Medicine - Research

The Global Research Institute for Health Sciences is addressing key global challenges in healthcare by making scientific breakthroughs in mechanisms of disease, translating these to innovative therapeutics and preventive interventions to improve patient outcomes.

The Institute drives research excellence and impact, delivering innovative solutions to the specific challenges we have identified in healthcare. The Institute has the following aims:

Address Key Global Challenges

In health care by making scientific breakthroughs in mechanisms of disease, translating these to innovative therapeutics and preventive interventions to improve patient outcomes.

Establish lasting relationships

These will be developed with major funders for programmatic research and capacity building. This will include doctoral training, clinical academic programmes and postdoctoral fellowships.

Leverage scientific strengths

Working with small and medium size enterprises and large pharmaceutical companies to develop externally funded competitive, collaborative programmes for discovery and translation.

The Institute is recognised for high quality biomedical and translational research and its impact on patient care in Northern Ireland, nationally and internationally, is the foremost strategic priority of the University.

Supported by national and international partners, the University has already invested over £100m in co-locating researchers in different areas of established excellence alongside the education centres for medicine, biomedical science and dentistry on the Health Sciences Campus and Royal Hospital Campus.

The Institute for Health Sciences synergises basic science, translational technologies, clinical and population sciences research, providing a critical mass of clinical and scientific investigators working in a cross-school, multidisciplinary manner.

Entry requirements

Research Degrees (PhD/MPhil/MD/Professional Doctorates)

The normal minimum requirement for admission to a research degree programme is an Upper Second Class Honours Degree from a UK or ROI Higher Education Provider or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.

Specific entrance requirements for individual programmes are available via the online Course Finder and we recommend that you also visit School webpages and contact potential supervisors to discuss your proposed research.

Factors taken into consideration by School selectors will include an assessment of an applicant's academic background and research proposal (if applicable). Relevant publications, professional research experience or other achievements by the applicant may also be considered.

Further information is available on Higher Doctorates and PhD by Published Works.

English Language Requirements

If your first language is not English, evidence of an acceptable level of proficiency will be required. In addition, applicants who are non-EEA nationals must satisfy the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Further information is available on the UK Government website.

The evidence should be in the form of a Secure English Language Test (SELT), or another English language qualification acceptable to the University which examines all four elements of language learning – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. IELTS Academic and TOEFL internet based tests should be taken within the last two years. Further information is available here.

Details of the English language requirements for entry to each postgraduate taught and research programme can be found in the individual Course Finder pages.

If you have not yet obtained an acceptable English Language qualification at the required level before sending us your application, your formal offer for postgraduate admission will include an English language condition which you must satisfy before the start of your programme.

INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a wide range of English language courses designed specifically for international students.

International applicants

For more information please visit the international section of our website.

Applicants who require assistance with the application process should email the International Admissions team at


3 years

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Application date

Postgraduate Research

There is no standard closing date. You should however check both the University's website and refer to the relevant School/Institute webpage for information on deadline dates for postgraduate funding applications, as these will also determine when your application for admission should be submitted.

Research areas

There are three research streams available;

1. Precision Cancer Medicine
2. Experimental Medicine
3. Public Health

Additional Information:

1. Precision Cancer Medicine

The cross-faculty, interdisciplinary Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) is committed to the highest quality of research excellence. To achieve our mission, we are pursuing a premier series of research programmes in defined areas, combining innovative discovery science with clinical translational to achieve the best outcomes for cancer patients.

In recognition of the international standing of CCRCB, the University has made, and continues to make, significant investment in both academic staff and infrastructure. CCRCB has over 200 staff, with 38 Principal Investigators, 60 Postdoctoral fellows and 65 postgraduate students from across the world working together in a new, purpose-built research facility.

The Centre's is focused on areas of research strength, delivered through a series of Research Focus groups

-Advanced Radiotherapy
-Breast and Ovarian
-Genito-urinary and Prostate

Research Strengths
The close, collaborative interaction between clinical and laboratory research experts is the hallmark of our research programme, allowing the direct translation of excellent science to clinical benefit. Close collaboration with biotech companies such as Almac, underpinned by innovative discovery science and its clinical application, has resulted in the development of novel diagnostic/predictive tests and new therapeutics

Research in CCRCB is supported by key enabling technologies which include:

-Drug discovery
-Molecular pathology and Biobanking
-The Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Centre

2. Experimental Medicine

The Centre for Experimental Medicine at Queen's incorporates an integrated mixture of approaches ranging from molecular cell biology, immunology, disease phenotyping, imaging, functional genomics, unique pre-clinical models of disease, and patient-based investigation and clinical trials to deliver translational impact on respiratory disease, eye disease, and infectious diseases.

Research Strengths:
Research in the Centre falls into three Research Themes:
Vision and Vascular Medicine A multidisciplinary team of researchers who translate basic scientific findings into knowledge and therapies with benefit to patients and advances scientific knowledge in ocular cell, microvascular biology and tissue remodelling to understand the mechanisms of ocular disease, diabetes-associated complications and cardiovascular damage.

Immunobiology and Microbes This group focuses on delivering high-quality research programmes, spanning state-of-the-art fundamental and discovery research in infection and inflammatory diseases to clinical research. These include internationally competitive programmes investigating the role of innate and adaptive immune responses to infection and tissue injury, the molecular pathogenesis of bacteria and viruses, and how these host- and pathogen-focused programmes might be targeted to develop effective new treatments for major diseases, such as pneumonia, sepsis, and multiple sclerosis.

Respiratory Medicine With a very strong translational research organisation, this group is primarily focused on lung diseases, with major programmes in asthma, cystic fibrosis, and acute respiratory distress syndrome. This group comprises a highly interactive and collaborative, multidisciplinary research environment between molecular and cellular immunologists, bacteriologists, virologists, and clinical researchers. Underpinned by high quality fundamental research, this group has a strong emphasis on the development of clinical research programmes to explore new therapeutic strategies for inflammatory diseases of the lung.

3. Public Health

The Centre for Public Health (CPH) brings together researchers embracing clinical research, epidemiology, and public health issues through a combination of person-centred, informatics, clinical trials, and laboratory-based studies. Multidisciplinary teams work closely together to develop and evaluate screening, diagnostic, preventative and therapeutic interventions that maximise benefit for patients and populations. Our aim is to recruit, train and inspire some of the very best postgraduate students with a strong commitment to clinical and translational research.

Research Strengths:
The CPH has brought together experts from a variety of research backgrounds including epidemiology and public health, trial methodologies, health services research, laboratory sciences and complementary clinical specialities. These experts have a common aim - to translate biological, clinical science, and epidemiological insights into effective clinical and public health interventions to prevent disease and improve health & wellbeing.

We use a range of research approaches to impact on regional, national and global health policy including increased understanding of genomic and environmental determinants of disease, improved biomarker identification and disease phenotyping, evaluation of novel diagnostics and treatments, and improved patient outcomes and public health. We aim to create and sustain a world-class research environment with top-class laboratories and IT facilities in a supportive and collegial atmosphere.

We provide a dynamic and stimulating environment for current and future research staff that will facilitate the training and mentoring of talented postgraduate students (currently hosting 70+ PGR students), postdoctoral fellows and clinician scientists in a range of research methodologies, allowing the CPH to foster strategic research interests in new areas.

These themes have been chosen because they represent global and nationally-relevant health challenges and reflect our international reputation and existing research strengths.

Enrolment and start dates

Entry year: 2018

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