentship Programme

Qualification: PhD

Departments: Health Sciences Cardiovascular Sciences Genetics Molecular and Cell Biology Leicester Law School

Start date: Next intake will be September 2021/2


Genomic Epidemiology and Public Health Genomics PhD Programme (Wellcome Trust DTP)

This 4-year PhD programme for the University of Leicester, with support from the Wellcome Trust, welcomes its first students in autumn 2020. The programme can support up to eight students per year over five intakes.

Via four themes, the programme will train professionals to address research needs to better understand the health of the population and the role of genetic factors in determining health and disease. Opportunities for skills development will be principally in priority areas of statistics, data science, computer programming, epidemiology, genomics and social science, medical law and ethics, and public health.

There are a number of projects on offer each year, to which students can apply. Each project is linked to at least one of the four themes.

  • Theme 1: Genomics for Drug Development and Pharmacogenetics
  • Theme 2: Genomics for Precision Medicine in Underserved Populations
  • Theme 3: Genetically Informed Causal Inference and Risk Prediction
  • Theme 4: Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Genomics and Genomic Epidemiology Studies

There will be unique opportunities to undertake research placements with our industry partners, and to work with partners in low and middle income countries. This is a flexible trainee centred programme with a wide range of skills development, both subject specific and career enhancing. For more information, click here. 

There are two routes available on this programme:

  • 4-year PhD (which can also be offered part-time)
  • 1-year MSc followed by a 4-year PhD

View full details of programme themes, programme routes, programme content and meet the team leads.

Applications for September 2020 are now closed. 

Available projects will be listed and applications accepted for September 2021 in late 2020/early 2021



Studentships and funding to be offered

6 x 4 year PhD for UK/EU students

  • Postgraduate research fee waiver at standard College of Life Sciences UK/EU rates for all four years of the PhD
  • Wellcome Trust stipend for all four years of the PhD*

2 x 4 year PhD for International from Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC) are defined by the Wellcome Trust.

  • Postgraduate research fee waiver at standard College of Life Sciences overseas rates for all four years of the PhD
  • Wellcome Trust stipend for all four years of the PhD*

2 x 1 year MSc + 4 year PhD 

  • Postgraduate taught UK/EU fee waiver for year 1 only (no stipend).
  • Postgraduate research fee waiver at standard College of Life Sciences UK/EU rates for years 2-5 (PhD years) 
  • Wellcome Trust stipend for years 2-5 (PhD years)*

*Wellcome Trust stipend rates for 2020/1 entry are: PhD Year 1 £19,919; Year 2 £21,542; Year 3 £23,298; Year 4 £23,997

International students who are not from an identified LMIC are welcome to apply but may be required to pay the difference between home student fees and international student fees for the duration of their studies.

Additional funding for all study options include:

  • Funding for training, research costs directly related to the studentship and a contribution towards project related travel. 
  • A generous transition fund, focused on preparing students for their subsequent careers – this could for example provide for a student-driven choice of employment placement after submission of their PhD.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • Candidates applying to the 4-year PhD should hold or expect to hold a UK first-class or upper second-class (2:1) undergraduate degree or a Master's degree in a relevant subject or overseas equivalent
  • Candidates applying to the 1-year MSc + 4-year PhD should hold or expect to hold a first-class or upper second-class (2:1) undergraduate degree or overseas equivalent
  • University of Leicester English language requirements apply

Candidates who do not meet these entry requirements, but feel they have additional research experience should describe this clearly in the applicant statement.

Applicants should note that this programme is not intended for clinically active, medically qualified candidates.

Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries

For project enquiries please contact the relevant Theme lead or the project supervisor in the first instance.

Administration and general enquiries to Sarah Robinson at genomicsphd@leicester.ac.uk.

Application enquiries can be sent to pgradmissions@le.ac.uk.

How to apply

How to apply

Applications will only be considered during the period when funding is available 

All applicants should apply using the Apply button at the bottom of page 

The application in the first instance is to Health Sciences but if an offer is made the academic department may change depending on the research project.

Read the Project descriptions and decide which you want to apply for and then prepare your Applicant Statement. 

Please upload into the application system:  

  • Applicant Statement (maximum 700 words) addressing the following:
    • Explaining why you are planning to undertake a PhD
    • Explaining why you should be considered for a PhD studentship within this programme
    • Listing up to three projects in order of first, second and third preference (include project title and supervisor) – optional for 1+4 route, but identifying a preferred theme(s) may help us direct your application appropriately
    • Justifying your choice of project(s) – optional for 1+4 route

Candidates who wish to specify their own original projects must use Project Ref. SPP/1 in the application and upload a separate 1-page project description in the Proposal Section in addition to the applicant statement above.

Candidates who wish to undertake the 1-year MSc + 4-year PhD must clearly specify this in the applicant statement and identify the preferred Master’s course(s) and why they may be relevant to future research.

  • Include academic referee contact details in the section provided or upload letters of reference if already obtained 
  • Upload copies of your degree certificates and transcripts for study already completed and any transcripts to date for study currently being undertaken.
  • Current CV
  • Evidence of English language proficiency if applicable

In the section on Funding enter the source of funding as Wellcome Trust DTP


Candidates successfully shortlisted will be invited to a 30-minute face-to-face interview at the University of Leicester. International applicants will be given a 45-minute Skype interview.



UK/EU and International* applicants may apply.

*International applicants not applying from a Low or Middle Income Country must be able to demonstrate that they can fund the difference between UK/EU and International tuition fees for the duration of the PhD.

Applications for 2020/1 are now closed. Applications for 2021/2 will be open in late 2020

Applications for 2020/1 are now closed. Applications for 2021/2 will be open in late 2020

Available projects

Students wishing to undertake a 4-year PhD in this programme have the opportunity to select an available project at the time of application. It is good practice to contact the primary supervisor (listed first) for an informal discussion prior to submitting an application for their project.

Available project will be listed here when recruitment goes live.