Arthritis Research UK Medical Research Council

CIMA Training

An important objective for CIMA is to build research capacity in integrated musculoskeletal ageing through training early career researchers and clinicians. CIMA has developed a training programme that will supply researchers with an advanced knowledge of the integrated musculoskeletal system along with complementary and multidisciplinary research techniques and skills, that will benefit academic, industrial, and public sector employers.

***Fully-funded 4-year PhD Studentship opportunities - deadline to apply 13th March***

Programme Overview
This unique programme offers students multidisciplinary training in the processes and effects of ageing in the whole musculoskeletal system. Students will be based in one of our three sites, Liverpool, Sheffield or Newcastle, and will spend the first year of the studentship undertaking our MRes in Musculoskeletal Ageing. Students will undertake placements in the laboratories of one or more of the collaborating partners and have access to an industrial mentor.

We are currently offering 4 studentships commencing September 2018. The available projects are listed below. If you would like to discuss the project in further detail please contact the supervisor using the email address given.

1. Epigenetic, genetic and functional analysis of the growth differentiation factor 5 gene GDF5 in development dysplasia of the hip and in osteoarthritis; from development of the musculoskeletal system through to ageing.
Professor John Loughlin (, Newcastle University

2. Using systems approaches to identify, model and ameliorate age-related changes in the miR:mRNA interaction network regulating collagen maintenance.
Dr Daryl Shanley (, Newcastle University

3. The impact of Zoledronate on inflammation and musculoskeletal ageing.
Professor Ilaria Bellantuono (, University of Sheffield

4. The functional role of long non-coding RNA CASC20 in modulating bone formation in musculoskeletal disease.
Professor Mark Wilkinson (, University of Sheffield

Funding and eligibility

Students should have home or EU status: and have been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the studentship to be eligible for the full award (tuition fees, research support costs, and a tax-free stipend at the Research Council rate). Applicants who have been 'ordinarily resident' in another EU member state may be eligible for a fees only award. Please see RCUK terms and conditions for further information.

Candidates should have or expect to hold a first or upper second class honours degree in a relevant biological science or clinical degree.

To apply

Please complete an application form and send this along with your CV to by the 13th March 2018.

Interviews will be held between the 26th March - 13th April 2018.

Other training opportunities

MRes in Musculoskeletal Ageing
CIMA has developed a bespoke training programme in musculoskeletal ageing leading to the degree award of Masters of Research.
The programme is delivered by CIMA and utilises the knowledge, expertise and world-class facilities of each University to produce a collaborative and unique training experience. For more information please visit our CIMA MRes page.

MRC DiMeN Doctoral Training Partnership
The MRC DiMeN (Discovery Medicine North) is a Doctoral Training Partnership between the Universities of Sheffield, Liverpool, Newcastle and Leeds. One of the research themes is Ageing and Disease, and CIMA plays an integral role to provide training in the processes and effects of ageing in the musculoskeletal system, how ageing contributes to diseases of the musculoskeletal system, and how these may be ameliorated to help preserve mobility and independence in older people.

Training for Clinicians
CIMA has provided support to establish three Clinical Research Fellows who have undertaken research training in musculoskeletal ageing for a minimum period of 12 months. CIMA also offers training opportunities for Academic Clinical Fellows (ACF) in associated specialties (e.g. rheumatology, Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery). For more information on opportunities available please contact the Centre Manager in the first instance.