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Wellcome Trust Neuro-Immune Interactions in Health and Disease MRes and PhD

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Applications for Cohort 2023 will open in October 2022

Cross-talk between the nervous and immune systems is critical for survival, and disrupted neuro-immune communication is observed in many debilitating conditions, including chronic inflammatory, neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases.

To better understand these conditions, we urgently need a new generation of interdisciplinary researchers that can work across the neuro-immune spectrum.  The Wellcome Trust ‘Neuro-Immune Interactions in Health & Disease’ PhD Training Programme is designed to provide the requisite training, using state-of-the-art technologies, cutting-edge science and supervision methods. 

In line with Wellcome’s new Research Culture (#ReimagineResearch), we are committed to provide scientific excellence in a positive working environment. Our programme will develop and share practices that bring science and culture together, placing both firmly at the heart of our training strategy and your research journey.

We offer:

  • 6 fully-funded studentships which include a stipend, university fees, research costs, and funds for travel, training and career transitions

  • world-class scientific training, provided in a flexible, student-led fashion, by interdisciplinary co-supervisor teams

  • individualised training and support (including financial) to help you transition out of the programme into your chosen career – be it inside or outside of academia

  • an inclusive training environment: our management team and supervisor pool are diverse and open, and we welcome applicants from communities that are currently under-represented in academia

  • a positive research culture, which includes training on research integrity and data sharing

Key information

Duration 4 years with flexible funds for transition activities in year 5

Study mode Full-time

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine



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Course detail


Below is a brief outline of the course structure. Please see our programme webpage for more details on projects and supervisors.

Depending on your background, preference and consultation with the programme directors, you can choose one of two pathways through years 1- 4 of this course:

  • 1+3, with three laboratory rotations culminating in an MRes in year 1, followed by a three-year PhD

  • 0+4, consisting of a 4-year PhD with compulsory training elements in year 1

Year 1

On the 1+3 pathway, you will undertake 12-week rotations in three different laboratories, with projects offered across the neuro-immune spectrum by our interdisciplinary supervisor pool.

On the 0+4 pathway, you will embark straight into your PhD project, which will be co-supervised by one “neuro-“ and one “immune” supervisor.

On either pathway, you will attend 2 bespoke neuro-immune courses, 6 compulsory core research skills and ethics workshops, a weekly journal club, and individualised research and skills training to enhance either your “neuro” or “immune” knowledge, as required.


Year 2 to 4

All students will now be working on their interdisciplinary PhD. Our programme is designed to provide a well-rounded education so, during this time, you will also receive:

  • Transferrable Skills Training through workshops offered by our Centre for Doctoral Studies, networking and careers events, and public engagement

  • Flexible Training tailored to your individual needs. This could include undertaking an internship or industrial placement, visiting an external laboratory, or attending an external training course

Throughout your course, you will have the opportunity to connect with PhD students on other doctoral training programmes at King’s (e.g. other Wellcome-DTPs & MRC-DTP) through research symposia, joint social events and student clubs.


Career Options

Year 5:

Your studentship will include funds to allow you to undertake a tailored transition activity that helps you embark on your chosen post-PhD career path. For example, you could undertake an internship in a company, spend some time to apply for your own postdoctoral fellowship, or attend a training course that would allow you to explore an alternative non-academic career.

Head of group/division

Professor Leonie Taams (Programme Director) and Dr Franziska Denk (Programme Co-Director)

Contact for information

Wellcome PhD Programme Manager: Dr Fay Minty

Contact email

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Wellcome Trust research entry requirements
Minimum UK requirements  

You will require at least an upper second class undergraduate degree, or equivalent in a relevant discipline, including but not limited to neuroscience, psychology, immunology and inflammation biology.

Candidates who already hold a Master’s degree can still apply to join the 1+3 Pathway. 


Home and EU students are fully eligible.

International - A limited number of fully-funded places (including international tuition fees) will also be available for international students. 

International requirements  

Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements to ensure you have the equivalence of a 2:1 Class Bachelor (Honours) degree.

English Language requirements Band D

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

English language proficiency test results are not required at the application stage.  

Application procedure

Please see programme webpages for further details.

Personal statement and supporting information

Please see programme webpages for further details.

Course intake

Six students annually in September

Joint PhDs - Application advice

Not applicable

Application closing date

Please see programme webpages for further details.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

International Foundation

Fees and funding

Funding for this programme is provided by the Wellcome Trust (5 studentships) and King’s College London (1 studentship). Successful applicants will receive a generous stipend, their university fees in full, research costs, and funds for travel, training and career transitions. See here for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.


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Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's.

View guide

Sound like the course for you?

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