skip to content

Programme Structure 

The Cambridge BHF 4-Year PhD programme is a 1+3 year programme.  The first year is designed to give integrated training in the conceptual foundations, experimental systems, practical techniques, and current state of knowledge in cardiovascular research. Students start with a welcome session explaining how the Programme is organised, expectations, and the mechanisms of support available. This is followed by a 2-week University and Programme induction on safety, diversity, researcher development, keeping research notebooks, information governance, and intellectual property, which runs in parallel to the Graduate School Safety Course and Researcher Development Programme. Our PhD Programme Administrator ensures each student is familiar with the timetable and various locations, and is always available to offer guidance and support with any non-academic issues.

Year 1: After induction and every 3 months therafter, the students will be provided with a portfolio of 10-week laboratory attachments for discussion with individual supervisors and their mentor. Students will select and rotate through 3 mini-projects, spanning different biomedical problems, experimental techniques and laboratory environments. Students will attend a programme-specific course alternating discussion sessions on core research themes delivered by supervisors and senior postdoctoral fellows, and seminars on advanced biomedical techniques delivered by expert local practitioners. Some of these sessions will be shared with other 4-year PhD, doctoral training and institutional programmes which currently enroll 30 students per year (listed through Cambridge Cardiovascular Seminar Series). Students will also have access to modules from established courses within the University and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and provided with recent reviews and key papers. Students will be enrolled in courses on Introductory Biostatistics (biostatistics, evidence synthesis, approaches to dense datasets), Bioinformatics and Research Integrity.

Years 2-4: Years 2-4 emphasize research but with ~80 hours of optional generic and transferable skills via workshops (e.g. computer programming, genomics, genetics, bioinformatics, metabolomics, imaging) and seminars in cardiovascular disease biology, stem/regenerative medicine, and journal clubs. Students will be jointly supervised by at least two principle investigators (PI's) with complementary expertise, ensuring that cross-disciplinary training is a central element of the programme. All BHF students will be given the opportunity to give oral or poster presentations at the Cambridge Cardiovascular Annual Research Symposium, to assess performance of  both the student and the whole programme, and to facilitate collaborations. In addition, students help plan and run our public engagement activities  such as the Cambridge Science Festival, and the Big Biology Day.

Cambridge Cardiovascular logo - transparent

We connect cardiovascular researchers in Cambridge and beyond.

For inquiries about our research, please contact Dr Jane Sugars

For enquiries about our website or joining Cambridge Cardiovascular, please contact Denise Hatherly

Find us on LinkedIn


Follow us on X

Please follow us here on X for local news about research, events, funding calls, and open positions.

You must be logged into X to see our feed here:

Our Newsletter

Click on the image below for previous Newsletters and for our Email sign up form


Find us on YouTube