The Faculty of Health and Medicine Doctoral Scholarships

The Faculty of Health and Medicine is pleased to offer a number of scholarships to include a range of 'fees only' and 'fees plus stipend' awards for outstanding UK/EU and overseas students wishing to undertake full time doctoral research in any Department within the Faculty of Health and Medicine.

Awards will be made for a maximum of three years full-time study. Applications from individuals who are able to demonstrate an ability to contribute to their fees or living expenses are particularly welcome.

Applications must be linked to one of the Faculty's core research areas of:

  • Ageing and End of Life Care
  • Infectious Disease and Parasitology
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Public Health and Health Equity

Projects include:

The effect of nutritional stress in Phlebotomine sand fly larvae on the outcome of Leishmania infection in the adult.

Leishmaniasis is a medically important disease exclusively transmitted by phlebotomine sand flies. The ecology of the sand fly-Leishmania relationship is complex, the possibility that larval stressors carry over to impact on the adult sand fly-Leishmania relationship have not been considered. Knowledge of the impact of larval stress on adult transmission of disease would help us understand the basis of susceptibility/refractoriness to Leishmania and affect our capacity to contain disease outbreaks. The project will involve working on a Brazilian strain of Lutzomyia longipalpis that is the vector for Leishmania infantum in S. America. The project is in collaboration with Dr Mauricio Sant'Anna at a Brazilian University (UFMG, Belo Horizonte) and will involve a collaborative visit to Brazil.

Understanding the genetic architecture supporting the role of TopBP1 in eukaryotic DNA replication.

Based on preliminary data it is proposed to undertake a Synthetic Genetic Analysis (SGA) screen in fission yeast designed to identify and analyse the functional genetic architecture supporting TopBP1 activity. TopBP1 is highly conserved in the eukaryota and functions in the initiation of eukaryotic DNA replication as well as having a central role in the cellular response to the presence of DNA damage. Compromise of both the initiation of DNA replication and checkpoint function have been widely implicated in the initiation of neoplastic growth. A preliminary screen has identified a number of functional groups of genes that when mutated are synthetically lethal in combination with a hypomorhic allele (rad4-116) of the gene encoding the S. pombe TopBP1 homologue. It is proposed to repeat the preliminary screening process to generate a statistically robust dataset and in parallel to analyse some of the potential genetic interactions uncovered in that preliminary screen. These functions relate to chromatin structure and maintenance, with a particular focus on the replication and structure of heterochromatin at centromeres and telomeres and the role of recombinational repair under conditions of replication stress. Methodology to be employed beyond the initial synthetic lethality screening will include quantative fitness analysis, gene expression analysis by quantitative PCR, two dimensional gel analysis of DNA replication intermediates, time resolved study of DNA replication using fluorescent labelling technologies and microscopy (DNA combing), time resolved live cell imaging microscopy.

Overseas applications from Brazil, China and India are particularly welcome.


  1. Competition for bursaries is extremely high, applications will only be considered from those who have achieved a good quality first Degree of a 2:1 or higher from a UK institution or equivalent from an overseas institution. Applicants with a Masters qualification should have achieved a Merit level pass or higher.

    Individuals currently studying for a Masters degree or who are in the final year of their first degree must provide clear evidence in the form of a provisional transcript or statement from their academic tutor indicating that they are expected to achieve the above grades by October 2013.
  2. Overseas applicants whose first language is NOT English will only be considered if they have achieved an overall IELTS (or equivalent) score of 6.5 or above, with a minimum pass of 5.5 in each of the core elements.
  3. These awards are not open to those students wishing to apply to the Distance Learning Doctoral Programmes in the Division of Health Research, for whom a separate scholarship scheme is available.

Application Process

Stage 1

Applicants wishing to be considered for these awards must have identified a topic and a named supervisor from within the Faculty who is willing to supervise their proposed research, and should complete and submit the Expression of Interest Form together with a one page CV by the deadline date of: May 7th at 5.00 p.m.
Contact Dawn McCracken for further information by email or telephone her on:
+44 (0)1524 593936.

Your CV should clearly indicate your educational achievements to date (indicating the class of degree award achieved). Overseas students whose first language is NOT English, must also clearly indicate their IELTS (or equivalent) score.

Applicants shortlisted to progress to the second stage of the application process will be informed by Friday May 18th at the latest.

If you have not heard from the Faculty by May 18th your application will not have been selected to continue to Stage 2. Due to the number of applications received, the Faculty is unfortunately not able to enter into correspondence about why your application was not shortlisted.

Stage 2

Shortlisted applicants will be required to complete a full application via the electronic applications portal ( and have received an offer of a place to study by the deadline date of Monday June 18th. Applicants should be registered to commence their studies in October 2013.

The application process for shortlisted applicants is as follows:

  • Applicants should complete the electronic application process indicating in their personal statement that they wish to be considered for a scholarship and why.
  • Applicants should include EITHER a 1-2 page proposal setting out the context of the research, aims objectives and proposed methodology OR (for bench scientists) a 1-2 page personal statement.
  • Applicants should provide two references with their electronic application. Normally, academic references should be provided.
  • Applications will be reviewed by the Faculty Postgraduate Funding Committee in early July 2013.
  • Successful applicants will be notified in writing within seven days of this meeting.
  • Where an applicant has not yet completed their undergraduate or Master's level qualification, any award made will conditional upon a satisfactory degree result

Terms of the awards

The terms of the award are as follows:

  1. Award holders must be registered to undertake full time doctoral study in any Department in the Faculty of Health and Medicine commencing in October 2013
  2. Scholarship awards will allocated to successful students in the form of a fees payment and/or stipend.
  3. Where an applicant has been made a Conditional Offer of a place on a programme of study, any award made will be conditional upon the conditions being met.
  4. Award holders will normally be required to undertake a small amount of work in their Department, as a condition of their award, usually equivalent to approx 2-3 hours per week.
  5. PhD Awards are made subject to continuing satisfactory progress and may be withdrawn at any time if progress is deemed to be unsatisfactory.
  6. Scholarships will not be paid to holders of UK Research Council studentships, Faculty of Health and Medicine Studentships, or the equivalent thereof. The Faculty reserves the right to withhold the unpaid portion of any bursary in the event that the holder succeeds in securing alternative external funding at any time during the period covered by the award.
  7. Applicants wishing to defer the start of their programme must apply in writing to the Associate Dean for Postgraduate Studies for permission to do so. Any deferral of more than three months from the original start date of the programme will result in the loss of the award for that academic year.
  8. Students holding this award and wishing to intercalate during their studies must apply in writing to the Associate Dean for Postgraduate Studies for permission to do so, in addition to seeking the permission of their Head of Department.

We recommend that you contact the staff involved before making your application.

For more information see applying for doctoral study.

Problems with this page? Contact the FHM Webmaster
© 2008-2014 Lancaster University - Disclaimer and Copyright notice - Privacy and Cookies Notice