Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Translational Neuroscience PhD

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Translational Neuroscience

We are looking to recruit outstanding postgraduate candidates to join our prestigious Wellcome Trust four-year PhD programme in Translational Neuroscience. This is a prestigious, and innovative, research PhD programme that addresses a current global need in the translation of fundamental neuroscience research into the clinic. By 'Training to Translate' it focuses on the advancement of knowledge, expertise and skills in clinical translation and will draw on unique Edinburgh research strengths in diseases across the life-course to achieve this goal. This programme is run by the University of Edinburgh and funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The programme will train non-clinical students to combine cutting-edge experimental technology (e.g. cellular, regenerative, computational, genetic, animal models) and analytical tools, with comprehensive knowledge of the clinical brain research environment. By doing so, it will equip students with the distinct skills required to bridge the knowledge gap between the design, execution and interpretation of cellular/animal experiments and the challenges of experimental medicine.

At least six Translational Neuroscience PhD studentships are available in September 2020 for promising postgraduate candidates with a strong interest in translational neuroscience. Studentships include a stipend, tuition fees (at the UK/EU rate) and contributions towards research costs for their rotation and PhD projects. Studentships also provide funds for travel and training, including related to transferable skills and professional development.

The Translational Neuroscience PhD Programme is a four-year training programme run by the University of Edinburgh and funded by The Wellcome Trust.

This is a PhD with integrated study, structured over four years and comprising of a three-year PhD project plus an additional 180 credits of integrated study. During Year 1 there is a mixture of taught and research work and you will develop to your PhD project towards the end of year one.

The Wellcome Trust four-year PhD Programme in Translational Neuroscience provides outstanding postgraduate students with a four-year studentship and with world-class teaching and research training within the broad Edinburgh Neuroscience research community.

During Year 1 you will undertake three ten-week research projects: one in each life course area (development, adolescence/adulthood, old age/degeneration). Alongside these you will participate in twice-weekly taught and discussion elements on subject areas from across the life course, complementing your mini-projects. This taught element will include visits to clinics to observe patients throughout the life course, from paediatrics to dementia.

Towards the end of Year 1 you will develop the PhD project, which will form the bulk of your work in Years 2, 3 and 4. Clinic visits and taught work will continue in Years 2 and 3, but at a much lower level.

You will have access to the full array of cutting edge techniques available within the broad Edinburgh Neuroscience community.

In addition, you will have access to, arguably, the UK’s most powerful series of longitudinal and cross-sectional human population cohorts for common brain diseases across the life-course.

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

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

If you have a medical degree you are not eligible to apply unless you are no longer clinically active.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

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

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 59 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, 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 (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Additional programme costs

Successful applicants are awarded a four-year studentship.

Studentships include:

Living costs

For guidelines on living costs see:

Tuition fees

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
  • your tuition fee status

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

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Edinburgh Neuroscience Coordinator, Jane Haley
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 1000
  • Contact:
  • 1 George Square
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JZ

Applications are invited during a 6 week period in October and November, for entry in September the following year. Applications are not accepted out-with the formal recruitment period.

Further information

  • Edinburgh Neuroscience Coordinator, Jane Haley
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 1000
  • Contact:
  • 1 George Square
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JZ