Before you apply

Undertaking a PhD is a major life decision, we encourage all potential applicants to review the below materials in relation to whether a PhD is right for you before submitting your expression of interest.

Our programme aims to develop the next generation of multi-skilled research leaders amongst healthcare professionals. As such you will be given multiple training opportunities to reach your goals. There are a number of essential skills that you will require before you start your PhD journey, of which an example of these are listed.

Essential skills required for a PhD

  • Time management and organisational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Flexibility and Resilience
  • Critical thinking
  • Curiosity


This PhD Programme intends to support healthcare professionals seeking to combine a clinical and academic career.

We strongly encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds and professions, with an interest in mental health or translational neurosciences to apply.

We also actively encourage people with lived experience of mental health difficulties who meet the eligibility criteria to apply, and we will develop a support plan to enable their completion of their PhDs.

General Eligibility

All applicants:

  • must be practicing healthcare professionals, be registered and in good standing with a national professional healthcare regulatory body (for example, the General Medical Council or Health and Care Professions Council) in the UK or Republic of Ireland (ROI)
  • Be undertaking their clinical role in the Midlands. If not already located in the Midlands, eligibility would be dependent on successful transfer of clinical role to the Midlands.
  • must be classed as a Home student for tuition fee purposes, please see UKCISA for guidance if you are unsure
  • must meet the minimum entry requirements for your chosen institution. Please check institutional websites for requirements: University of Birmingham, University of Leicester, University of Nottingham, University of Warwick (specific projects may have higher entry requirements than the institutional minimums, please ensure you check your eligibility against the link on your chosen project)
  • are required to be fluent in English as will be expected for practising healthcare professionals,
  • must be able to demonstrate high academic potential, and
  • must be able to demonstrate a strong motivation and commitment to mental health or neuroscience research.

We cannot accept:

  • undergraduate students
  • scholars who wish to undertake an intercalated MD/PhD
  • healthcare professionals registered in other countries than UK/ROI

Specific Eligibility

Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare Professionals are required to be applicants from any health professional as defined by the Wellcome Trust as ‘an individual who is registered with a national professional regulatory body (for example the General Medical Council or Health and Care Professions Council) in the country in which the PhD Programme is based’.

This includes, but is not be limited to, the following professions:

  • Allied Health Professionals (Art Therapists, Dieticians, Drama Therapists, Music Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Paramedics, Physiotherapists, Radiographers and Speech and Language Therapists)
  • Healthcare scientists (in life sciences, physiological sciences, physical sciences and biomechanical engineering, and bioinformatics)
  • Midwives
  • Non-medical Public Health specialists
  • Nurses
  • Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians
  • Pharmacists
  • Social workers
  • Pharmacy technicians
  • Practitioner Psychologists (including Clinical Psychologists, Counselling Psychologists, Forensic Psychologists, Health Psychologists)

Medical Professionals

Medical Professionals are required to:

  • hold a MBBS or MBBCh qualification
  • hold GMC registration to enable practicing throughout their PhD training
  • hold valid indemnification for their clinical practice
  • have achieved competencies and satisfactory ARCP outcomes as expected for the stage of their training
  • be in a run through training position or hold a NTN
  • be eligible to be granted out of programme time for research (OOPR)
  • candidates with a CCT are usually not eligible
  • undergo ARCP assessment during the course of their PhD

For any queries on eligibility, in the first instance please see the FAQs page. If your query is not answered by the frequently asked questions, please email

2024 Recruitment

Our 2024 recruitment round is now open for expressions of interest.