Ewch i’r prif gynnwys

Rhaglenni PhD

Mae'r cynnwys hwn ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig.

The PhD projects we have available to start in July or October 2021:

Mental Health Research UK and Fieldrose Charitable Trust funded PhD studentship

PhD in psychiatric genetics - Integrating microarray and sequencing data to identify rare risk and protective genetic variants for schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a severe psychiatric disorder that can have a dramatic impact on the wellbeing of affected individuals and their families. The principal aim of this 4-year project is to integrate microarray and whole-exome sequencing data sets produced from large schizophrenia samples. The main outputs of this work will be the identification of novel genes and mutations that have a role in schizophrenia, which will advance our understanding of the underlying biology that, when combined with psychological and social risk factors, can give rise to the condition.

Lead supervisors: Professor James Walters and Dr Elliott Rees


For more information and to apply visit the PhD studentships and projects page and search for 'psychiatric genetics'

Applications will be accepted until Friday, 8 January 2021

The project is supported by a grant from Mental Health Research UK and the Schizophrenia Research Fund and is aligned to a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship recently awarded to Dr Elliott Rees. This studentship is open to EU students who would be able to start in July 2021. If looking to start in October 2021, EU students will need to fund the difference in tuition fees.

The PhD projects we have available to start in October 2021:

GW4 BioMed Doctoral Training Partnership opportunities

Exploring the early genetic origins of schizophrenia at the cellular level

Schizophrenia is a severe psychiatric disorder with an unclear biological basis.

This project will combine single cell RNA sequencing technology with the latest data on genetic risk factors for schizophrenia to identify cell types and mechanisms within the developing human brain mediating genetic risk for the condition. The project will provide training in state-of-the-art laboratory and bioinformatic techniques for analysing cellular gene expression.

Lead supervisor: Professor Nick Bray

Understanding psychiatric outcomes in children born with cleft lip and/or palate using genetics

Cleft of the lip and/or palate is a common birth defect which can affect appearance, speech, hearing, dentition and mental health. This PhD will investigate risk of mental health outcomes in cleft and their genetic and non-genetic causes and provides the opportunity to develop into one of few experts globally with in-depth understanding across cleft, genetics, genetic epidemiology and psychiatry.

Lead supervisor: Dr Evie Stergiakouli

Epigenetic processes involved in synaptic plasticity and their association with risk for psychiatric disorders

Genetic variants associated with risk for psychiatric disorders are located in the vicinity of genes involved in synaptic plasticity. There is evidence that these variants act through regulatory processes affecting gene expression, including the epigenome. This project will look at whether epigenetic processes involved in regulating plasticity are important in conferring risk to psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia.

Lead supervisor: Professor Jeremy Hall

To treat or not to treat: investigating the impact of antidepressant use in pregnancy

In the UK around 8% of women are prescribed antidepressants to reduce symptoms of depression in pregnancy. This project will ask whether antidepressants restore normal mood in a novel preclinical model of prenatal depression, and apply comparative bioinformatics to human placenta to examine the risks and benefits of taking antidepressants in pregnancy.

Lead supervisor: Professor Rosalind John

The connectomics of Alzheimer’s risk: characterising brain temporal network dynamics in young adults at increased genetic risk for late-onset Alzheimer's disease

Using advanced imaging and novel mathematical approaches, we will identify spatio-temporal brain networks that show altered dynamics in young adults with genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease. The PhD will provide grounding in network neuroscience — an evolving field using network theories to study the brain across multiple scales and modalities.

Lead supervisor: Dr Zhang

Glial functions of the frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease associated gene TBK1

Disruptive mutations in TBK1 occur in the devastating neurodegenerative disorders Motor Neuron Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia. Despite defined roles in immunity, our understanding of glial functions of TBK1 are limited. To better define glial activity of TBK1 in inflammation, phagocytosis and neurodegeneration this interdisciplinary project will combine high-throughput confocal microscopy of mammalian glia with in vivo disease modelling in Drosophila.

Lead supervisor: Dr Owen Peters

The cognitive and genetic overlap between autism and anorexia nervosa

Autism and anorexia nervosa are two distinct clinical conditions that are highly co-occurring. To better understand this overlap, the PhD will investigate the longitudinal association between cognition, autistic traits and anorexia, the shared genetic architecture of both disorders, and the causal links between them.

Lead supervisor: Dr Catherine Jones

Understanding the health implications of using different definitions of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be defined as a categorical diagnosis or as a continuous trait. Although these definitions are related, we need to better understand how they differ. This PhD will investigate the differences in developmental and clinical outcomes, as well as genetic risk factors in children with ADHD using different definitions.

Lead supervisor: Dr Kate Langley


For more information and to apply please visit the GW4 MRC DTP website.

Applications will be accepted until 17:00 on Monday, 23 November 2020.

The GW4 BioMed Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) scheme is funded by the MRC and provides a full UKRI stipend and full (UK) fees. The projects are all 3.5 years long. There are a number of projects led by Cardiff University.

Get in touch

For any questions related to our PhD research programmes, please contact:

Psychiatric Medicine PhDs