2023 PhD Studentships

Translational Research in
Mental Health and Neuroscience

3-year and 4-year PhD Studentships


Please note that the deadine to apply for these studentships has now passed.

The NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and King's College London are offering up to seven fully funded 3-year PhD studentships, plus up to twelve fully funded 4-year PhD studentships to applicants with backgrounds in: neuroscience, psychology, biological science, social science, physical science, epidemiology, mathematics, applied and health statistics; bioinformatics and computer science; data science; machine and deep learning; natural language processing.

These awards are funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), through the Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

Our aim is to pioneer multidisciplinary translational research and experimental medicine in the areas of mental health and neuroscience.

To achieve this we select the best students and provide them with excellent training, tailored flexibly to their individual needs and interests. We will equip them with the intellectual and technical skills that are needed for the future of translational research, and complement this with key transferable skills (including public engagement, business development and entrepreneurship) to ensure that they emerge as well-rounded scientists, prepared for their next career stage. Our excellent clinical setting will ensure all students benefit from an understanding of the context of their research and produce scientists with a strong translational ethos.

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust is the UK’s largest NHS mental health service provider with a long history of involvement in translational research and training in partnership with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London.

The IoPPN is the largest academic community in Europe dedicated to the study, treatment and prevention of mental health problems and neurodegenerative disease.  It is the world’s leading centre for mental health research in terms of citations of our publications.  In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework the IoPPN was judged to have a 100% 'outstanding' (4*) world leading research environment.  The impact of its research outside academia scored 92%  'outstanding' (4*) and 8% 'very considerable' (3*).

The IoPPN offers excellent opportunities for research training in basic and clinical science across the mental health spectrum including its interface with physical health, precision psychiatry, novel therapeutics and translational informatics.  Studying at the IoPPN you will benefit from world class research and clinical facilities plus internationally recognised supervisors.

We continuously strive to be an inclusive, culturally aware and culturally competent organisation that respects the differences of our community by providing an environment that both acknowledges and celebrates diversity and embraces inclusion.  


Important:  Before applying for one of these studentships, please read the information provided under the headings below.  

The submission deadline for Stage One applications was 23:59 GMT on Sunday 12 March 2023.

All shortlisted and reserve list candidates have now been contacted.  If you have not heard from us, your application has not been successful on this occasion.



Funding is available for:

  • Up to seven 3-year PhD studentships to commence October 2023.
  • Up to twelve 4-year PhD studentships to commence October 2023.

The award covers:

  • Full tuition fees, including any international fee - please see Eligibility below;
  • A stipend (currently £19,668 per year);
  • A contribution towards training, conference attendance and research costs.


The NIHR Maudsley BRC funding supports Home fee status students and up to seven Overseas students.

Fee status guidance - Home or Overseas?

Determining whether you are classified as home or overseas depends on whether you meet certain criteria. These criteria are set by the Government’s Department for Education. To be classed as a home student, applicants usually fit into one of the following categories, subject to residency requirements being met:

  • be a UK national (meeting residency requirements)
  • have settled status
  • have pre-settled status
  • have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

For full details of all the different categories of student who can be classified as home, please read UKCISA guidance, including the explanatory information provided in this PDF guide.

If you do not fit into one of these categories, you are most likely classified as overseas.

For Stage One of the application process please self-identify your fee status as best you can using the guidance and links provided above.  If you progress to Stage Three, your fee status will be fully assessed and confirmed by KCL Admissions.

Entry Requirements

The programme is very competitive and applicants must have, or be predicted to obtain at least a 2.1 or equivalent overseas qualification in a relevant science subject. 

Students who do not meet the above primary criteria may apply if they satisfy the following conditions:

  • A 2.2 BSc degree and a MSc in a relevant subject with Merit or Distinction.
  • A 2.1 or higher non-science first degree (BA) and a MSc in a relevant subject with Merit or Distinction.

English Language

Applicants for these studentships must meet the King's College London Band D English language requirements.  Any offer you are made will be conditional upon you meeting these requirements prior to enrolment.

Further information is available on the King's College London English language entry requirements page. 

Strengthening our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)

In line with the NIHR's national strategy we aim to:

  • foster an inclusive environment
  • engage the talents and energy of diverse people in all areas of our work
  • improve the relevance and quality of our research

To do this we will widen access for greater diversity and inclusion of applicants across under-represented groups.  This includes, but is not restricted to gender and sexuality, diverse racial and ethnic groups, people from different geographical regions of varied socio-economic backgrounds, people with disabilities or lived experience of mental health issues.

People who have used mental health services are actively encouraged to apply.


A wide range of PhD projects are offered with opportunities for applicants from diverse academic disciplines. 


3-year studentships:  Projects for these studentships are listed under the following headings:

  • Digital Therapies
  • Informatics
  • Pain and Addictions
  • Trials, Genomics and Prediction
  • Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement

Details of available projects can be viewed on the 3-year Projects page.


4-year studentships:  Projects for these studentships are categorised according to the main Maudsley BRC Strategic Goal that is applicable for each project:

  • Whole Person Care
  • Tranlational Informatics
  • Precision Psychiatry
  • Novel Therapeutics

Details of available projects can be viewed on the 4-year projects page.


A complete list of 3-year and 4-year project titles is available on a separate page.


When applying, you may select up to 3 projects.  Your choices may be selected from both the 4-year and 3-year project lists but please note that the duration of the studentship cannot be adjusted.  For example, if your application is successful and you have selected a 3-year project, you will not be able to take this forwards for a 4-year studentship. 4-year projects cannot be taken forwards for a 3-year studentship.

If you wish to discuss a project in more detail with the supervisor/s, please contact them using the email address/es provided with the project details.

Further information about applying for these studentships is provided under Application Process - Stages One to Three and Stage One - Online Application below. 

Please note:  The final allocation of project and supervisors will be agreed after successful interview.

You will benefit from the wide range of training and support offered by King's College London to its postgraduate research students.

Maudsley BRC students are members of the NIHR Academy and have access to resources and training opportunities provided nationally through the Academy and wider NIHR infrastructure. 


The submission deadline for Stage One applications was 23:59 GMT on Sunday 12 March 2023.


Further Information

If you have questions please email us: maudsley.brc@kcl.ac.uk

Follow the NIHR Maudsley BRC on Twitter @nihrmaudsleybrc

Read our latest research news: https://www.maudsleybrc.nihr.ac.uk/blog/