Programme content


Placements can take place at any stage of the PhD with our industry partners:

  • AstraZeneca
  • Genentech
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Pfizer

The programme allows for capacity building in projects addressing global challenges together with low and middle income country (LMIC) supervisors for both UK and LMIC trainees. Our partners include:

  • University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa and AWI-GEN partner institutions in Kenya, Burkina Faso and Ghana. The partnerships will be coordinated via the lead institution for AWI-Gen (University of the Witwatersrand), including:
    • The African Population and Health Research Centre, Nairobi, Kenya
    • Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Sante, Clinical Research Unit of Nanoro, Burkina Faso
    • Navrongo Health Research Centre, Ghana
  • Laboratory of Genetics and Molecular Cardiology, University of São Paulo Medical School, São Paulo, Brazil
  • SSIR Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, IndiaGroup of PhD students posing in front of OPHRU sign

During a placement, students will have access to:

  • Placement supervision or PhD co-supervision from one of our partner institutions
  • Travel and subsistence expenses
  • Funded placements at the end of the PhD – these can facilitate transition into a research career in a low and middle income country setting

Students can also choose to undertake a placement through The Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS).

Skills development

Each PhD student can tailor their own training pathway to meet their evolving needs and career goals. The programme includes cohort building activities, career coaching, and skills development.

Subject-specific training can include:

  • Social Science
  • Medical Law and Ethics
  • Interdisciplinary skills
  • Computer Programming
  • Statistics
  • Data Science
  • Epidemiology
  • Genetic Epidemiology
  • Methods Development
  • Study Design
  • Public Health
  • Optional MSc modules

Workplace skills training can include:

  • Good Research skills
  • Project Management
  • Leadership skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Scientific Writing
  • Public Engagement
  • Science communication
  • Patient and Public Involvement
  • Entrepreneurial skills
  • Effective communication
  • Career pathways

Research culture

Students will join a cohort that facilitates the development of deep and lasting relationships that will create a sense of belonging, peer and professional support and signposting to professional networks to enable effective career planning. An Annual Trainee, Alumni and Supervisor Jamboree will provide a structured forum for developing relationships and professional networks, and for contiguous training and cohort-building specifically for trainees. Students would be involved in shared experiences, including media training, public engagement and social events. Discussion groups and peer-support networks are encouraged through integrated PhD/ECR groups facilitated by the WTISSF, and a Trainee yammer group for informal discussions.

Leicester PhD trainees following this programme will have access to staff services for mental health and wellbeing. We facilitate deep career exploration and preparation, incorporating unique placements alongside a programme of career coaching designed to enhance diversity in biomedical careers.

Our Doctoral College aims to develop rigorous and intrepid researchers, with world-class capabilities in the leadership, communication, and impact of research, and prepared for both academic and non-academic careers across the globe.

The University fully supports the programme Leadership Team in delivering this training excellence and best research practice, and will support it to do so in an environment without discrimination, bullying or harassment. The University has transparent procedures including the UoL Dignity at Work Code of Practice and Research Code of Conduct, underpinned by our culture of respect, promoting EDI.

The University has an open access policy for all peer reviewed articles and conference proceedings. A growing data digital archive: "Leicester Figshare" is available for all researchers and PhD students making our research data openly accessible and stored in perpetuity. The University of Leicester has signed the DORA declaration recognising the need to assess research on its own merits rather than on the basis of the journal in which the research is published. A Task Group is now planning how the institution will take practical steps in assessing research. Through Leicester's Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund, we have committed to supporting Open Science and the DORA principles and are planning activities and events, which will be open to this cohort.

Transition period

This programme will support a transition period at the end of the PhD to provide opportunities for in-depth career exploration and skills development. For example:

  • Industry placements for research enabling drug development
  • Internships in science communication

Low and middle income country placements for global health research.

Group of PhD students posing in front of OPHRU sign