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: neuro-oncology, 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 2022, focused on one of the three priority areas outlined below.  

The application deadline is midday on Monday 15th November 2021.


We want to fund hypothesis-driven pre-clinical or clinical research that addresses large unmet need, and demonstrates a clear pathway to clinical impact in one of the following three areas: 

  • Neuro-oncology. We want to fund research addressing the fundamental causes, mechanisms, diagnosis or treatment of primary tumours of the brain or spinal cord, and associated neurological complications.
  • Acquired brain and spinal cord injury. We want to fund research that helps advance understanding of how to promote meaningful recovery from acquired CNS injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and stroke.
  • Headache and facial pain. We want to fund research addressing the fundamental causes, diagnosis or treatment of headache and facial pain.


  • 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 2022. 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 student fees up to 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.
  • Applicants must be available to attend for interview in London at their own cost.


The maximum award is £120,000 - including student stipend, fees at the Home level, direct research costs, and conference/training costs. For clinical candidates, 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 15th 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. They will consider the applicant's academic track record, previous research experience, and future academic potential as well as the merits of the research proposal.

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 2022 with our Scientific Advisory Panel. Interviews are expected to take place in London but this will be kept under review in light of developments related to Covid-19.

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 <<