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

TRAM Programme MB-PhD

PhD opportunities in musculoskeletal disease for MB-ChB students.

The TRAM MB-PhD scheme offers a new and exciting opportunity for bright, motivated and enthusiastic medical students to gain top quality research training during their medical degree.  The scheme is funded by the Kennedy Trust which has provided funding for a 5-year programme of joint MB-PhD studentships in Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as other UK  centres of excellence in musculoskeletal disease.

The scheme offers students the opportunity to undertake a PhD in an area relevant to musculoskeletal disease after completion of their intercalated BSc. The scheme will also encourage graduates to follow an academic career within the area of musculoskeletal disease. The vision of TRAM is to train a future generation of academic leaders in the field of musculoskeletal disease. Successful applicants will be trained in cutting edge practical scientific and analytic skills with a focus on scientific excellence, while gaining understanding of the rigour, discipline and precision required for translational research. It is expected that the research projects will generate material that will form the basis of publications in high profile medical and scientific journals.


Course Summary

The TRAM MB-PhD scheme enables 3rd-year MB-ChB students to enter a 3-year PhD training at the end of their intercalated year before re-integration into the MB-ChB course. The students will be mentored by their supervisors and other staff of the MB-PhD scheme, right from the PhD selection process, through the PhD project, to MB-ChB course completion and beyond into the postgraduate phase, to maximise the chance of sustaining a successful academic career. The PhD programmes will be undertaken within research centres and institutes associated with College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine in Edinburgh or the College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences in Glasgow. The scheme will offer students the possibility of undertaking collaborative projects involving supervisors from both Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as offering students the opportunity to participate in scientific meetings and other activities organised by students, academic staff and supervisors based in from both cities. Additionally, students will have the opportunity of networking with students from other Kennedy Trust funded UK centres in Birmingham, Manchester, and Oxford.



The TRAM MB-PhD programme is available to students who are currently undertaking an intercalated medical degree (MB-ChB) at the University of Edinburgh or the University of Glasgow. External candidates can be considered only in exceptional circumstances and should consult with the Programme administrator before applying.  Particular attention will be paid during the selection process to prior experience of scientific research.


Further information


Please click the link above for a flyer providing more details on the TRAM programme and the related TRACC programme which offers a MB-PhD in the area of Cancer Research.  Informal enquires and expressions of interest for the programme should be directed to the TRAM team at this email address tram@ed.ac.uk or to Professor Stuart Ralston stuart.ralston@ed.ac.uk.


Projects available

A variety of PhD projects are available for prospective students to choose from. Please click this link to view details of the projects that are on offer.


TRAM PhD Projects

A list of available PhD projects offered as part of the TRAM MB-PhD Programme are displayed below

Application forms


To make an application please complete this form and submit by emailing the completed form to tram@ed.ac.uk  by 5pm on 11th April 2023. Please note that informal expressions of interest are also welcome (see below).



The second year of entry to the scheme will be in 2023.  Timelines are shown below:

To express an interest in the programme, for informal advice or to organise a meeting with Professor Ralston to discuss things, please email tram@ed.ac.uk  by 3rd March 2023

Deadline for applications: 11th April 2023

Interviews: 17th April 2023 (these will be performed remotely using Teams or ZOOM)

Successful applicants notified: May 2023

Start of (optional) summer mini-projects: June 2023

Start of the PhD project:  September 2023