Students will study in areas of research relevant to musculoskeletal and other inflammatory diseases

Funded by the Kennedy Trust, the MB-PhD programme will be hosted by the University of Birmingham’s College of Medical and Dental Sciences and support three intercalating students a year for five years in areas of research relevant to musculoskeletal and other inflammatory diseases.

The Kennedy Trust MB-PhD programme, which launched this year and has been awarded to just four universities nationwide, was open to organisations already holding a Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Clinical Academic Training Programme. The University of Birmingham was awarded that programme through the Cancer Research UK Birmingham Centre in 2019.

In partnership with Birmingham’s existing CRUK programme, the Kennedy Trust programme will train a cohort of MB-PhD students, providing an important opportunity to embed clinical academic training into medical training at an early stage.

Karim Raza, Professor of Rheumatology from the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, and the application lead, explains: “The University of Birmingham is absolutely delighted to be able to host this Kennedy Trust-funded programme allowing medical students to study for an intercalated PhD.

“Inflammation research is one of Birmingham’s real strengths and we are very much looking forward to the opportunities this scheme will provide, allowing us to develop the next generation of clinical academics committed to research to improve outcomes for patients with musculoskeletal and other inflammatory diseases.”

Professor Sir Stephen Holgate, Chair of the Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research, said: “The MB PhD initiative combines two of the Kennedy Trust’s key aims: investment into translational research and the support of early career scientists.

“We are delighted to build upon the fantastic programme established by the University of Birmingham and we are confident that the Trust’s MB PhD scheme will deliver the next generation of clinical academic leaders in musculoskeletal and inflammatory disease research.”

Candidates from medical schools across the country, including Birmingham Medical School, will be selected based on their academic performance and evidence of commitment to research in the short, medium and long term.

The Kennedy Trust MB-PhD programme will begin in September 2021.