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White blood cells flowing through red blood as a microbiology symbol of the human immune system.

Kennedy Trust IMPACT Inflammation MB-PhD

Combining the vocational training of a medical degree with the research expertise of a PhD.


The Kennedy Trust IMPACT Inflammation MB-PhD is a fully funded three-year programme aimed at MBChB students who wish to intercalate to train as clinician-scientists.

This training route will see you work towards both your MBChB and PhD awards over the course of the programme, combining your medical training with research training in the area of inflammation sciences.

Each year, we aim to recruit the best candidates who are seeking to drive new innovations in clinical care and research. Our first cohort of students started their studies in September 2021.


What is a PhD?

A PhD is one of the highest level academic degrees that can be awarded. Unlike most undergraduate and master's courses, a PhD is a pure research degree.

However, this doesn't mean you will spend three years in a library or lab. There are many opportunities for professional development including networking and communication, teaching, presenting at conferences, and opportunities to publish work.

Why should I do a PhD during the MBChB?

You will get a head start on your academic career before you get too embedded in clinical work. The skills you will acquire can be applied in many areas of medicine, and you will learn valuable critical appraisal skills early.

There is a much higher chance of being awarded an MB-PhD during medical school than if you wait to apply for PhD later in your career.

On completion of your MB-PhD, you will graduate as a doctor at the forefront of your field.

Why inflammation?

Inflammation is such a broad area that it can be applied in all aspects of medicine/surgery/GP. You will develop invaluable transferable skills and be fully equipped to start a career in clinical research.

Inflammation is linked to areas of medicine such as:

  • immunology
  • dermatology
  • gastroenterology
  • infection
  • cardiovascular disease
  • arthritis and rheumatic diseases
  • orthopaedics
  • respiratory disease.


You will benefit from a bespoke training and mentorship programme alongside your research project.

As a postgraduate researcher in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, you will also have access to the Doctoral Academy Training programme to develop your transferable skills.


Year 1

  • Programme induction
  • Upskilling in inflammation course
  • Computational biology course
  • Project specific training/development

Year 2

  • Training activities to support career development
  • Mentorship programme

Year 3

  • Training activities to support career development
  • Mentorship programme
  • Preparation for thesis submission/viva
  • Support for returning to the MBChB core programme
Researcher recording results on a clipboard.


The list of projects available for the September 2022 intake is below.

You can also access a summary of each project and the supervisory team through this booklet (PDF). Supervisors have prepared short videos to outline their projects, which you can find below.

We will hold an online event to outline the programme and enable you to ask questions and meet some of the supervisors. You must also contact potential supervisors directly to discuss their project and research.

Available projects

  • Identification of novel biomarker profiles to define subgroups of Systemic Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases 
  • Investigating how early rheumatoid arthritis signatures associate with treatment response and clinical trajectories (watch video)
  • Identifying biomarkers of myositis treatment response using UK-wide longitudinal data to personalise patient management (watch video)
  • Discovery and clinical translation of small molecule biomarkers of inflammation in asthma
  • Using artificial intelligence to better understand multimorbidity and treatment outcomes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (watch video)
  • Using cellular and zebrafish disease modelling to study the relationship between inflammasomes and cholesterol metabolism in haemorrhagic stroke (watch video)
  • Using genetics to predict disease outcomes, severity and treatment response in childhood inflammatory arthritis (watch video)
  • The impact of the lipidome on drug response in psoriatic arthritis (watch video)
  • Functional dissection of disease associated genetic loci in rheumatoid arthritis (watch video)
  • Characterisation of longitudinal peripheral immune cellular changes in post-stroke dementia (watch video)
  • The moderating effect of socioeconomic factors on the association between alcohol consumption, long-term inflammation and risk of rheumatoid arthritis (watch video)
  • Immunology of treatment response in autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis) (watch video)
  • Using functional genomics and genetic engineering (CRISPR) techniques to investigate the JAKi pathway in Psoriasis (watch video)

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Successful applicants will receive a PhD studentship for the three-year duration of the programme.

These studentships include:

  • full funding for PhD tuition fees (up to the UK rate)
  • lab costs/running expenses
  • a stipend of £19,000 per annum for living costs.

International candidates should contact us at to discuss a fee scholarship that is available to the highest-performing international applicant.

Researcher adjusting a microscope.

Eligibility criteria

Priority will be given to MBChB students at The University of Manchester and BSc (Hons) Medicine students at the University of St Andrews, although applications from eligible students from other medical schools may be considered.

University of Manchester MBChB students must be either:

  • currently studying in Year 3; or
  • currently studying in Year 2 and already holding a BA/BSc (Hons) degree classification of an Upper Second or above in a relevant subject; or
  • intercalating after either Year 2 or Year 3 of the MBChB.

University of St Andrews Medicine BSc (Hons) student on the Manchester course pathway must be:

  • currently studying on Year 3 of the Manchester MBChB, having already obtained a BSc classification of an Upper Second (2:1) or above from the University of St Andrews;
  • predicted to obtain a BSc classification of an Upper Second (2:1) or above from the University of St Andrews.

Exceptionally, we will accept applications from medical students on other UK courses.

External applicants must demonstrate equivalent academic eligibility and institutional support to the above, including evidence of opportunities for integration with their undergraduate course similar to those of internal applicants.


Making an application

Each year, we will support four MBChB undergraduate students onto the three-year programme, with the approval of your intercalation team.

We are looking for candidates who are seeking to drive new innovations in clinical care and research.

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

Full details on eligibility and residence criteria are available on the How to apply page.

Please follow our instructions on how to apply.

Key dates

  • Application deadline: 16 May 2022
  • Interviews: week commencing 16 May 2022
  • Start date: September 2022

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Students holding test tubes.

Undergraduate summer placements

We offer research placements within the MB-PhD to University of Manchester and St Andrews-Manchester Pathway Medical School students.

The placements will give you a taste of academic research and our MB-PhD programme. Placements last for up to 10 weeks. If you are eligible to apply, you must submit an expression of interest by Friday 1 July 2022.


Contact us

Please get in touch if you have any questions about this programme.

Queries regarding the application process and funding can be sent to the Doctoral Academy Admissions Office:

Tel: +44 (0)161 275 5608

Queries regarding the programme can be sent to:


University of Manchester intercalation queries should be sent to:

General queries

Sue Astley

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