*New* RACE PhD Studentships

In August 2020, the Research into Inflammatory Arthritis Centre Versus Arthritis (RACE) has received renewed funding of nearly £2m over five years from Versus Arthritis and is now in its second phase. RACE will be appointing a further 12 PhD students shortly - seven PhD students will start this year, with five more to start in 2021.

The 12 new PhD students represent a unique multi-centre supervision programme across RACE’s centres: Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle and now Oxford, which joined the collaboration last year. RACE is a University of Glasgow-led collaboration between the Universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle, and Oxford, led by Prof Iain McInnes.

This funding, for the second phase of RACE, which has now begun, will focus on translational and experimental medicine and clinical trials for the disease. The expanded four-centre PhD training programme will continue as part of this.

Professor Iain McInnes, Head of the University of Glasgow’s College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, said: “I am delighted to see the success of the first 12 PhD students within RACE and it is now a terrific challenge to welcome 12 new students ready to take up the next set of questions. I am proud that the RACE PhD students really are the jewel in the crown of this exciting scientific collaboration.”


Applications invited for 2021

Applications are now invited for four-year full time PhD studentships within the Research into Inflammatory Arthritis Centre Versus Arthritis (RACE), to start in October 2021. 

RACE is a collaboration between the Universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle and Oxford, with funding and support from Versus Arthritis.  The programme capitalises on the expertise of the contributing academic institutions, and offers an outstanding opportunity for students to undertake excellent project-based research training within excellent research environments.  Students will be encouraged to spend time in the laboratory of their second supervisor. 

Please find below a list of the available PhD projects. If you are interested in finding out more information or applying for these studentships, please contact the lead supervisor.

Project TitleLead supervisor


Investigating the functional consequences of B-cell and rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblast interactions: Does CD97 play a role?

Dr Amy Anderson, Newcastle



Deadline: 25th November 2020

Exploring the pathways of cell-cell interaction between macrophages and fibroblast, in health and rheumatological disease

Dr Thomas Otto, Glasgow



Deadline: 4th January 2021

BioFlare: Identifying the cellular basis of flare in synovial tissue

Dr Andrew Filer, Birmingham


Glucocorticoids (GCs) exert anti-inflammatory effects by altering cellular metabolism of activated leukocytes

Prof Andy Clark, Birmingham


Decoding the genetic architecture of inflammatory arthritis at the single-cell level

Dr Stephen Sansom, Oxford



Deadline: 8th January 2021

Effect of low collagenolytic SNP variant MT1-MMP in the progression of rheumatoid arthritis

Dr Yoshi Itoh, Oxford



Deadline: 8th January 2021

Did the evolution of tool usage condemn humans to rheumatoid arthritis: Comparative analysis of the DIP and PIP joints in arthritic disease

Prof Mark Coles, Oxford



Deadline: 8th January 2021

Applicants will normally be expected to reside (or have residency) within the UK.  Applicants should have obtained, or expect to obtain a 2:1 or 1st Class Honours degree in a relevant subject. Support includes an annual stipend at RCUK rates (Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle universities) and Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology rates (Oxford University) for 4 years, PhD registration fees at UK student rate, research expenses and travel costs.