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Hodge PhD opportunities

The new Hodge Centre will forge close links with partners in industry, the NHS and other organisations to improve collaboration, and accelerate the pace at which research is translated into treatments.

The centre will take the latest research findings from the University’s world-class neuroscience researchers and use them to develop new drugs and therapies for severe mental health conditions.

Between 2023 and 2028, the centre will provide 18+ fully funded PhD scholarships. The Hodge PhD scholarship programme will train and nurture the brightest young researchers in the skills needed to address the complex problem of brain disorders.

Each studentship will cover Home tuition fees, a stipend at the UKRI rate and a generous contribution towards the consumable costs of each project.

We are currently supporting our first six postgraduate research students. We intend to fund a further seven studentships per year for October intakes in 2024 and 2025.


Applications for 2024/25 are now open. The deadline for applications is Tuesday 7 May.

Only one form will be considered per applicant and you can select up to two projects funded by the Hodge PhD Scholarship Programme in one application form. Please note only Home applicants are eligible to apply for projects

Application forms and further information about applying to the Hodge PhD Scholarship Programme can be obtained from

Available projects

The overarching theme for supported projects is the neuroplasticity and/or neuroimmunology of psychiatric illness relevant to mental health.

We will support cross-disciplinary projects that overlap with these research themes and aims.

One legacy-funded project will be supported in the area of schizophrenia for 2024.

Current available project topics include:

  • Activity driven mechanisms of cerebral cortex development in the pathogenesis of intellectual disabilities and schizophrenia, supervised by Dr Francesco Bedogni)
  • Dissecting the effects of common risk allele for mental disorders on brain's neuroanatomy, supervised by Professor Xavier Caseras
  • Reward processing deficits in the cacna1c rat model of genetic risk for psychiatric disorder: biological bases and potential pharmacological rescue, supervised by Professor Dominic Dwyer
  • Deciphering how neurodevelopmental disorder-associated risk mutations disrupt striatal neuron development and function, supervised by Dr Marija Fjodorova
  • Uncovering mechanisms of associative learning and memory in the male and female brain relevant to psychiatric disease, supervised by Professor Jeremy Hall
  • Effects of FADS2 single-nucleotide polymorphisms on clathrin-mediated endocytosis in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons, supervised by Professor Adrian Harwood
  • Effect of probiotics on dysregulated complement mediated synaptic pruning mechanisms relevant to complement C4 risk alleles for schizophrenia, supervised by Professor Tim Hughes
  • How does early life influence the brain and behavioural profile of a mouse model for schizophrenia, supervised by Professor Anthony Isles
  • Integrative image-based clustering for robust disease stratification in psychiatric disorders, supervised by Dr Carolyn McNabb
  • A role for cortical niche environment in interneuron maturation and diversification, supervised by Professor Meng Li
  • Novel data analysis approaches to improve genome wide analyses of schizophrenia and enable drug target identification, supervised by Dr Antonio Pardiñas
  • MEG-derived oscillatory phenotypes of psychosis and psychosis-risk, supervised by Professor Krishna Singh
  • Immune and metabolomic profile of Copy Number Variation associated with high risk of psychiatric and cardiometabolic conditions, supervised by Professor Marianne van den Bree


All general enquiries should be addressed to:

Julie Cleaver

Julie Cleaver

Administrator (Postgraduate and Research), Neuroscience and Mental Health Innovation Institute

+44 (0)29 2068 8341