NIHR GOSH BRC Applied Child Health Informatics Theme non-clinical PhD Studentships: Call for Projects

Sampler in a lab in the Zayed Centre for Research

The GOSH BRC Applied Child Health Informatics Theme aims to fund two non-clinical PhD Studentships in Health Data Science and Informatics. We invite prospective supervisors to submits PhD Project Proposals for this call.


The NIHR Great Ormond Street Hospital Biomedical Research Centre (NIHR GOSH BRC) Applied Child Health and Informatics (ACHI) PhD Studentship Programme aims to fund two non-clinical Health Data Science PhD studentships to support the training and development of the next generation of informatics and data science translational researchers. The Programme will support two students, one in the area of health data science/epidemiology/statistics and the other specialising in applied machine learning and informatics. The studentships will begin in October 2024 and successful students appointed will be registered as UCL PhD students and will be based at GOSH and/or ICH.

At this stage, we invite staff at GOSH and ICH to submit a project proposal for a PhD studentship, which we will consider for inclusion in the portfolio of projects for prospective students to apply to.

Call Information and PhD Project Remit

The Applied Child Health and Informatics (ACHI) theme builds on the potential of data science to revolutionise the diagnosis, management, or outcomes of children with rare and/or complex conditions. It aims to improve personalised health care decision-making, based on data-derived evidence at scale in a continuously optimised research data environment. It will leverage legacy, genomic and Electronic Patient Record data to improve patients’ health by applying Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.

The BRC’s Career Development Academy and ACHI Theme are advertising a call for PhD project proposals, suitable for a three-year non-clinical PhD Studentship beginning in October 2024. We have funding for two 1.0 FTE studentships, with one in the areas of health data science/ epidemiology/statistics and the other in the areas of applied machine learning and informatics. All projects submitted across these areas must be aiming to improve the diagnosis, management, or outcomes of children with rare and/or complex conditions.

BRC funding is not allowed to support basic science projects (i.e. not translational), any research using animals or clinical projects supporting phase III trials. Therefore, these types of projects are not eligible for this call.

Project and Supervisor Eligibility

Projects must propose a principal and subsidiary supervisory team that meets all UCL eligibility requirements, as defined by the UCL Academic Manual: The proposed principal supervisor must be substantively employed by GOSH or UCL (based at ICH) and on the UCL approved register of principal supervisors at the point of project submission. Subsidiary supervisors must also be able to demonstrate that they meet UCL eligibility requirements.

If you are unsure of whether you are an eligible principal or subsidiary supervisor, please confirm with the UCL ICH Research Degrees office ( before submitting your PhD project proposal.

Projects may be collaborative and involve a subsidiary supervisor and/or student time at our partner sites within the Paediatric Excellence Initiative (Alder Hey, Birmingham and Sheffield Children’s Hospitals). UCL CDTs in AI and i4health are also invited to submit projects, with a supervisor from within the CDT structure. We will accept project proposals where the student would be primarily based at the Francis Crick Institute. We also welcome project proposals with matched funding from other sources, including from industry collaborators.

If you have an idea for a project or have a data set to utilise, but do not currently have the data science expertise required to form a suitable supervisory team, please get in touch with us on and see if there are any possible collaborators at UCL for the project. We are also open to PhD project proposals from clinical/lab-based PIs where the project is not purely data driven but has a data science/informatics component.

Prospective principal supervisors may submit up to two project outlines for inclusion in the PhD projects portfolio but can only take on one student per round as principal supervisor.

If you are a principal supervisor of a GOSH BRC funded non-clinical PhD student awarded during this BRC term (1st December 2022 - 30th November 2027), you are not eligible for this call.

Application Process

To submit a project proposal, please download the BRC ACHI Theme PhD project call guidance and project outline form and read the guidance section carefully before completing the PhD project outline. Please submit the application as a word document to Please also include copies of the supervisors’ CVs upon submission.

The deadline for project proposal applications is Monday 5 February 2024.

BRC ACHI Theme PhD project call guidance and project outline form (85.7 KB)

Selection criteria:

Following submission of PhD project outlines, the shortlisting panel will review the project proposals using the following selection criteria:

  • Innovative aspects of the proposed project and its scientific excellence.
  • Likelihood that the project will lead in the future to transnational impact. This may include but is not limited to patient benefit via novel interventions/biomarkers, changing clinical guidelines/practice, future external funding, and/or patent filing/commercial activity.
  • Alignment of the project proposal to the relevant BRC research theme remit, as outlined in the guidance above.
  • Suitability of the supervisory team for supervision of the project.
  • Feasibility of the project to be delivered within the PhD time frame.
  • Ensuring a range of different disease areas/research methodologies benefit from BRC support.

Successful PhD project proposals will be included in the project portfolio in the PhD studentship advert. The studentships will be advertised widely, and prospective students will specify first and second choice projects as part of their applications. A shortlisting and interview process will then take place, to select the successful candidates.

If you have any queries regarding this call, please do not hesitate to contact the BRC team on