Clinical trials & epidemiology

The Programme

clintrials2A principal aim of the Clinical Trial Service Unit (CTSU) and Cancer Epidemiology Unit (CEU) is to train scientists in epidemiology and clinical trials, and we encourage applications for doctoral students from both medical and non-medical backgrounds.  

Previous experience in epidemiology (eg, a Masters degree in epidemiology) would be welcome but is not a requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (equivalent to a Ph.D). Admission is competitive so candidates are expected to have an excellent academic record.  Some doctoral projects may primarily involve observational studies and others involve clinical trials and may include cardiology, cancer, renal medicine or genetics in addition to epidemiology and medical statistics.

The department is committed to training the next generation of scientists in biological and clinical sciences and wants to encourage applications from students with diverse backgrounds and broad skill sets.


NDM Doctoral Prize Studentships are our fully funded 4 year scholarships open to outstanding students of any nationality, which are advertised each autumn for students who want to start the following October. The current application deadline is early January each year and offers made early February.  

Doctoral Projects

Current projects may include a study of genetic and biochemical markers for stroke in the Kadoorie Biobank study of 510,000 people in China; or risks associated with diabetes and obesity for vascular disease in the Mexico City Prospective Study of 150,000 people; or web-based assessement of dietary intake in the UK Biobank study of 500,000 people; or risks of vascular disease in patients with renal disease. Additional projects are available on diet and disease in the EPIC study of 520,000 people in Europe and on risks associated with lifestyle factors, genes and metabolic markers for vascular disease and cancer in the Million Women Study of 1.3 million women in the UK.

Training and Career Development


During the first year, students are encouraged to attend short courses in research methods and data analysis in addition to short courses in epidemiology and statistics in Oxford or at the London School of Hygiene. The aim is to tailor training to the individual needs and bring all students up to satisfactory level in background knowledge. Later training is focused on the skills required for a successful career in independent research.

This page is maintained by Dr Robert Clarke