Information for potential supervisors

2024-25 call for projects

2024-25 projects are advertised for prospective students: MRC LID How to Apply
Available EDI courses (mandatory for MRC LID):

2025-26 call for projects

Want to submit a doctoral project for the next round?

MRC LID is about to undertake a UKRI midterm review. If all goes well our next project call will be sent out to all academic staff in summer/autumn 2024.

Standard project bid requirements for our DTP:

  • A proposed project must fit within one or more of the DTP themes.
  • A proposed project must offer research that supports training in one or more of the MRC’s core skills.
  • Every member of the supervisory team must complete MRC LID mandatory EDI training and thereafter refresher training every two years (for 2025-26 bids, anyone who completed initial training in/before December 2022 will be required to undertake a refresher session).
  • Every member of the supervisory team must complete institutional supervision training or refresher training every 3 years.

MRC LID’s DTP1 data showed that historically recruitment of students from marginalised groups and non-traditional backgrounds was extremely low. Therefore, as part of our DTP grant bid, MRC LID committed to every member of a prospective supervisory team undertaking specified EDI training before any contact with potential applicants. This is only one commitment made: more details of our strategy can be found on the MRC LID EDI page. Every year there are complaints and confrontations about our mandatory training. However, the DTP is unable to compromise on commitments made to UKRI. Therefore, it would be a good idea to plan to undertake required EDI training some time during the year and as far in advance of the call deadline as possible. (The training offered nearest the deadline is always oversubscribed, and there are always people who miss out. And there is no leeway for those who wait until the final opportunity to book and then are unable to attend (for example, due to illness or last-minute teaching commitments).)

If you have any questions about required training or any other aspect of project bids and the studentships please contact the MRC LID Manager by email: mrclid@lshtm.ac.uk

MRC LID’s specific training requirements  

MRC LID specified training must be completed by every person on the supervisory team before any contact with prospective applicants (ie before projects are advertised in October/November for registration the following September). This requirement is the same regardless of whether the proposed supervisor is based at LSHTM or SGUL or external to either partner institution. Training must also be completed by the mentor of the primary supervisor if/where a mentor is required for the MRC LID scheme.  

The training to be completed is:  

  1. Overview of MRC LID (self-led: watch recording)
  2. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (two initial courses; one biennial refresher)
  3. Institutional supervisory training (initial; refresher every three years)

Places on each course are limited. Please book for the earliest available opportunity that you can make or contact MRC LID as soon as possible to join a waiting list. This will help us to gauge demand and try to meet it within the studentship recruitment timeline.

Please note: Because of commitments made on our grant MRC LID cannot consider projects without specified training being completed by all supervisory team members. 

EDI FAQs

1. Mandatory Training

How frequently must I take the EDI and supervisory training?  

  • MRC LID intends for all supervisors to attend/refresh their EDI training every TWO years.
  • If you were on absence leave (e.g., maternity or sick leave), you can discount the period of leave from the accumulation of years  – for instance, a person who took maternity leave for 52-weeks in the past TWO years will have only accumulated one year (i.e. the year that they were at work) and will still have one year to go until they have accumulated two years and need to do the refresher course. Please contact MRC LID to discuss details further and advised of the aggregated time out. 
  • Supervisors must update their institutional supervisory training every THREE years (see institutional guidance).

What EDI training must I do?

  • Each potential supervisory team member must undertake:
    • “Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at LSHTM workshop”  
    • “Challenging Micro-Aggressions and Becoming an Active Bystander” 
  • Those who have not completed this training previously should undertake it now.
  • Potential supervisors who have previously attended the “EDI at LSHTM workshop” and “Challenging Micro-Aggressions” must attend refresher training (required every TWO years). Refresher training offered is: 
    • “EDI Reflective Practice for RD Supervisors Workshop” (refresher/follow-up) 

What would happen if I had taken equivalent training from other institutions? Can I use those?

  • Unfortunately, we don’t have the facility or time to assess equivalent training for what would be a large number of potential supervisors. To ensure that everyone has a common basis for discussing EDI and other RD training issues, we require all potential supervisors to do our in-house training.

Why can’t I do the training later?

  • Most EDI issues arise at the moment potential supervisors start talking with prospective students and contributing to students application, which is why the training has to be done before the project can be advertised.

2. Why does my reflection on decolonizing global health issues apply if my project is primarily based in the UK or other high-income country (HIC) settings?

  • We recognize that all projects are different, and the concept of coloniality may not seem applicable to a proposed project. However, potential supervisors should spend time as a team reflecting on factors that may perpetuate inequities, such as
    (i) underrepresentation of minoritised groups in research,
    (ii) power dynamics between research participants and researchers as well as between supervisor and supervisee,
    (iii) sources of knowledge, who is considered an “expert” in a given topic and why, and/or
    (iv) engagement of study participants and the potential beneficiaries of the research in all steps of it.
    These issues may apply to research conducted in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) as well as HICs.
  • Some other potential sources of information could be found at:
    https://www.england.nhs.uk/aac/publication/increasing-diversity-in-research-participation/
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-023-01579-9