Centre for Genomic & Experimental Medicine
Centre for Genomic & Experimental Medicine

Graduate Research & Training

Postgraduate study opportunities, including PhDs and Masters programmes.

IGMM PhD studentships

In addition to our PhD and Molecular Pathology MMedSci Masters by research programmes, further postgraduate opportunities are available as part of the MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, embedded within the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.

The Institute provides an outstanding training environment, overseen by a well-established IGMM Graduate School, with state of the art facilities and a variety of opportunities for postgraduate research study.

There is a great sense of community within the IGMM, with over a hundred postgraduate students and a thriving postgraduate society (POGs) which runs career talks, social events and an annual scientific retreat.

IGMM Graduate Research & Training


Current Opportunities

Two doctoral candidates in human genomics

fixed-term of four years

The University of Edinburgh is launching a new collaboration for PhD training with the University of Helsinki. It will promote and support research in “Human Genomics” by providing high quality PhD training to outstanding doctoral candidates from around the world. Selected candidates will have the opportunity to develop their skills through an international collaboration, and will benefit from the experiences of different cultures, practices and environments. Candidates will be affiliated to the Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine (CGEM; https://www.ed.ac.uk/centre-genomic-medicine/), University of Edinburgh, and will have a one to two year period as a visiting researcher at the University of Helsinki.

These PhD positions are open to international candidates, fees and stipend will be covered for UK, EU, and international students.

CGEM and the University of Helsinki are each looking for two outstanding doctoral candidates for PhD projects related to human genomics.

Understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie common complex traits will facilitate improved prediction, diagnosis, and prevention of disease. Building on outstanding resources and an extensive track record in complex trait and disease genetic studies, the program aims to develop clinically relevant risk signatures based on multi-omics data. It will also develop strategies to implement genomic findings into the prevention and personalised treatment of common complex diseases.

CGEM has 11 PIs in its Genome Medicine Section, who are utilising some of Scotland’s unique data resources, including: large family-based population and isolate studies, large-scale genomic data – including the world’s largest single DNA methylation resource, extensive data linkage to electronic health records (e.g., hospital, GP, and prescription data). The Centre focuses on genetic discovery and translation in systemic diseases (e.g., cancer, retinopathy, diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease), and cognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Call-specific requirements: Selected University of Edinburgh candidates are required to have at least one supervisor at both CGEM (IGMM) and the University of Helsinki, and to have a mobility period of one to two years at the University of Helsinki as a visiting student.

Qualifications and experience: Candidates are expected to have a relevant undergraduate or postgraduate (MSc/MPhil) degree/s, preferably in data science, biomedical science, statistical genetics, genetic epidemiology, or a related field. The successful candidates will have good problem solving and analytical skills. In addition, the candidates should be fluent in English, have good interpersonal and communication skills, and be able to work independently as well as part of an international team.

Stipend: £15,285 for year 2020/21  (in line with UKRI rates).

How to apply: The application should include (i) CV (including any publications), (ii) a one-page statement of research interests and motivation for applying for this position, (iii) copies of degree certificates, (iv) contact details for two individuals to provide written references.

Application deadline: Now Closed

Interviews: Mid-April

Example project areas:

  1. Multi-ethnic GWAS of complex traits with fine mapping to define causal pathways
  2. Multi-omics (genetics, methylation, proteomics) prediction of incident disease, ascertained via electronic health records. For example,
    1. Cancer
    2. Diabetes
    3. IBD/UC/coeliac
    4. Retinopathy
    5. Cognitive and Psychiatric
  3. Statistical methods development to improve omics prediction of environmental/lifestyle risk factors for common disease.
  4. Harnessing data from multi-generational families to improve understanding of common, complex disease
  5. Mapping rare genetic variants to multi-omics outliers and their relationship with disease outcomes.

Potential supervisors include

Tim Aitman Research Group

T.Aitman research
Diagnosis of rare recessive disease by exome sequencing

Helen Colhoun Research Group

Diabetes Medical Informatics and Epidemiology

Kathy Evans Research Group

K.Evans research
Genetic and Functional Analysis of Neuropsychiatric Illness

Caroline Hayward Research Group (Affiliate)

C.Hayward Research Image
Quantitative Traits in Health and Disease

Charlie Lees Research Group

C.Lees Research
Uncovering the causes of consequences of inflammatory bowel disease by studying the role of genes, the environment, diet and microbiota and their inter-relationships in gut health and disease

Riccardo Marioni Research Group

Riccardo Marioni research
Genetics and epigenetics of cognitive ageing

Andrew McIntosh Research Group (Affiliate)

A.McIntosh research
Using genetic discoveries to identify the mechanisms of mental illness and resilience

David Porteous Research Group

D.Porteous research
Identification of risk factors, disease processes and new treatments for common genetic disorders

Pippa Thomson Research Group

P. Thomson research
The genetics of mental health and cognition

Heather Whalley Research Group (Affiliate)

H.Whalley research
The integration of human psychiatric neuroimaging with genetics (common and rare variants), epigenetics, and stem cell models, in the context of clinically-relevant research