Vaccinology PhD / MPhil / MD

We have established a Centre for Global Vaccine Research to integrate world-leading multidisciplinary research and training in laboratory science, clinical trials and epidemiology within the Institute of Infection and Global Health, and reaching across the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences and partners around the world.

Why study with us?

I joined an amazing community of internationally known researchers in the most relevant areas of infectious diseases. During my PhD at the Institute I had many opportunities to develop both my scientific knowledge and skills as well as my personal capacities such as communication and networking.

Raquel Medialdea-Carrera, Vaccinology PhD student
  • 150

    years of leading international reputation.

  • 156

    research students.

  • £9.5m

    annual research income.


The University of Liverpool’s Institute of Infection and Global Health was established to bring together leading medical, veterinary and basic science researchers from across the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. 

The Centre for Global Vaccine Research currently works across Europe, Asia, Africa and more recently South America. Our research spans the breadth of vaccine research from development to implementation and evaluation.

The key aims of this research are to:

  • Develop and evaluate novel vaccines against major global causes of illness and death
  • Better understand and improve the performance of existing vaccines
  • Generate evidence to inform vaccine policy nationally and internationally
  • Share pre-clinical expertise amongst human and veterinary vaccinologists
  • Train and educate a new generation of vaccine scientists

See more here

Our research interests

We particularly welcome research proposals that match those of our researchers, including:

  • Flavivirus Vaccine Development (including Zika virus) 
  • Rotavirus Vaccines 
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines 
  • Universal Influenza Vaccines 
  • Onchocerciasis Vaccines  
  • Streptococcal vaccines
  • Enteric vaccines (including norovirus and enteric bacteria)
  • Veterinary vaccines (including Fasciola, Trypanosomiasis and avian respiratory viruses) 
  • Herpes viruses

Research themes

The Centre for Global Vaccine Research has six research themes covering key methodological disciplines within vaccinology and areas of strength shared by the Centre partners. These disciplines can be applied to both medical and veterinary vaccines.  The themes are:

  • Disease epidemiology & Clinical trials
  • Vaccine adjuvants
  • Microbial ecology
  • Antigen discovery & vaccine development
  • Pre-clinical assessment models
  • Immune correlates of protection


Within IGH there is access to a wide array of facilities for conducting vaccine research including  immunology, in vivo animal models, tissue culture and microbial propogation (including category 3 pathogens). In the wider university there is the technology directorate which gives access to various imaging and omics platforms. There is a clinical trials unit and phase 1 trial facility in the neighbouring Royal Liverpool hospital. There are established links with local primary care and public health England. The vaccine centre has strong links to overseas sites in Africa, Asia and more recently South America. We have a particularly strong connection to Malawi where many former clinical and non-clinical PhDs have spent time in the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas program Laboratories.

Research groups

Details of research groups undertaking research in vaccinology include:

  • Flavivirus Vaccine Development             
  • Rotavirus and Enteric Vaccines               
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines                       
  • Universal Influenza Vaccines              
  • Onchocerciasis Vaccines                       
  • Streptococcal vaccines                                
  • Veterinary vaccines                                    
  • Herpesviruses                                               

Study options and fees

MPhil / PhD / MD Duration Home/EU Students International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,407* (2020) £23,650* ^ (lab based programmes)
£18,000* (non Lab based programmes) (2020).
Part time 4-6 years £2,204* (2020) £11,825* (lab based programmes) £9,000* (non Lab based programmes) (2020)

*This fees excludes potential research support fees also known as ‘bench fees. You will be notified of any fee which may apply in your offer letter.

^Self funded full time international students studying a lab based programme will receive a £2,000 reduction in their fees for the first year only.

Entry requirements

Applications are welcomed from well qualified graduates who would typically hold a UK first degree or equivalent in the first or 2:1 class, or a 2:2 class degree plus a Masters degree, in a relevant subject.

We welcome applications from within the EU and around the world. You should ensure that your qualifications are equivalent to those required to study for this research degree. See our guidance on international qualifications.

You must also have reached a minimum standard of English and be able to provide evidence of this. See our English language requirements for international students.

How to apply

Research degree applications can be made online.  Before you apply, we recommend that you identify a supervisor and develop a research proposal.  You'll also need to ensure that you have funding to cover all fees.

Applications are open all year round.

More about applying for research degrees

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Find a supervisor

Your supervisor is your main source of academic support and mentoring. You'll need to find a supervisor before you start your research degree. It's helpful to identify a supervisor and discuss your research proposal before you apply.

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