Medicine PhD/MD/MSc by Research

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Our current research covers a wide portfolio of basic, translational and clinical research focusing on: adrenal and gonadal steroids; thyroid cancer; thyroid dysfunction; fetal and reproductive endocrinology; pituitary disease; and auto-immunity.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Doctoral research

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: PhD – 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time; MSc by Research – 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time; MD – 2 years minimum part-time

Start date: Research degrees may start at any time of the year, though for most this will be September


College of Medical and Dental Sciences Graduate School:

You can contact us on +44 (0)121 414 5005


Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Hormones and Genes research (Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and Genetics) represents a significant research strength within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, as evidenced by the fact 75% of our RAE 2008 submission in the area of Other Hospital Based Clinical Subjects was considered internationally excellent or world leading. Current research covers a wide portfolio of basic, translational and clinical research focusing on adrenal and gonadal steroids, thyroid cancer, hyroid dsyfunction, fetal and reproductive endocrinology, pituitary disease, and auto-immunity. Ongoing studies employ a broad range of in vitro and in vivo approaches including mouse transgenic and knockout models, as well as clinical translational and interventional studies carried out in the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility immediately adjacent to the Institute of Biomedical Research, the lab base for most of the Endocrine and Diabetes Groups, Clinical research is also enhanced by close interaction with the University Hospital Birmingham and cohort and database studies (thyroid disease, pituitary disease, and adrenal disease).

Respiratory Medicine

Research focuses on investigating the factors governing neutrophil differentiation, activation and recruitment as processes that determine the degree of tissue damage resulting in the establishment and progression of chronic lung disease. Major interests include chronic chest infections and the role of proteinases and proteinase inhibitors in this process.

Fees and funding

Standard fees apply, although in some projects a bench fee is also payable
Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships
A number of studentships are available each year, funded by major sponsors including the British Heart Foundation (BHF), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Wellcome Trust, as well as national and local charities. UK/EU students should contact the School directly for further information. For general scholarship enquiries email  

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Entry requirements

Learn more about entry requirements

International students
We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements

Standard English language requirements apply

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Research interests of staff

Before submitting an application to the University, you will need to identify potential supervisors in your desired field of research in order that you can indicate this in your application. There will be a delay in processing your application if this information is not provided. To do this, you can browse the “research interests” tab on the course finder pages which identifies research leads by subject area.

Alternatively you can:

  • Search for an advertised postgraduate research opportunity via our Doctoral Researchers search engine
  • Browse the school websites. Most schools provide a list of research active staff and their research interests on their website

Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

  • Pathogenesis, treatments and long term outcomes of thyroid dysfunction
    Contact: Professor Jayne Franklyn
  • Pathogenesis of thyroid and other endocrine cancers
    Contact: Professor Christopher McCabe
  • Prereceptor regulation of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid action
    Contact: Professor Paul Stewart 
  • Prereceptor regulation of sex steroid action, mechanisms underlying androgen excess and deficiency
    Contact: Professor Wiebke Arlt
  • Mechanisms of Steroid Sulphation, Steroid hormone trafficking and disorders of androgen excess
    Contact Dr Vivek Dhir
  • Mechanisms underlying congenital adrenal hyperplasia, gonadal development
    Contact: Dr Nils Krone
  • Glucocorticoids, insulin sensitivity and obesity
    Contact: Dr Jeremy Tomlinson
  • Diagnosis, treatment and prognosis in hypopituitarism, acromegaly an Cushing’s disease
    Contacts: Professor Paul Stewart
    Professor Wiebke Arlt
  • Contact: Dr Parth Narendran
  • Microvascular diabetes complications – pathogenesis and treatment
    Contact: Professor Martin Stevens
  • Regulation of glucocorticoid hormone metabolism and intracellular glucose utilisation
    Contact: Dr Gareth Lavery
    Dr Elizabeth Rabbit
  • Physiology and pharmacology of sleep, metabolism, neuroendocrinolog and ageing
    Dr Kristien Boelaert
  • Effects of sex steroids in colorectal cancer; glycolytic inhibitors as an anti-cancer treatment
    Dr Paul Foster 

Respiratory Medicine

  • Role of growth factors in lung epithelial repair; relationship between infection and inflammation in acute lung injury
    Contact: Dr David Thickett
  • Factors governing neutrophil differentiation, activation and recruitment in the establishment and progression of chronic lung disease
    Contact: Professor Robert Stockley
  • The role of the vitamin D axis in the lung; genetic and environmental influences on lung disease
    Contact: Dr Alice Turner
  • Role of tumour necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand in inflammatory lung disease
    Contact: Dr Emmet McGrath

Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Group

  • Hypoalgesia, sensory, motor and cognitive function in hypertension; blood pressure variability; adverse drug reactions and responses to antihypertensive medication
    Contact: Dr Una Martin
  • Medication safety and adverse drug reactions; including pharmacoepidemiology, electronic prescribing/health informatics, and clinical decision suport methods
    Contact: Dr Jamie Coleman


College of Medical and Dental Sciences Graduate School:

You can contact us on +44 (0)121 414 5005


Following graduation, Postgraduate Researchers in the College MDS gain employment in a variety of areas though with a majority continuing in research, mostly in Academia but also in the Health,  Pharmaceutical, and Biotechnology sectors.  Others pursue careers in Education, Publishing, Intellectual Property Protection, Technology Innovation, Business, and more besides.

Find out more about where our postgraduate students go


College of Medical and Dental Sciences Graduate School:

You can contact us on +44 (0)121 414 5005