Cardio Metabolic Research at Leeds

International PhD Academy: Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease

International PhD Academy at the University of Leeds

Are you looking for direct entry to a PhD programme in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease? If you have, or expect to obtain, a 2.1 (or equivalent) relevant BSc degree or higher then our International PhD Academy will be of interest to you.

This new Academy, based in the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds, is particularly suitable for international students with their own available funding who have minimal research experience. It is focused on bespoke, personalised training and support.

Four-year basic science/population studies PhD studentships are available for entry in Sept/Oct. There will be up to 5 places available.

A list of available projects can be found here.

Metabolism refers to the sequence of chemical reactions involved in controlling the body’s normal functioning, and dysfunction of any of these intricate processes can contribute to metabolic diseases. These dysfunctions may be inherited, but are also frequently linked to obesity, physical inactivity and other environmental or lifestyle influences. These are key risk factors for coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and other pathologies.

Given the worldwide epidemic of diabetes, significant challenges lie ahead in understanding the mechanisms of complications and in developing new strategies for therapeutic intervention. We will use our expertise to develop future scientists to meet this challenge.

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A bespoke PhD studentship created with an emphasis on flexibility and support.

Focus on support for you, including a dedicated course administrator and effective mentoring systems.

Extensive taught and real-life training experiences customised for you.

Over 30 outstanding and diverse supervisors to choose from.

Opportunities to work with clinician scientists.

Located in a stylish state-of-the-art scientific building on one of the largest university-hospital complexes in the UK.

Automatic consideration for award of bursary (up to £4,000 per year) for the duration of your PhD.

Funding available each year to support your conference attendance.

Home to the British Heart Foundation’s only Chair in Cardiovascular and Diabetes Research, Professor Mark Kearney.

Located in the vibrant modern multinational city of Leeds with a population of 750,000 people, major retailers in the centre and diverse restaurants, culture and entertainment, all surrounded by the outstanding Yorkshire countryside.

Professor David Beech

“Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of death and disability in the UK and across the world. Diabetes tends to exacerbate cardiovascular disease meaning we are less able to treat it. This is increasingly a problem in our modern society where we have more of a tendency to do less exercise and to over-consume, and so we need to urgently address this through our research.”

Professor David Beech, Wellcome Trust Investigator and Institute Director, Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine

How to Apply

Up to five places are available for entry to the International Academy in mid-September.

This programme is particularly suitable for international candidates who wish to gain experience in a modern, vibrant and forward-thinking research environment where training will be adapted to suit your specific desired outcomes.

The International fee rate is currently £22,275 pa for 2019/20. This will be fixed for the duration of the PhD. Write up fees for Year 5 are currently £250.

Expected living expenses are approximately £14,500 pa. You may be asked to contribute bench fees of up to £15,000 pa, dependent upon the project you choose.


Applications are welcome from individuals with, or expecting to obtain, at least a 2:1 honours degree, or equivalent qualification, in a subject relevant to your proposed field of research such as biological or physical sciences or other subjects aligned to medicine and relevant to your proposed field of research.

You must hold a British Council IELTS of score 7.0 overall with not less than 6.5 in other skill areas (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking). This qualification must be less than 2 years old at the start of the degree course.


We accept applications all year round; the Academy has a single intake each year in mid-September.

To apply, applicants should email the following supporting documentation to

Completed Faculty Application Form indicating, in rank order, your chosen 3 projects. Please identify each project with the title and supervisor name. (Please note that if selected for the Academy it is possible to change these preferences later).

Full Academic CV.

Degree transcripts, or marks so far if your degree is in progress.

Two references from academic referees, please ask your referees to send these references on your behalf, directly to: We may not be able to process your application if we do not receive references by the closing date.

Evidence that you are able to cover the cost of fees (e.g. personal funding, sponsorship letter).

IELTS certificate (or equivalent) which must be no more than two years old at the time of registration.

If you have any queries regarding the application process please contact


Dr Karen Porter

For further information about our cardiovascular research go to:
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Athena SWAN Silver

The Athena SWAN Charter ( recognises and celebrates good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology (SET) in higher education and research. The School of Medicine at the University of Leeds is proud to hold a Silver Award.

About the Programme

A PhD with our International Academy offers you much more than just academic excellence. Our size and diversity mean we can offer you a unique experience which combines our research-based curriculum with a range of opportunities to give you the knowledge, skills and experience to prepare for your future.

Our bespoke academy seeks to nurture a new generation of scientists who think differently and go on to be instrumental in transforming understanding and treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. We provide a supportive structure to maximise opportunities and allow you to develop into a future world-leader in science. By the time you complete your PhD you will have achieved a breadth of knowledge and fostered collaborations that open up possibilities across the spectrum of biomedical research.

Leeds is uniquely placed to deliver a blend of training which meets these high demands.

Due to the collaborative nature of current science, it is important for future investigators to experience the breadth of their subject area in addition to the specialism of their chosen project. This programme offers both and does so within a friendly, open environment in which students are encouraged to establish relationships and learn from the experience of others.

Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine


The programme is led by Dr Karen Porter and supported by a course administrator and management team. They will be there to assist with your development from day one and to answer any questions you may have as you proceed through your time in the academy. Our open door policy and emphasis on the importance of shared knowledge ensures easy access to any assistance you require.

You will be given regular feedback about your progress, which will be provided at monthly meetings with supervisors and the programme lead.

The foundation year (Year 1) includes induction and basic training, a set programme of teaching plus a full complement of modules that will be prepared on an individualised basis once your needs have been discussed, designed to provide you with all the necessary skills and support to complete your PhD here at the University of Leeds. You will spend two 12 week intervals working on two different research investigations and will then progress to your main project, contributing to research as you learn.

Bespoke training will be delivered in a complementary manner to the taught component.

Your individualised training plan will be agreed within the first month of the course as the outcome of discussion with your supervisory team and the programme manager.

Year 2 You will focus exclusively on your PhD project with ongoing training as required.

Year 3 you will continue to work on your project, with any additional support/training as required.

Year 4 will be a progression of Years 2 and 3, during which you will commence the writing up of your thesis, ready for submission.

About Us
LICAMM social culture

LICAMM is an open and friendly place to work. Find out more about our ethos and culture below:

Seminars - There are regular seminars open to all students. LICAMM has several ongoing lecture series from both internal and external invited speakers.

Research Retreat - You will be invited to our annual research retreat, a 2-day collaborative scientific meeting in the picturesque Lake District.

The LICAMM Early Career Group (ECG) - Provides a network and community for the development of early career researchers within LICAMM with regular meetings and social activities through the year.

Facilities – The University of Leeds offers faith-based support with dedicated contacts, protected prayer rooms/faith spaces with associated facilities, and various faith-based societies on campus. Find out more by clicking here.

International Office – Offer a whole range of specialised services including assistance with immigration issues and visas, a meet and greet airport service (September only), orientation for campus life, events and anything else you need to help you adjust to your time in Leeds. Find out more by clicking here

Doctoral College – Brings together the support and enhancement opportunities available to you as a postgraduate researcher. There is a dedicated space for you to do group work, and tailored drop-in sessions including language support, training, career development and help with study visas. Find out more by clicking here.

Fund Raising and Social - LICAMM holds regular charity fundraising events and outreach. There is also an annual festive institute party, a weekly cake and social club plus other ad hoc activities.

WHY LICAMM (Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine)

LICAMM is a warm and friendly place to study. We believe in the power of shared knowledge and collaboration. You will be welcomed into an established community of outstanding researchers, dedicated technical team, and professional support staff.

The Academy is based in the LIGHT Laboratories, an impressive modern building at the heart of the University’s cardiovascular research. It comprises of laboratory spaces, offices, write-up areas, social break out rooms, meeting spaces and a pre-clinical imaging suite (ePIC). It is situated right next door to the Leeds General Infirmary. LICAMM also comprises non-lab space in the Worsley and Garstang Buildings.

As a part of LICAMM you will be well-placed to succeed in your PhD studies.


The University of Leeds is proud of its diversity. We believe that our international community provides us with unique perspectives and valuable opportunities. In return we offer all the support that you need to become the best that you can be.

The University is the second largest in the UK with 32,000 students and 7,500 staff. It is a member of the Russell Group, in the top 10 UK universities for research power (2014 government assessment), and consistently in the top 100 universities worldwide. Leeds has the advantage of a single NHS Trust (“LTHT”) with two major and four other teaching hospitals coordinated with the University via a partnership board. In 2017 we were voted University of the Year by The Times’ Good University Guide and are currently a top 10 UK University (Times Higher Education Award).

Find out more about us at


The Leeds City Region is the largest UK city economy outside London. Its output is £60 billion and there are 109,000 businesses with 1.4 million employees. Find out more about life in Leeds by clicking here.

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What's Happening

16 October 2019: DTSD Seminar: 'Role of Tenascin C in Cardiovascular Disease' and Understanding small molecule activation and inhibition of TRPC1/4/5 channels. ... more

23 October 2019: DTSD Seminar ... more

25 October 2019: SBMS Seminar: Co-regulation of TRPC4 by phospholipase C and Gi/o proteins and its physiological implication ... more

Athena Swan