Antibiotics transformed healthcare in the 20th century and are still considered one of the greatest medical achievements of the era. Today, we still rely on antibiotics to treat everything from minor cuts to life-threatening bacterial infections and to prevent infection after surgery. These drugs have drastically improved our quality of life and increased lifespan.

In the 21st century, antibiotic overuse and misuse has led to antibiotics rapidly becoming ineffective. Antimicrobial resistance, specifically antibiotic resistance, now poses a global threat to human life. We need urgent action to halt resistance and to accelerate new treatments for bacterial infection. The Medical Research Foundation’s National PhD Training Programme in Antimicrobial Resistance Research has been designed in response and the University of Bristol is leading this cross-institutional training programme with partner universities, Cambridge, Dundee, Edinburgh, Exeter, Imperial College, Leeds, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Nottingham, Oxford, Sheffield, University College London, Warwick and the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

The strategic objectives of this national training programme are to develop a strong and active network of new researchers for the UK with multidisciplinary skills who will be able to develop, undertake and, potentially, lead AMR research which crosses the traditional boundaries between research disciplines and sectors.

The Programme funds two cohorts (2018-19 and 2019-20) of fully-funded PhD studentships who undertake an annual residential training course, and cohort building meetings twice a year. Our 30 fully-funded PhD students are located at 14 universities and research institutes across the UK and are embedded within the 16 large AMR research consortia funded by the UKRI cross-council AMR initiative.
The Programme also funds annual conferences and residential training courses for a wider cohort of 120 PhD students studying AMR across the UK. The first residential training course was held in August 2018 at the University of Bristol. The 4th course, including a 2-day annual conference, took place in August 2022.  

Official launch

The Programme was officially launched on September 5th 2018 at the Science Museum’s Superbugs gallery by Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer. Read about it here: PhD Programme Launch