Wellcome Trust 4-year PhD Interdisciplinary Programme


in Structural, Computational and Chemical Biology

at UCL | Birkbeck | Francis Crick Institute


This programme offers students the opportunity to do cross-disciplinary research in world-class institutes. The four year structure comprises intensive training together with the opportunity for short projects in all three disciplines in the first year. This provides an excellent platform for progress in the research project in years 2 - 4.

Year one

The first year of the programme provides intensive training in structural, computational and chemical biology through foundation courses, lab rotations and an advanced lecture series.

Students select an individual schedule of foundation courses, in consultation with the Programme Coordinator, providing the opportunity to broaden their theoretical and practical knowledge.

During the first two weeks of the programme, students are given the opportunity to meet with research supervisors before choosing the first of their three lab rotations, lasting 12 weeks each.

  • As a past example, the list of rotation projects that were proposed for the 2015/16 academic year is available here. (The list of projects will differ for the 2016/17 academic year).

Years two, three and four

The student will choose one project for his/her PhD research. This PhD project will have to be carried out in one of the three labs in which the student rotated in his/her first year.

  • As a past example, the list of PhD projects that have been offered for 2016 can be viewed here. (The list of projects will differ for 2017).

Progress will be monitored by a thesis committee which will mentor the student throughout the programme.

Programme organisation

The programme is supervised by a Steering Committee led by the Director, Professor Gabriel Waksman. The Steering Committee selects students for the programme and monitors their progress throughout the 4 years.

Further information

To discuss the programme informally please contact one of the Directors:



Slice through a cryo EM map of GroEL
Professor Helen Saibil, Department of Biological Sciences, Birkbeck, ISMB



Structure of the HP0525 ATPase, a molecular motor powering the type IV secretion machinery in Helicobacter pylori. Professor Gabriel Waksman, ISMB.