Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) PhD studentships

A number of studentships for clinical and non-clinical PhD projects with the Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) are available for entry in October 2024.

About the Manchester BRC

The National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) funds BRCs as experimental medicine centres of excellence via competitive application every five years. Manchester BRC has been renewed over five years (2023 to 2028) to provide experimental medicine infrastructure funding across Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) hosts the BRC in partnership with The University of Manchester and the following Trusts: The Christie, Northern Care Alliance, Greater Manchester Mental Health, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals.

Manchester BRC drives forward experimental medicine across a range of research themes, which are grouped into four clusters:

  • inflammation
  • cancer
  • high-burden under-researched conditions
  • disease complexity.

These are areas in which the region has demonstrable strength. The BRC will work collaboratively to improve patient outcomes and embed, build and accelerate personalised health and care for all.  

The BRC will run for five years to fund research posts and biomedical studies in the following areas:


  • prevention and early detection
  • advanced radiotherapy
  • precision medicine
  • living with and beyond cancer


  • rheumatic musculoskeletal diseases
  • respiratory medicine
  • dermatology: cutaneous inflammation and repair
  • integrative cardiovascular medicine 

Disease complexity and multi-morbidity            

  • next generation phenotyping and diagnostics
  • next general therapeutics

High-burden under-researched conditions

  • hearing health
  • mental health
  • rare conditions

Cross-cutting and other themes

  • inclusive research, equality diversity and inclusion, and PPIEP
  • biomarkers
  • informatics
  • data science/digital infrastructure
  • core-team/project management
  • capacity building
  • industry and partnerships

For more information, visit the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre website.


Search for specific projects for October 2024 entry using our search tool.

How to apply

If you wish to be considered for a Manchester BRC studentship and meet our eligibility criteria, you must complete a single online application.

Please follow the information and step-by-step guide on our main how to apply page together with the below instructions. The application deadline is midnight on Friday 19 January 2024.

Applying for the Manchester BRC studentships

You must make one separate application for this programme (select Manchester BRC PhD on the online application form). If you select the incorrect programme, your application cannot be considered.

Applicants can select up to two projects on one single application, noting the title of each project from the advert and the supervisor name.

Due to the competitive nature of this programme, we ask that all interested applicants make direct contact with preferred supervisors before applying online. Our experience shows how important the applicant-supervisor relationship is and we encourage you to make contact directly; supervisors will then arrange informal discussions.

You should follow this up with a formal online application once you have decided on your preferred project/supervisor.

If you need help with this stage of the process, or have any queries regarding your eligibility, contact the Doctoral Admissions team for advice by emailing

For the funding sources section on the online application form:

  • Select 'Yes' from the drop-down
  • Type of Funding: 'Uni of Manchester Scheme'
  • Awarding Body: Manchester BRC
  • Status of Funding – Awarded
  • Funding Covers – Fully Funded
  • Leave the remaining boxes blank

Other application information


Non-clinical projects

Applicants are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum Upper Second class honours degree in a relevant subject area.

Clinical projects

Candidates will hold a medical degree and show evidence of interest in the project area. Candidates are expected to hold a postgraduate degree, such as a master's, and have a track record in clinical research.

International eligibility requirements

This scheme has a mixed funding model, and some projects are only open to UK applicants. Each individual project listed indicates if it is open to UK or international candidates. Please ensure you check the individual project before applying for the studentship.

We are only able to offer a limited number of full studentships to applicants outside the UK. Full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality international candidates due to the competitive nature of this scheme, following interviews, at the discretion of the board.

International applicants must ensure they meet the academic eligibility criteria (including English language) before applying. English language requirements can be found on the how to apply page.


We will contact you directly if we wish to invite you to a formal interview. We expect interviews to be held in the week beginning 26 February 2024.

Interviews will take place via Zoom. BRC board members will assess applicants based on their CV, academic record and references. Interview panels will consist of up to three academic staff from across the University, with representation from the BRC themes.

You will be required to give a short presentation of up to 10 minutes outlining any research experience you may have, such as an undergraduate project, or on the project you are interested in. Presentations can be made in PowerPoint format or verbally.

Key dates

  • Application deadline: 19 January 2024 (midnight)
  • Interviews: w/c 26 February 2024
  • Outcomes: w/c 11 March 2024

Contact us

If you have any queries about the funding, eligibility or application process, please contact the Doctoral Academy Admissions team.