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PhD opportunities

We have a thriving PhD programme with over 80 students, all supported by a supervisory team of active researchers in the student’s subject area. We have students studying for PhDs in areas such as applied science, theology, sport, health, arts and humanities, social sciences, business and education.

In addition, a number of our students are working in important cross-disciplinary fields such as the relationship between theology and public policy and the provision of health services in prisons. St Mary’s also has a professional doctorate programme in education.

Current opportunities

Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies PhD Funding

The Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies (CBET) at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, offers a fully funded, full-time three year PhD programme commencing in October 2019 to support the successful applicant’s research in bioethics. The Centre is based in the recently established Institute of Theology, situated on the University’s leafy main campus in Twickenham only 35 mins from central London by train.

The Centre is the only bioethics centre in the UK based within a theological institute and combines innovative world-class research with practical engagement and impact in the media. CBET is currently in conjunction with the Scottish Council in Human Bioethics, undertaking a grant-funded project looking at creator-to-creature responsibilities in relation to non-human persons created by genomic engineering, AI and other means. The New Bioethics – A Multidisciplinary Journal of Biotechnology and the Body published by Taylor and Francis, is based at CBET with both the Editor-In-Chief (Trevor Stammers) and the Managing Editor (Matt James) on the Centre staff. The journal offers opportunity to develop expertise in both reviewing and writing for publication.

In addition to the Creator Project, CBET staff team’s current research is wide-ranging and includes genomic engineering and epigenetics, ethical optimisation of acquiring organs for transplantation, pedagogical innovation in bioethics, disability ethics, theological and philosophical anthropology, end of life care, abortion, human rights and human dignity. The successful candidate will work under the supervision of the Centre staff, together with colleagues in bioethics, philosophy, theology and other disciplines as appropriate for the successful PhD proposal.

The successful applicant would also be expected to be involved with CBET activities, including conference organization and undergraduate teaching after a mandatory induction course. A major conference is being considered for 2020, together with the Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery based at the University. The successful candidate may if they wish, carry out work with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. It is also highly desirable that the successful applicant be located within the Greater London area during their studies.

The studentship will provide full-time PhD fees at the current home/EU rate of £4,375 p.a. and a bursary of £13,000 p.a. for up to three years. Applicants should have either a Masters at distinction level or a Masters with merit and a distinction in the dissertation in a relevant discipline, as well as proven knowledge of the relevant research areas. Pre-existing publications in the area, though not essential, would certainly be an advantage.

To apply, download and complete a full registration PhD application and send it together with your 3,000-4,000 word research proposal, two academic references from your chosen referees, copies of your Master’s qualification(s), a current CV and a covering letter stating the reasons you wish to be considered for the bursary to:

Maggie Mayer
Institute of Theology
St Mary’s University
Waldegrave Road
Strawberry Hill
Twickenham TW1 4SX
Tel: 020 8240 4198

Application deadline: Friday 26th April 2019
Interviews will be held in mid-May for suitable applicants

This PhD is part-funded by the Day for Life Collection of the Catholic Trust for England and Wales, 39 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1BX A company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales. Company No. 4734592, Charity No. 1097482 

Facilities and development

All students have dedicated study facilities. A Researcher Development Programme is provided for all students and, in the second year, there is a Career Development Programme which also provides students with the opportunity to engage with our experts in residence.

The development programmes are compulsory for full-time students. Part-time students have their needs assessed by their supervisors, but are free to attend all sessions.

All students, on the recommendation of their academic faculty/institute, will have the opportunity to train for and apply to be an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Your academic and other needs are overseen by Professor Philip Booth, Director of Research and Public Engagement and Claire Tapia, Head of the Research Office.

Requirements and application

Information about  entry requirements and  how to apply is available within this section. If at any time in your application process you have any queries, please contact