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Office for Translational Research


Experimental Medicine Initiative (EMI) programme

Established in 2016, the Experimental Medicine Initiative (EMI) is a strategic scheme supported by the University of Cambridge in partnership with the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre and industry partners including AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline. Through this partnership, the University of Cambridge can offer funding for a series of PhD studentships and Academic Clinical Lectureships (ACLs).

The development of new drugs and innovative therapies increasingly relies on Experimental Medicine studies in humans in order to achieve early proof-of-concept, to understand disease (patho) physiology, to progress biomarker development/validation and to evaluate techniques for subject stratification. This training partnership between academia and the pharmaceutical industry is designed to address the current shortage of individuals skilled to design and deliver such studies and to address the translational research gap. This programme provides state-of-the-art training in the design and execution of Experimental Medicine studies, equipping trainee clinicians with the knowledge and skills to lead Experimental Medicine studies in the future. 


PhD studentships

EMI PhD studentships are fully funded posts of 3-3½ years in length depending on the experience of the candidate. Funding for these posts is provided jointly by the EMI programme and the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Centre, and covers the student’s stipend, university tuition and college fees as well as a fixed amount towards relevant education, training and travel. Where appropriate, PhD studentships may include the opportunity to attend modules on the MPhil in Translational Biomedical Research. The programme does not provide funding for the PhD research component, which is sourced separately by the academic and/or industry supervisor.


Academic Clinical Lectureships

Academic Clinical Lecturer (ACL) posts are funded 50% by Cambridge University Hospitals and 50% by the EMI programme. This ensures that each ACL has the opportunity to spend 50% protected time on academic research with the remaining 50% in clinical training, during which time clinical competencies must be met. ACL posts are funded for up to four years. A programme allowance is included for relevant education, training and travel, however post-holders are expected to seek independent funding to support their chosen programme of research. All trainees must hold a PhD when appointed.