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Wellcome Trust and National Institutes of Health Four-year PhD Studentships

Student - NIH scheme
A scheme that provides opportunities for the most promising postgraduate students to undertake international, collaborative four-year PhD training based in both the UK/Republic of Ireland and USA at the National Institutes of Health campus.
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This scheme provides opportunities for the most promising postgraduate students to undertake international, collaborative four-year PhD training based in both a UK/Republic of Ireland (RoI) academic institution and the intramural campus of the National Institutes of Health at Bethesda (Maryland, USA).


This is a partnership between the Trust and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), uniting the two organisations through their shared interest in promoting the training of exceptional students in international collaborative biomedical research.

The programme will provide successful candidates with the support to train in some of the best laboratories in academic institutions in the UK/RoI and the USA. We will fund up to five studentships per annum.

Students will undertake a collaborative project and be co-mentored by supervisors at both locations. It is envisioned that the student will spend an equal amount of time in both laboratories, although the specific division of time will be dictated by the nature of the research project. Students funded under this scheme will be integrated with the NIH Graduate Partnership Programme, and will have access to the excellent support and benefits that the programme provides.

Watch the video below to hear from two of our former students about the scheme and what it’s like to be on the programme.

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Running time:
6 min 9 s

What's included

The studentship is awarded for four years with support provided by the Wellcome Trust (equivalent to 24 months in the UK/Republic of Ireland) and the NIH (equivalent to 24 months in the USA).

Our funding will provide support for the student's stipend [PDF 14KB], PhD fees at UK/EU rate, college fees (if required) and a contribution towards research costs.

NIH will provide awards to students that include a level of financial support and applicable travel costs commensurate with that provided to other graduate students consistent with the customary practice for NIH training programmes.


You should be a UK/European Economic Area (EEA) national with (or be in your final year and expected to obtain) a first- or upper-second-class honours degree or an equivalent EEA graduate qualification.

You must have:

  • a suitable doctoral supervisor at an eligible academic host institution in the UK or Republic of Ireland. The host institution must be able to confer doctoral degrees
  • a suitable supervisor at a NIH institute. The NIH supervisor should hold a tenured or tenured-track position for the proposed period of the award and should be willing to provide funding for the student whilst at the NIH

Application process

The application form for the Wellcome Trust and National Institutes of Health Four-year PhD Studentships [639KB] should be completed and submitted by the closing date – see ‘Deadlines’.

  • An electronic copy (as a Word document) should be emailed to wtnih@wellcome.ac.uk.
  • One signed hard copy should be addressed to the ‘Wellcome Trust-NIH PhD studentships’ at the Trust's postal address – see ‘Contacts’.

Late applications will not be accepted.

Please see the guidance notes [Word 264KB] and a document outlining the responsibilities and obligations of supervisors [Word 46KB] for additional information about this scheme. Clinically qualified candidates will need to refer to the Clinical specialties list when completing the application form.

Successful candidates will be shortlisted for interview within two months of the application deadline. Interviews will be held at the Wellcome Trust offices in London.


This is an annual competition.

Details of the 2015 round:

  • Deadline for applications: 2 November 2015
  • Shortlisted candidate interviews: 25-26 January 2016


Please send completed applications and direct queries to:

Wellcome Trust-NIH PhD studentships
Wellcome Trust
Gibbs Building
215 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE, UK

E wtnih@wellcome.ac.uk

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