You will…

  • be highly motivated to make a significant scientific contribution to tackling chronic disease burden through research that can inform well-evidenced, cost-effective public health strategies
  • be able to demonstrate your enthusiasm to work collaboratively in an interdisciplinary environment
  • Meet one of the following three criteria: (i) Hold a Bachelors degree (at least 2:1) and Masters degree, (ii) Hold a Bachelors degree (at least 2:1) and have completed at least one year of work experience in scientific research or public health decision-making; (iii) Hold a Bachelors degree (first class) and be completing a Masters degree in the current academic year;
  • Have at least one of your completed degrees in a relevant subject, such as mathematics, statistics, epidemiology, public health, psychology, nutrition, quantitative sociology, politics, economics, systems engineering, business studies, computer science or geography;
  • have quantitative maths skills equivalent to A at A-Level (may also be evidenced through university modules or work)
  • have excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • meet English language requirements (international applicants).

We particularly want to encourage applications from disadvantaged or under-represented groups, and will ensure that at least one out of our seven annual scholarships is awarded to a UK candidate who meets one or more of our Widening Participation Criteria.

The programme awards five studentships to UK and Irish applicants each year and two studentships with full international fees to non UK/Irish applicants who are nationals of Low- and Middle-income countries (as defined by the OECD – see list here). International candidates must be able to comply with UK immigration regulations. International candidates who are nationals of high-income countries are not eligible to apply.

The scheme is not open to clinicians, or those who have recently completed medical training, as these candidates can apply to alternative Wellcome funding schemes. Those who can demonstrate that they have already left clinical careers and have been working in academia, policy, or other areas for a significant period of time are eligible. Explain this carefully in your personal statement.

Key dates

We will shortlist and interview applicants across two application windows for 2024 admission.

The first window closed on 11th December 2023 and interviews will take place in February.

The second window closes on 28th March 2024 and interviews will take place in May.

International applicants must apply in the first window as this is the final recruitment round for this programme. We will not be recruiting further cohorts of students after this year.

How to apply

We are no longer accepting applications.

Complete an online application by clicking here and upload the following mandatory documents:

  • degree certificate(s) and academic transcripts listing courses/modules and marks
  • A level certificates or high school leaving certificates
  • evidence of maths skills
  • two academic references, or one academic and one employment reference. Choose referees who know you well and are able to comment on your skills, ability, and compatibility with the PhD. e.
  • CV – maximum 3 sides A4, pdf or MS Word format. See for ideas of what to include
  • A personal statement explaining why you are the right person for the programme – maximum 800 words. We know that writing a personal statement can be daunting! For advice on how to write your personal statement please see our Tips document.
  • evidence of English language skills, if required (see English Language requirements section to the left)

Optional supporting documents:

  • Widening Participation Application Form (UK candidates only)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test results, which we can consider as additional evidence of academic ability
  • evidence of academic publications or academic prizes (after age 16)

You should not submit a research proposal

English Language Requirements

Overseas candidates from countries not classed as majority native English speaking countries must submit a valid English Language test score as evidence of fluency in English. This test must have been taken no earlier than September 2022.

Required scores:

Overall score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component. We will also accept IELTS Indicator tests taken from 1 July 2020.

Overall score of 95 with a minimum of 21 in Listening, 22 in Reading, 23 in Speaking and 22 in Writing.

A full list of the required equivalent scores for other accepted tests can be found here.


Please refer to this webpage for information about exemptions from these requirements.

Choosing the correct options in the online admissions system

In ‘Part 2: Course Applications’ select ‘Add new research course’.

Then choose:

  • Qualification applying for: Doctoral Training Course.
  • A further drop down menu will appear with a list of possible courses.
  • Select the Wellcome programme from the list.
  • How do you want to study: Full time
  • When do you wish to start your research: September 2024.

Contact our Doctoral Training Centre Manager if you have further questions.