Call for PhD studentship applications

We are pleased to invite applications for PhD studentships from candidates wishing to carry out research under one of our three priority themes: brain and spinal cord tumours, acquired brain and spinal cord injury, and headache and facial pain.

We would like to receive applications from prospective students - both clinical and non-clinical - planning to embark upon a PhD in Autumn 2023, focused on one of the three priority areas outlined below.  

The application deadline is midday on Thursday 10th November 2022.


We want to fund hypothesis-driven pre-clinical or clinical research that addresses the fundamental mechanisms and therapy of:  

  • primary tumours of the brain or spinal cord;
  • acquired brain and spinal cord injuries; or
  • headache and facial pain.

Daphne Merrills Studentship

In partnership with the Neurosciences Foundation, we are offering an additional studentship this year. The Daphne Merrills Studentship is open to candidates who will be based at a Scottish research institute and focused on the brain tumour glioblastoma.  

All applications fitting this remit will be considered for the Daphne Merrills Studentship, and will follow the same assessment process as all other applications.


  • This call is open to prospective PhD students wishing to carry out research fitting the above remit, and planning to commence study towards a PhD at a recognised UK Higher Education Institute in Autumn 2023. The application must have the support of the prospective supervisor(s).
  • We accept applications from those proposing to complete their PhD on a part-time basis.
  • We accept applications from labs already in receipt of funding from Brain Research UK, but applicants should be aware that this may reduce their chance of success.
  • Although it is not a requirement, we would usually expect candidates to have a Master's degree, to be working towards one, or to have other postgraduate research experience.
  • There is no requirement for applicants to be from the UK, nor resident for any amount of time before the award begins, however we will provide tuition fees at the Home rate only. Students from outside the UK must have in place the appropriate visa to permit them to live and study in the UK.  


The maximum award is £125,000 outside London or £130,000 in London. This includes student stipend, tuition fees at the Home level, direct research costs, and an allowance to support participation in scientific meetings and conferences.

For clinical candidates, the stipend can be used to support a salary at the appropriate clinical level, however the balance of funds will need to be obtained from other sources.

Application process

Applications must be submitted via our research portal. Please read the guidance notes in full and familiarise yourself with the system so that you know exactly what is required and are able to submit all components by the 10th November deadline.

We expect the research proposal to be developed by the candidate, in collaboration with their proposed supervisor.

Applications will be reviewed and short-listed by the members of our Scientific Advisory Panel. The Panel will consider the applicant's academic track record, previous research experience, and future academic potential as well as the merits of the research proposal and the training environment.

Short-listed research proposals will be subject to external peer review - and will be judged on scientific merit, originality, and the potential for impact.

Short-listed candidates will be invited for interview in February 2023 with our Scientific Advisory Panel. Interviews are expected to take place in person in London.

Further details can be found in the guidance notes below:


Queries should be directed to Research Manager Katie Martin by email at or by telephone on 0117 909 4809.

Access our application portal

>> Access our application portal here <<