PhD Studentship

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PhD Studentships - NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Unit in Organ Donation and Transplantation Applications are invited for two 3-year PhD studentships in the National Institute for Health and Care Research Blood and Transplant Research Unit in Organ Donation and Transplantation (NIHR BTRU in ODT, The posts will be based in the University of Cambridge Department of Surgery on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. The proposed start date is 17th April 2024.

The NIHR BTRU in ODT provides a centre of excellence dedicated to research into organ donation and transplantation. The overarching aims are to increase the number of organs available, improve long-term outcomes and improve quality of life after transplant.

The unit has a wide and varied research programme divided into three main themes and three cross-cutting themes. These studentships will focus on the specific areas of organ perfusion within Theme 1 ( or improving long-term outcomes within Theme 3 (

Organ perfusion is currently a very active research field and the BTRU has internationally recognised expertise in this area. Work under Theme 1 of the BTRU is focusing on optimisation of perfusion parameters and examining ex vivo perfusion as a platform for the pre-transplant delivery of cellular and other therapeutics in the heart, liver and kidney. This work has received media attention:

Work under Theme 3 of the BTRU aims to improve long-term transplant outcomes by introducing molecular donor-recipient human leucocyte antigen (HLA) matching in clinical practice, by reducing HLA-related immunological risk, and by using organ-specific extracellular vesicles as biomarkers and therapeutics in transplantation.


Candidates should have (or expect to obtain) a first or upper second class degree in molecular or cell biology or an allied subject. Applicants with relevant research experience, gained through Master's study or while working in a laboratory, are strongly encouraged to apply. Motivation, creativity and intellectual independence are desirable, as are excellent communication skills and the ability to work collaboratively. These are clinical programmes of research and so involve some out-of-hours work.

The funds for these posts are available for 3 years. Funding will cover the student's stipend and tuition fees at the UK rate. Non-UK applicants will be considered only if they are able to fund the overseas fees differential or if they are awarded a suitable scholarship.

We recommend that interested candidates visit the Postgraduate Funding Search for more detailed information about this opportunity, including: exact stipend amount, how to apply and further information about each of the available projects. The listing for this opportunity can be found here:

Informal enquiries can be addressed to Rachel Brown, BTRU Project Co-ordinator,

Please quote reference RE39216 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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