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Postgraduate research


The School of Cardiovascular Sciences and Medicine (SCMS) has a vibrant postgraduate community, which is focused on the mechanisms and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Discover more about our research.

Based across King’s Denmark Hill, Guy’s, St Thomas’ and Waterloo campuses SCMS currently has 95 postgraduate research students. Each year we seek to recruit new cohorts of talented students through our postgraduate research programmes (see below).

The school prides itself on its recent Post Graduate Research Excellence Survey 2021 results where overall student satisfaction was ranked 93%. The school sits with in the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine (FoLSM)  and in 2018 it was recognised with a Faculty Athena SWAN Silver award as recognition of our ongoing commitment to achieving gender equality and an inclusive environment.

Why apply for a PhD in cardiovascular research at King’s?

Our school is committed to foster the next generation of leaders in cardiovascular research and supporting their development. We strongly believe that a supportive and integrated environment is key in the development of a positive research culture that will allow students to flourish and reach their fullest potential.

The SCMS hosts various extracurricular and enhancement activities that not only enrich and develop learning but network students to the PGR and cardiovascular community. 

  • PGR Forum – is held 4 times a year across the school’s various campuses. It is a place where students can connect to the SCMMS PGR community and where information and knowledge is shared.
  • Lunchtime seminars and BHF Centre Seminar series – this series of weekly seminars aims to promote collaboration across the school and invites internationally leading speakers.
  • Annual BHF Centre PGR symposium – an annual symposium comprising of more than 150 attendees showcases the research conducted by the Centre’s PGR students (which includes all students from SCMS). Students are provided the opportunity to showcase their research across all stages of their programme.
  • BHF technology workshops – students are introduced to the BHF Centre's cutting-edge research techniques and facilities which have the potential to be applied in many cardiovascular research projects. All workshops are recorded and can be accessed here.
  • BHF Centre Early Career (ECR) Forum – hosts regular networking events for students, postdocs and fellows across the BHF Centre to discuss their science and career intentions. This platform constitutes an opportunity to connect with other members of the College interested in cardiovascular research.

As well as student and staff led activities, the school prides itself on the student support it offers during their chosen programme of study at King’s.  Whilst your supervisor leads you through your research, there is an array of other academic and professional support staff at hand to support you. More information on this can be found at the Centre for Doctoral Studies. The school also has a dedicated Lead for Development, Diversity & Inclusion. There is also a faculty-level Lead for Doctoral Student Welfare.

Current PhDs available within SCMS

PhD in Cardiovascular Sciences

The SCMS PhD programme (full and part time) is based on individual research projects working with a primary supervisor. Prior to submitting a formal application you should first identify a Principal Investigator (PI)  from our school who can supervise you in the area you are interested in. You will need to contact them by email to see if they are able to supervise your proposed research project.  The school’s prospectus with information on fees and entry requirements (whether UK or International) and how to apply can be found here.

Apply here

Clinicians PhD/MDRes 

For clinicians we offer both laboratory-based PhD projects, often in translational science, and more clinically oriented projects leading to an MD or PhD. Specialities covered within the school’s portfolio include cardiology, cardiac surgery, clinical pharmacology, diabetes and metabolic medicine, stroke medicine and vascular surgery.

Projects are usually tailored to the individual and clinicians genuinely interested in pursuing research training and an academic career are advised first to contact the appropriate senior clinical PI within the Division according to their specialty. High calibre individuals may also apply for one-year Clinical Training Fellowships awarded through various funders, which are advertised annually, e.g. the MRC and the BHF. These provide initial research training and the time to develop a research proposal for a full 3-year fellowship application.

Please note that if you are applying for an MD, students must already be registered with the GMC.

Apply here

BHF Funded programmes

BHF  4-year MRes/PhD Programme in Cardiovascular Science

This research-intensive 4-year programme for core cardiovascular training includes an initial MRes year with multiple laboratory rotations and practical workshops that precedes a 3-year PhD project.

The programme is generously fully funded for the 4 years by the British Heart Foundation offering a stipend and home tuition fees. The BHF runs various events throughout the year for King’s students including network meetings, seminars and workshops. Research projects will be presented by a group of internationally renowned PI that have been accurately selected for their tract record in supporting student development and cutting edge science.

In year 1 you will work with supervisors on 3 lab rotations. The primary aim of these mini-projects is to give you the opportunity to carry out research in several specialist cardiovascular laboratories.  The projects are supported by 5 assessed workshops that provide you with the exposure to a broad range of specialist techniques. In addition, the school provides the opportunity to engage in optional components, such as lectures on cardiovascular topics and generic training courses provided under the Researcher Development Programme of the Graduate School.

The course culminates in a literary review and towards the end of your year 1 programme you will be supported in choosing your 3-year PhD project.

Our programme offers support and networking opportunities throughout your research and beyond, wherever your career may take you.

Studentships are highly competitive and generally advertised in October at, Nature Jobs , and on the King’s Postgraduate Research Funding pages.

Apply here

Inter-disciplinary BHF Centre PhD Studentships

We offer 3-year interdisciplinary BHF Centre PhD studentships, where the student is co-supervised by one cardiovascular and one non-cardiovascular PI with synergistic expertise. These projects are multidisciplinary, using state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge technologies and they are designed to push the boundaries of research in cardiovascular diseases. Students will be embedded within the King’s BHF Centre of Research Excellence and will be encourage to take part to Centre activities to broaden your horizons.

Studentships are generally advertised in December at findaphd.comNature Jobs , and on the King’s Postgraduate Research Funding pages.

Apply here

Other funding routes towards a PhD programme

Some of our PIs will have projects posted within the MRC DTP or BBSRC LIDo programme.
Further postgraduate research funding opportunities are advertised here.

Careers and employability

Obtaining a PhD in cardiovascular medicine can lead to numerous career paths, such as:
Academia (e.g. postdoc), Biotech industry, Clinical trials management, Clinician scientist,
Medicine, Medical communications, Patent law, Pharmaceutical industry.

Please see below for how a PhD in cardiovascular medicine has shaped the careers of some of our alumni.

As an integrated academic trainee in cardiology, having the opportunity to undertake my PhD training within the School of Cardiovascular Medicine & Sciences was invaluable. The research training and exposure to a varied breadth of expertise and collaborators within the School provided a strong foundation to not only deliver the necessary academic training but the skills to build on my own research questions that I am now pursuing in the next phase of my career in academic cardiology.

Adam Nabeebaccus, Clinician Scientist

Students in the School of Cardiovascular Medicine and Science are exposed to an interdisciplinary research environment, and have the opportunity to utilise cutting-edge technologies to answer challenging scientific questions. As PhD student in the School, I was trained to think independently, critically and creatively — traits that are highly relevant to my current role as a Trainee Patent Attorney.

Sam Hart, Trainee Patent Attorney

I studied at King’s College London as part of the BHF research centre of excellence PhD programme. These formative years equipped me with a wealth of scientific and transferable skills, ranging from conducting independent hypothesis driven research through to the writing of a PHD thesis, scientific papers and grants. These skills were developed within a highly dynamic, diverse and socially inclusive environment dedicated to helping early career research students reach their full potential. The skills I gained during my time at King’s continue to be applicable on a daily basis through my current role as senior scientist at AstraZeneca.

Rajesh Mistry, Senior Scientist at AstraZeneca

The future success of our School is underpinned by postgraduate researchers

Dr Aleksandar Ivetic, PGR lead






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