Postgraduate study

Regenerative Medicine PhD

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Regenerative Medicine

Research excellence

The Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CRM) is a world leading research centre based at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Regeneration and Repair.

Our scientists and clinicians study stem cells, disease and tissue repair to advance human health. By better understanding how stem cells are controlled and how diseases develop in a lab environment, we hope to find new ways to treat patients.

Our research is aimed at developing new treatments for major diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, degenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, and liver failure.

The Centre houses 25 research groups and has a staff of more than 270 scientists, graduate students, support and ancillary staff.

Research themes

Our work is currently organised into five themes. To promote collaboration within the Centre, we adopt a flexible approach to these themes, with each Principal Investigator (PI) having one or more secondary affiliations.

Two themes focus on fundamental research:

  • pluripotency and iPS
  • lineage and cell specification

The other three themes aim to translate fundamental research discoveries into clinical programmes relevant to brain, blood and liver diseases and to tissue repair.

The Centre has strong collaborative links to other centres within the University, such as the Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research, the MS Centre and the Roslin Institute.

We also invest in technological development in all areas.

Training within the Centre is provided through a structured series of seminars and literature reviews, in addition to the laboratory and scientific research skills training provided to you by your supervisors.

Many of our PhD students are involved in collaborative projects that provide cross-disciplinary experience and/or promote translation into the biotechnology or clinical fields.

How will I learn?

Our programme includes short courses taught by basic and clinical stem cell scientists, providing a state-of-the-art theoretical background in a variety of areas relating to regenerative medicine including:

  • developmental biology
  • pluripotent and tissue stem cell biology
  • degeneration and regeneration of adult tissues
  • genetic engineering
  • bioinformatics

We provide specialist lectures and short practical modules covering key technologies, including:

  • DNA analysis and genetic engineering
  • imaging
  • bioinformatics
  • statistics
  • flow cytometry

In Year 1, you will participate in a weekly Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CRM) Postgraduate Discussion Group led by CRM group leaders. These discussion groups aim to widen your knowledge of stem cell and regenerative medicine research and to enhance your ability to critically review the literature in this field.

In addition to the taught components and research project, you will participate in a number of activities, including:

  • regular lab meetings of your research group
  • an internal seminar series
  • seminars by visiting national and international speakers
  • Journal Club
  • PhD Day
  • poster presentations
  • Three Minute Thesis presentation session.

Generic and transferable skills training is provided through the University's Institute for Academic Development (IAD).

Since 2011, the Centre has been housed in a new, specially designed building that provides high quality research facilities, including:

  • state of the art centralised cell culture facility for isolation and culture of primary and established cell lines including embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells
  • clinical-grade GMP cell culture facility
  • specific pathogen free animal facility
  • transgenic service covering derivation and provision of mouse embryonic stem cells, blastocyst injection, morula aggregation and production of defined genetic alterations
  • ultrasound micro-injection equipment
  • flow cytometry service consisting of a suite of cell sorters and analysers operated by facility staff that can be operated by users following comprehensive training
  • a recently established single cell genomic analysis service using a 10x Genomics Chromium Controller
  • histology
  • quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction equipment
  • Fluidigm Biomark and CellPrep for single cell transcriptomics

Imaging facilities

We also have imaging facilities, including:

  • standard compound microscopy
  • widefield, confocal, and lightsheet microscopes
  • high-content and timelapse imaging

The facility has dedicated imaging managers and offers two high-end workstations for bio-image processing and analysis.

Take a virtual tour of our facilities at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine:

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Most laboratories require a bench fee of up to £5,000 per year. This cost can be covered in Research Council studentships.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PhD3 YearsFull-timeTuition fees
PhD6 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status.

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Centre for Regenerative Medicine
  • Institute for Regeneration and Repair
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4UU

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit two references with your application.

Before making your application, you must make contact with a potential supervisor to discuss your research proposal. Further information on making a research degree application can be found on the College website:

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Centre for Regenerative Medicine
  • Institute for Regeneration and Repair
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4UU