Clinical Nutritional Sciences PhD

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Clinical Nutritional Sciences PhD

3-4 years full-time

Entry requirements

PhD: 2:1 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject

6.5 (no less than 6.0 in each element)  If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
October, February, April or July
University Park/ Medical School
Other requirements



The School of Life Sciences is a vibrant research environment which provides a focus for biological and biomedical research at the University of Nottingham. The wide-ranging interests and expertise of academic supervisors means that research projects are available from single molecule analyses through to studies at the level of whole organisms, and multi-disciplinary research and training is strongly supported in this environment.  

This programme is for those with a strong interest and previous training in nutrition and dietetics (or closely related areas) who wish to improve our understanding of dietary factors that impact on health and disease at a mechanistic and/ or translational level.

The subject is aligned with the research group Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience. Current research themes relate to the impact of the manipulation of dietary factors, such as meal pattern, food components (eg different millets), flavours  and macronutrient content on energy balance (expenditure and intake), metabolic and gastrointestinal responses, and biochemical outcomes related to health and disease.

Current and potential study participants include healthy volunteers and those who either have or are at risk of developing obesity and associated co morbidities (eg diabetes and non- alcoholic fatty liver disease). Our studies are undertaken in collaboration with national and international partners. The programme consists of a combination of research skills training provided by the Graduate School Postgraduate Training Programme, together with supervised independent research, leading to completion of a PhD thesis.   

Key facts

  • 95% of the School of Life Sciences research was deemed to be of international quality according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.
  • The School of Life Sciences was ranked 9th for Research Power in our unit of assessment (REF 2014).
  • The school has been awarded Athena SWAN Silver status. Athena SWAN champions good working practices to advance the representation of women in STEMM subjects.
  • We've been recognised as delivering a Gold standard in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which aims to recognise and reward excellent learning and teaching.
  • Nottingham features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings.




We have excellent facilities for conducting research projects in molecular, cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, endocrine and neuro-physiology and pharmacology.

Affiliated centres include the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre (SPMIC) which is an interdisciplinary, cross-faculty centre for innovative imaging in experimental and translational medicine. This facility brings together researchers who develop new medical imaging techniques and clinicians and scientists who use them.  

Programme leads are also members of the recently renewed (£23.6 million pound investment in 2017) gastrointestinal and liver theme of the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre (Nottingham University Hospitals Trust) and the MRC Arthritis Research UK Centre for Musculoskeletal Aging.


Research support

As for all postgraduate research (PGR) students, the first source of research support is the academic supervisor/s of whom there will be at least two and possibly more. In addition to academic supervisors and their teams, research support is provided through different technology platforms driven by highly skilled research technicians across the school.

Within the school, postgraduate advisors and administrative staff are available to assist further. PGR students attend school and group seminars presented by external and internal speakers, and will be able to develop their own communication and presentation skills associated with local, national and international meetings.

The Postgraduate Research Committee actively supports training and development of students and ensure they develop into adept, well rounded and independent researchers in Clinical nutrition.   

A number of University support services exist to assist you during your time at Nottingham and beyond. The Postgraduate Students' Association (PGSA) is a particularly important source of support.

Graduate School

The Graduate School supports all postgraduates and early career researchers at the University of Nottingham. 

We offer dedicated facilities, resources and development opportunities including training courses, seminars, paid placements, travel and mobility awards and public engagement opportunities. Researchers in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences also have access to a dedicated training programme delivered by academics and researchers from the faculty or by researcher development professionals from the Graduate School and other professional services. It provides a broad and comprehensive range of research training courses, in line with the requirements set out by the UK Research Councils.

Medicine and Health Sciences Graduate Centre

The Medicine and Health Sciences Graduate Centre is a hub for postgraduate and research only staff networking and aims to promote a sense of community and enhance the research environment.

Facilities include:

  • study and social space 
  • networked computers
  • a bookable seminar room
  • kitchen facilities
  • a programme of social events



Find a supervisor

We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area. Visit our research projects page to find a supervisor whose expertise match your own research interests.

Fees and funding

UK/EU students

At least 20 PhD students are recruited annually, 10-12 of which are fully funded by MRC, BBSRC, EU and industry. These are usually advertised in January/February on the current vacancies site and on FindAPhD.

The school often has scholarships available. These will be advertised on the school’s website as well as the Jobs in Research website and at the University of Nottingham's vacancies website.

The University Graduate School operates two schemes of its own to help support current postgraduate research. The Graduate School Travel Prize and Universitas21 funding. The Graduate School also holds a list of other sources of funding and Studentship opportunities are also available. 

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of research scholarships for outstanding international and EU students.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your research course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.



Average starting salary and career progression

In 2017, 94.9% of postgraduates from the school who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £21,400 with the highest being £40,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.


Career prospects and employability

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service.

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.


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This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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