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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:   26 May 2016

Re:      Bloomsbury Colleges PhD Studentships for 2017

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. Ten 3-year PhD studentships are available for intercollegiate research collaborations to start October 2017. These studentships entail collaboration (co-supervision) 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/EU rate and maintenance at the level recommended by the Research Councils. Supervisors wishing to invite applications from students from non EU countries 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.

The aim of these PhD studentships is to foster collaborations between the Colleges.  To help develop these collaborations it is our intention to hold some networking events over the summer.  Please watch out for announcements about these events.

This formal call for proposals from academic staff within the Bloomsbury Colleges has a deadline for submission of Friday 7th October 2016.  Each College will screen proposals where the lead applicant is based in that institution, and select a maximum of 5 applications for forwarding to the Bloomsbury Colleges Research Committee for consideration at a meeting scheduled for 09 November 2016 (i.e., the Committee will receive a maximum of 25 applications).  The Committee will select 10 applications, and successful applicants will be notified by 18 November 2016 at the latest.  The studentships will be advertised on The Bloomsbury Colleges website before the Christmas break 2016 and placed in a selection of high profile journals in January 2017, with interviews and the selection process taking place during February to March 2017.  The students will start their courses in October 2017.

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 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:


UCL IOE:       Isabelle Jerome,

LSHTM:          Pro-Director of Learning and Teaching,

RVC:              Liz Wilkinson,



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)

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:

Academic merit of the proposal, including realistic scope of the project for a 3 year PhD

  1. Applications that address research areas of strategic importance to their College
  2. Broadens range of existing studentship collaborations (e.g. in terms of college partnerships, subjects covered)
  3. 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
  4. Strong track record and evidence of supervision capacity of lead supervisor
  5. Evidence of awareness of college supervision requirements and procedures (eg advisory panel, timing of upgrade).
  6. Ethics and security issues have been taken into account.