Welcome to the Midlands Mental Health and Neurosciences PhD Programme for Healthcare Professionals

The Midlands hosts the most innovative centres in mental health and neurosciences (MH&N), including digital mental health, clinical trials, neuroimaging, and epidemiology, serving an area of huge clinical need.

The Midlands Mental Health & Neurosciences PhD Programme is led by the University of Nottingham, in collaboration with University of Birmingham, University of Leicester, and University of Warwick, and our local NHS Trusts in the Midlands.

The Programme

In a research environment that is dynamic, socially inclusive, and supportive, our Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) will develop an excellent, multidisciplinary, multi-professional researchers and an inter-sectoral research Midlands hub, facilitating adult learning, developing research and leadership skills, independent and critical thinking, and sharing of ideas, and teamwork.

Our PhD scholars will undertake excellent challenge-led research encompassing MH&N discovery science to translational and applied health research, covering the human lifespan and taking a bio-psycho-social approach, commensurate with the complex presentations, experiences, interventions, and impact of mental ill-health.

Our PhDs are funded by the generous contribution of Wellcome in collaboration with our DTP universities.




  • NHS salary for three years (based on current pay) – Employing Trusts will be paid this money to backfill the PhD student’s time on the Programme.*
  • Home (UK) rate tuition fees for three years
  • Generous research costs
  • Generous funds for additional training
  • Travel costs for research
  • PhD students are permitted to undertake up to 0.2 FTE clinical work to maintain their clinical skills, which will be paid for by the Programme

*Funding for salaries is based on average NHS pay bands for different healthcare professionals, which Wellcome has used to fund this programme. We may be able to accommodate funding above the average pay bands, but this will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Our Vision

Our vision, with inclusivity at its core, is to develop the next generation of multi-skilled research leaders amongst healthcare professionals from diverse cultural backgrounds and professions to conduct excellent research and advance knowledge in MH&N, paving the way to better patient, family, and carer care; community empowerment; and social development.

Our Aims

Develop the next generation of multidisciplinary clinical academics in mental health & neurosciences (MH&N)

Conduct and disseminate world-leading research

Create and sustain an ambitious Midlands-based, internationally connected, compassionate clinical-academic ecosystem, collaborating to address the key contemporary mental health challenges

Our Guiding Principles



High quality research

We will support our scholars to undertake high-quality research, that is going to answer the key questions the scholars seek to address. Through rigorous peer review and links with experts in the field nationally and internationally, we will ensure that the PhD projects are of the highest quality.


Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

We are committed to Advance HE’s Guiding Principles of the Race Equality Charter and Athena Swan Charter, and strive to follow their Good Practice Initiatives. We strongly encourage applications from those groups who are underrepresented in different healthcare professions and those with lived experience of mental health difficulties.


Improvement and innovation through continuous evaluation

We have several years of experience running different DTPs, but we believe in self-improvement and we want to ensure that the PhD programme is tailored to the needs to our PhD scholars. Through regular consultation with our PhD scholars, supervisors, and our PPI members, we will learn about what is considered good practice and where we need to do better.


Interdisciplinarity and Team Science

Our scholars will be addressing in their research large and complex MH&N challenges, which requires teamwork and input from different professional groups and experts in different research methods. We strongly encourage interdisciplinarity. Scholars will have the opportunity to develop their skills and research projects with the input from experts from multiple disciplines, thereby enabling innovation within their own healthcare professional group. Our Team Science approach ensures that our PhD scholars get the benefits of working as part of a team, where the contributions of each member of the team are recognised.


Patient and Public Involvement (PPI)

PPI is core to our DTP and to all our scholars’ projects. PPI offers researchers:

  • An improved understanding of what is important to patients and the public about a specific area/topic
  • An alternative point of view
  • An early indication of whether people would want to participate in the study (or how to improve the experience of participating in a study), and
  • Guidance regarding dissemination of their research findings.

PPI will be expected at every stage of the scholar’s PhD journey, from the conceptualisation of the project to the dissemination plans. Scholars may also have a PPI member as part of their advisory team.