Researcher with research participants

PhD Studentships in Eating Disorders and Obesity

3-year PhD studentships to commence October 2024


Application submission deadline:  Wednesday 26 June 2024 (23:59 BST)

Please refer to the Projects List to view details about projects offered for these studentships

The NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is offering up to four fully funded 3-year PhD studentships within the Eating Disorders and Obesity research theme.

Are you interested in understanding why people develop eating disorders, how they recover and how we can develop novel and more personalised treatments? Are you interested in understanding behavioural and brain responses to treatment? Then one of the projects advertised here could be the PhD for you! We are seeking talented and highly motivated individuals for up to three fully funded and innovative 3-year PhD studentships. Successful candidates will have strong training from a psychology or neuroscience background, and a desire to work with complex (e.g. multi-modal) data applied to clinical research.

This award is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), through the Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

Our aim is to pioneer multidisciplinary translational research and experimental medicine in the areas of mental health and neuroscience.

To achieve this we select the best students and provide them with excellent training, tailored flexibly to their individual needs and interests. We will equip them with the intellectual and technical skills that are needed for the future of translational research, and complement this with key transferable skills (including public engagement, business development and entrepreneurship) to ensure that they emerge as well-rounded scientists, prepared for their next career stage. Our excellent clinical setting will ensure all students benefit from an understanding of the context of their research and produce scientists with a strong translational ethos.

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust is the UK’s largest NHS mental health service provider with a long history of involvement in translational research and training in partnership with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London.

The IoPPN is the largest academic community in Europe dedicated to the study, treatment and prevention of mental health problems and neurodegenerative disease.  It is the world’s leading centre for mental health research in terms of citations of our publications.  In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework the IoPPN was judged to have a 100% 'outstanding' (4*) world leading research environment.  The impact of its research outside academia scored 92%  'outstanding' (4*) and 8% 'very considerable' (3*).

The IoPPN offers excellent opportunities for research training in basic and clinical science across the mental health spectrum including its interface with physical health, precision psychiatry, novel therapeutics and translational informatics.  Studying at the IoPPN you will benefit from world class research and clinical facilities plus internationally recognised supervisors.

We continuously strive to be an inclusive, culturally aware and culturally competent organisation that respects the differences of our community by providing an environment that both acknowledges and celebrates diversity and embraces inclusion.  

Important:  Before applying for one of these studentships, please read the information provided under the headings below.  

Application deadline:  Wednesday 26 June 2024 (23:59 BST)

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Interviews are planned for either Wednesday 03 or Friday 07 July 2024 (day TBC).



Funding is available for:

  • Up to four 3-year PhD studentships to commence October 2024.

The award covers:

  • Full Home rate tuition fees;
  • A stipend (£21,237 per year);
  • A contribution towards training, conference attendance and research costs.

Overseas applicants may apply but will need to cover the difference in tuition fees.

Fee status guidance - Home or Overseas?

Determining whether you are classified as home or overseas depends on whether you meet certain criteria. These criteria are set by the Government’s Department for Education. To be classed as a home student, applicants usually fit into one of the following categories, subject to residency requirements being met:

  • be a UK national (meeting residency requirements)
  • have settled status
  • have pre-settled status
  • have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

For full details of all the different categories of student who can be classified as home, please read UKCISA guidance, including the explanatory information provided in this PDF guide.

If you do not fit into one of these categories, you are most likely classified as overseas.

For Stage One of the application process please self-identify your fee status as best you can using the guidance and links provided above.  If you progress to Stage Two, your fee status will be fully assessed and confirmed by KCL Admissions.

Entry Requirements

The programme is very competitive and applicants must have, or be predicted to obtain at least a 2.1 or equivalent overseas qualification in a relevant science subject. 

Students who do not meet the above primary criteria may apply if they satisfy the following conditions:

  • A 2.2 BSc degree and a MSc in a relevant subject with Merit or Distinction.
  • A 2.1 or higher non-science first degree (BA) and a MSc in a relevant subject with Merit or Distinction.

English Language

Applicants for these studentships must meet the King's College London Band D English language requirements.  Any offer you are made will be conditional upon you meeting these requirements prior to enrolment.

Further information is available on the King's College London English language entry requirements page. 

Strengthening our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)

In line with the NIHR's national strategy we aim to:

  • foster an inclusive environment
  • engage the talents and energy of diverse people in all areas of our work
  • improve the relevance and quality of our research

To do this we will widen access for greater diversity and inclusion of applicants across under-represented groups.  This includes, but is not restricted to gender and sexuality, diverse racial and ethnic groups, people from different geographical regions of varied socio-economic backgrounds, people with disabilities or lived experience of mental health issues.

People who have used mental health services are actively encouraged to apply.

You will benefit from the wide range of training and support offered by King's College London to its postgraduate research students.

Maudsley BRC students are members of the NIHR Academy and have access to resources and training opportunities provided nationally through the Academy and wider NIHR infrastructure. 

Applying to this programme is a three-stage process.

Stage One

To apply for this studentship at Stage One please send the following to by 23:59 BST on Wednesday 26 June 2024:

  • CV – including both educational and professional history;
  • Personal statement, including your choice of projects.  When applying, please select a minimum of two and a maximum of 3 projects [link to projects].  List your choices in order of preference and explain why you are particularly interested in your choice of projects;
  • At least one supporting reference - see below.

Academic references – all applications require at least one supporting reference written on the referee's formal institutional headed notepaper.  If the applicant is relying on their referees to submit a reference directly to the College, the applicant must ensure that (1) their chosen referee is made aware of the application deadline and (2) that the reference must be sent from an institutional email address.

Applicants are very welcome to email the project supervisors for more information regarding the projects. 

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and invited to Stage Two.

Stage Two

  • Successful candidates will be invited to attend a panel interview on either Wednesday 03 or Friday 07 July (day to be confirmed).

Interviews will be held in person.  For candidates who are unable to attend an inteview in person, an online MS Teams interview will be arranged.

Following interviews, candidates will be contacted via email and informed of the outcome of their interview.  The successful candidate will be required to complete Stage Three.

Stage Three

  • The successful candidate will be asked to submit an application and Project Approval Form (PAF) via King’s Apply where final checks on academic qualifications, English language requirements and fee status will be made.

Providing all checks at Stage Three are successful, the candidate will be sent a formal offer letter confiirming their programme of study and funding. 


Further Information

If you have questions please email us: 

Follow the NIHR Maudsley BRC on Twitter @nihrmaudsleybrc

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