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 2020/21, this is £15,285. In line with the MRC, NC3Rs sets a higher minimum stipend level for inside London – for 2020/21 this is £17,285.

Current vacancies

13 three-year PhD studentships are being funded by the NC3Rs, one of which is jointly funded by Unilever. All the studentships are due to commence in 2021. For further information, details of the application process and deadlines for submission, please contact the relevant project supervisor:

University of Bristol
Targeted protein degradation as a novel approach to study protein function in human platelets
Professor Ingeborg Hers -

A novel Drosophila model of chronic inflammatory lung disease to explore airway damage, inflammation and infection in vivo
Dr Helen Weavers -

Brunel University
Insects as models to study wound healing, infection and the wound microbiome
Dr Ronan McCarthy -

University of Edinburgh
Drug risk assessment and repurposing using biomimetic chromatography and body-on-chip technology (Joint Award with Unilever)
Dr Adriana Tavares -

University of Exeter
Refining the tagging of wild fish and sharks
Dr Matthew Witt -

King's College London
Understanding how altered brain metabolism causes mitochondrial disease
Dr Joseph Bateman -

Combining a fully synthetic hydrogel with human intestinal organoids to model pathological matrix remodelling in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Dr Eileen Gentleman -

University of Liverpool 
Replacement of animal use in measuring cardiomyocyte response to drug safety profiling using a novel NMR metabolomics technology
Dr Rachel Oldershaw -

A 3Rs approach to investigate the feto-maternal interface: visualisation of pathogen and antibody in a 3D in vitro human placental model
Dr Marie Yang -

Newcastle University
Investigating biomechanical responses in healthy and diseases ageing cartilage, a tissue engineering approach
Dr Katarzyna Pirog -

Northumbria University
3D bioprinted microtissues to develop patient-specific non-animal technologies (NAT) in cancer drug development
Dr Deepali Pal -

University of Sheffield
Development and validation of 3D in vitro dormant myeloma cell models to reduce and replace animal studies
Dr Michelle Lawson -

University of York
A novel in vitro reporter system for blood stem cell activity
Dr David Kent -