PhD opportunities

The first cohort of PhD students and projects have now been appointed - further details will follow.

A further round of recruitment will be taking place later this year, updates will be posted here.

A number of PhD bursaries are available for transdisciplinary research on health and wellbeing based in the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health.

Duration: 3 years (2018-2021)

Annual Stipend

Year 1: £19,919; Year 2: £21,542; Year 3: £23,298 (2017/2018 rates)


The Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health opened in April 2017 with a £4.1 million research grant from the Wellcome Trust with match-funding from the University of Exeter. The Centre builds on successful research clusters across the University and on the University’s Humanities and Social Science Strategy. Transdisciplinary and international in its approach, the Centre brings together leading scholars across the medical humanities, social sciences and health research with the aim of understanding how we can create and sustain cultures and environments that enable health and well-being across the life course.

The Centre welcomes applications from those with traditional academic backgrounds (at least an upper second class honours degree or equivalent) and / or those with work or lived experience that provides the necessary and relevant expertise in the research area. The Centre will accept applications from individuals of all nationalities.  The Centre will accept both full-time (3 years) and part-time registration (usually 6 years). 

The application process has two stages:

Stage 1 (expression of interest): this stage has now closed

Stage 2 (formal application): Deadline: 31st January 2018

All candidates (including those who submitted an expression of interest) must submit a formal online application ( APPLICATIONS MUST SPECIFY A PRIMARY SUPERVISOR IN THE CENTRE (see list below) AND PROPOSALS MUST BE COMPLETED ON THE TEMPLATE PROVIDED.  Applications that do not specificy a primary supervisor will not be shortlisted.


Work should contribute to one or more of the Centre aims and to its commitment to create ‘cultures and environments of health’.

All research is required to enable insight, debate and/or new approaches to current health challenges.

Proposals for research should speak to some or all of the following criteria:

  • demonstrate intellectual excellence and novel research (including an ability to link empirical work to conceptual insights);
  • be interdisciplinary, that is include at least two of humanities, social, medical and natural sciences;
  • involve methodological innovation and have the potential to develop new kinds of evidence for health-related policy making or practice
  • form or consolidate research partnerships with external agencies (commercial, public, charity, community etc.)
  • constitute a programme of work that pursues collaborations and engaged research (cooperatively generated knowledge)
  • carry the potential to explore how the research can be synthesised across the Centre’s themes
  • have the capacity to develop into work that is competitive in terms of external funders including, for example, AHRC, MRC, ESRC, NIHR, WT, Leverhulme, ERC
  • involve a realistic and deliverable publication strategy
  • be feasible and realistic.

It is not expected that all projects/posts and initiatives will satisfy every criterion.

Formal applications should include:

  • An application form, completed online. Forms will be available from mid-November.

  The application will require the following:

  • A research proposal [which must be completed on template below] of 1000-2000 words, including:
    • A clear statement of the research question (where relevant, justified by reference to the state of the field)
    • a discussion of the methods to be used to carry out the research (including who the research participants will be)
    • a consideration of whether and how the research will involve public engagement
    • a time plan
    • an indicative research budget (including costs for public engagement, research trips, resources and conferences).
  • A CV
  • Proof of qualifications and IELTS (if relevant).

  (download a research proposal template in word here)