PhD studentship opportunities in Environment and Health

We are pleased to invite applications for three year PhD studentships in the Medical Research Council Centre for Environment and Health (MRC-CEH) and two National Institute for Health Research funded Health Protection Research Units (HPRU) in Environmental Exposures and Health and in Chemical and Radiation Threats and Hazards.

The studentships will be based with one of the partners in the following units:

  • Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (EBS) at Imperial College London
  • Environmental Research Group (ERG) at Imperial College London
  • Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards (CRCE) at Public Health England
  • Peter Gorer Department of Immunobiology at King’s College London
  • National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London

Our researchers are uniquely placed to lead collaborative projects nationally and internationally, producing high quality research in selected areas (see below) and working in collaboration with academic partners (e.g. MRC Toxicology Unit at the University of Cambridge), health and environmental agencies (e.g. US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, the Environment Agency, Transport for London) and industry (e.g. Bosch, Dyson Ltd, JCB) to translate this knowledge into policy and improve population health. 

A key focus of our mission and strategy is to train and develop the next generation of academic and policy leaders in the field of environment and health research. Successful PhD candidates will be supported by a leading bespoke training programme to ensure they are equipped with the appropriate skills and experience to become first class researchers. 


We are looking for outstanding candidates with an interest in environment and health research and with experience in at least one of the following areas:  

  • Environmental exposure assessment and epidemiology (including air pollution, noise, ionising and non-ionising radiation, waste management, water, climate change and health) 
  • Molecular signatures of exposures and disease pathways (including biomarkers, metabolic profiling, exposome, multi-omics analyses and modelling) 
  • Urban environments and health (including social, economic, behavioural and technological processes, inequalities) 
  • Biostatistics, data science and computational biology (including spatial epidemiology and small area studies, artificial intelligence, Bayesian nonparametric modelling) 
  • Cohorts and data resources (including cohorts of children and adolescents, e.g. CHILL, SCAMP, CLUE, NFBC; occupational cohorts, e.g. AIRWAVE; cohorts of mobile phone users, e.g. COSMOS; other large cohorts, e.g. ALEC, INTERMAP, LIFEPATH
Mechanistic Research in Environment and Health

Air pollution and asthma.
Supervisors: Prof. Catherine Hawrylowicz, Dr Ian Mudway, Dr Martin Leonard
Environmental drivers of epigenetic ageing.
Supervisors: Dr Ian Mudway, Dr Oliver Robinson
Drugs of misuse.
Supervisors: Dr Leon Barron, Dr Tim Marczylo, Prof. Tim Gant
Microplastic toxicity.
Supervisors: Dr Stephanie Wright, Prof. Tim Gant
Advanced material toxicity.
Supervisor: Dr Rachel Smith, Dr Stephanie Wright

Epidemiology and Exposure Assessment

Health impacts of exposure to residential air pollutants.
Supervisors: Dr Ben Barratt, Dr Sani Dimitroulopoulou
Disentangling effects of NO2 and PM2.5 in time-series analysis.
Supervisors: Dr Heather Walton, Dr Helen Crabbe
Air Pollution and infertility.
Supervisors: Dr Sean Beevers, Prof. Mireille Toledano, Dr Rachel B. Smith
Assessing human health impacts from exposures to selected perfluorinated chemical compounds.
Supervisors: Dr Fred Piel, Dr Ovanir Sepai, Dr Leon Barron
Exposures and health effects near brownfield sites.
Supervisors: Dr Daniela Fecht
Metallic aerosols in the environment – building the next generation of exposure assessment models.
Supervisors: Dr Sean Beevers, Dr David Green, Dr Matthew Wright, Dr Tuan Vu, Dr Nutthida Kitwiroon

Epidemiology and Exposure Assessment at NHLI

Occupational epidemiology.
Supervisors: Prof. Paul Cullinan, Prof Marc Dumas and Dr Johanna Feary
Indoor environment and respiratory health .
Supervisors: Prof. Deborah Jarvis and Dr Elaine Fuertes
Occupational lung disease in low- and middle-income countries .
Supervisors: Prof. Paul Cullinan and Dr Andre Amaral
Respiratory health and the environment in low- and middle-income countries .
Supervisors: Prof. Deborah Jarvis and Dr Andre Amaral

Full details of the projects can be found in the PhD Opportunities page


Applicants should have, or expect to receive, a first or upper second class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant life science or quantitative science subject and have strong statistical and computational skills. 

Studentships include funding for Home tuition fees and a stipend of £18,062 per annum.

PhD programmes starting prior to 31st July 2021:

  • EU/International candidates will need to discuss eligibility on a case-by-case basis. 
  • The UK government has confirmed that tuition fee rates for EU students who commence their course before 31st July 2021 and are eligible for a Home fee status will not change for the full duration of the course.

PhD programmes starting after 31st July 2021: 

  • All UK/EU/International candidates are eligible to apply for these studentships. 
  • EU nationals starting their PhD programmes after 31st July 2021 will no longer be eligible for Home fee status – they will be classed as International students. 
  • International candidates (i.e. all non-UK nationals) that are successfully awarded one of these studentships will be required to cover the difference between Home and International tuition fees.  Please see here information on current PhD tuition fees.


The application form can be downloaded here. It should be completed electronically and e-mailed to

Applicants are not expected to have confirmed a PhD supervisor or project before applying, but should provide in their personal statement a clear description of the research area they wish to pursue during their PhD and select three projects from the list above as examples of research they would be interested in. Please note that we cannot guarantee that successful candidates will be assigned to their selected projects. 

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications from candidates that have not been successful in the previous recruitment round for these studentships will also not be considered. 

The closing date for applications is 31st May 2021.  

You will receive a confirmation email within five working days of submitting your application. If you do not, please email to enquire about the status.

Successful candidates are expected to start their studentships no later than 1st October 2021.

The MRC Centre and the NIHR HPRUs are committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment.