Studentship vacancies

Why do an NC3Rs-funded PhD?

  • Gain a solid introduction to research that aims to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in science.
  • Undertake scientific training with a prestigious university committed to 3Rs research.
  • Join the UK's growing 3Rs research community and participate in our studentship summer school.
  • Contribute to research that advances the boundaries of how science is conducted.


Candidates should hold, or realistically expect to obtain, at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent. They should have a strong academic background in the biological sciences and a desire to pursue research in line with that of the research groups. Requirements vary for each studentship.

Posts are open to UK nationals. EU nationals, who have spent at least three years prior to the application resident in the UK, are also eligible to apply. Non-UK residents can only be considered if the Research Organisation can demonstrate a shortage of high-quality UK candidates, and this must be approved by the NC3Rs prior to appointment.

Funding provides full support for tuition fees for the three-year duration of the studentship, associated project costs, and an annual tax-free stipend. The national minimum doctoral stipend is set annually by UKRI – for 2019/20, this is £15,009. In line with the MRC, NC3Rs sets a higher minimum stipend level for inside London – for 2019/20 this is £17,009.

Current vacancies

16 three-year PhD studentships are being funded by the NC3Rs, two of which are jointly funded with BHF and two jointly funded by Unilever. All the studentships are due to commence in 2020. For further information, details of the application process and deadlines for submission, please contact the relevant project supervisor:

King's College London
Refinement: The impact of peri-operative analgesia on neuropharmacological outcomes in rodent models of chronic pain
Dr Kirsty Bannister - 

University of Manchester
Development of an in vitro model to dissect the mechanism of fungal persistence in the cystic fibrosis lung
Dr Paul Bowyer -

University of Lincoln
Towards an open-source, equipment-agnostic framework for automated welfare monitoring in the home cage
Dr James Brown -

University of Surrey
Developing an in silico, spectroscopic imaging toolkit for assessing skin penetration (Joint award with Unilever)
Dr Tao Chen -

University of Sheffield
A living biobank of post-surgical residual glioblastoma to replace animal studies
Dr Spencer Collis -

University of Glasgow
A novel tool that embeds 3Rs principles in multiple sclerosis research
Dr Julia Edgar -

University of Birmingham
Use of induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes to test the consequences of genetic variants in atrial and ventricular arrhythmias (Joint award with the BHF)
Dr Katja Gehmlich -

University of Sheffield
Ex vivo drug screening using human tissue to personalise cancer therapy and replace murine avatars
Professor Thomas Helleday -

Queen Mary University of London
3D bio-printing human pluripotent stem cell-derived skeletal muscle constructs for disease modelling and drug discovery
Dr Yung-Yao Lin -

University of Lancaster
A next generation Quiescence and Cell Cycle Indicator for the refinement and reduction of animal usage in proliferation assays
Dr Richard Mort -

Cardiff University
INDUCE-seq: a novel tool for next generation risk assessment (Joint award with Unilever)
Professor Simon Reed -

University of Leeds
Direct replacement of secondary antibodies by affimer proteins
Dr Christian Tiede -

University of Liverpool
A 3Rs approach to assess drug toxicity on the mammalian embryo during early pregnancy in vitro
Dr David Turner -

University of Dundee
Modelling O-GlcNAc transferase Intellectual Disability in Drosophila
Professor Daan van Aalten -

University of Leeds
An improved C. elegans model of Alzheimer's disease to monitor neuronal signalling activity (NC3Rs 2019 highlight notice)
Dr Patricija van Oosten-Hawle -

University of East Anglia
Development of non-mammalian, pre-clinical screening tools for the predictive analysis of cardiotoxicity (Joint award with the BHF)
Dr Grant Wheeler -