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To:       All Staff @ Birkbeck, UCL Institute of Education, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Royal Veterinary College, School of Oriental & African Studies.

From: The Bloomsbury Colleges Research Committee

Date:   15 July 2021

Re:      Bloomsbury Colleges PhD Studentships for 2022

The Bloomsbury Colleges Consortium has five member institutions from the University of London: Birkbeck, UCL Institute of Education, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Royal Veterinary College and School of Oriental and African Studies.

Together they are identifying and pursuing opportunities for academic and administrative collaboration. The partners for the 2022 Bloomsbury Colleges PhD studentships must come from one or more of the remaining four colleges.

Ten 3-year PhD studentships are available for intercollegiate research collaborations to start October 2022. These studentships entail collaboration between at least two Bloomsbury Colleges, and each participating College will be the lead (i.e., principal supervisor and registration base for the students) for two such collaborations.

For all colleges, the studentships will cover fees at the home rate and maintenance at the level recommended by the Research Councils. Supervisors wishing to invite applications from international students will be required to demonstrate how they will meet the costs of overseas fees from other sources.  All studentships will be managed in line with the current good practices of all member Colleges.

This formal call for proposals from academic staff within the Bloomsbury Colleges has a deadline for submission of Monday 4th October 2021.  Each College will screen proposals where the lead applicant is based in that institution, and select a maximum of up to 5 applications for forwarding to the Bloomsbury Colleges Research Committee (ranked in order of preference) for consideration at a meeting scheduled for the week beginning 15th November 2021 (i.e., the Committee will receive a maximum of 25 applications).  The Committee will select 10 applications, and successful applicants will be notified by the end of November.

The studentships will be advertised on The Bloomsbury Colleges website before the Christmas break 2021 and Colleges may wish to place adverts in January 2022, with interviews and the selection process taking place during February to March 2022.  The students will start their courses in October 2022.

Although a number of criteria* will be used in the selection process, it is important to note that applicants must convince the Committee that the studentship will foster sustainable research collaboration and new links between the partner colleges.

The timetable for this process is summarized in the accompanying page. Please contact with any enquiries.

Applications should be submitted by the lead applicant to the corresponding receiver in their institution:








i.      Must fit with BBSRC’s remit

ii.     Should contain an element of mathematical modelling of biological data to solve the biological problem

iii.    Colleges from which co-supervisors should be drawn include:

•       LSHTM

•       Birkbeck or RVC (whichever you are NOT at)

Please note that Bloomsbury College studentships are a maximum 3 years in duration and this should be considered if the studentship is linked to a 4 year PhD programme. If in doubt please contact Jonathan Elliott ( or Nicholas Keep ( for further clarification.

RVC academic and Birkbeck Biological Sciences staff are encouraged to be partners on other Bloomsbury studentships which do not meet the above criteria

Chair, Bloomsbury Colleges Research Committee

* Criteria for selection process are as follows:

  1. Academic merit of the proposal, including realistic scope of the project for a 3 year PhD
  2. Applications that address research areas of strategic importance to their College
  3. Broadens range of existing studentship collaborations (e.g. in terms of college partnerships, subjects covered)
  4. Security of funding to undertake the project (e.g. for data collection and consumables) - to avoid risk of delay or non-completion of project because of funding shortfall
  5. Strong track record and evidence of supervision capacity of lead supervisor
  6. Evidence of awareness of college supervision requirements and procedures (eg advisory panel, timing of upgrade).
  7. Ethics and security issues have been taken into account.