Skip to main content


SPaRK is a Horizon2020 funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral training programme that supports interdisciplinary PhD students at Queen’s University Belfast. PhD students funded within Marie Skłodowska-Curie programmes have the title of Early Stage Researcher (ESR).

At its core, the SPaRK Programme is driven by the need to develop future leaders whose skills combine disciplinary excellence with a capacity for interdisciplinary, intersectoral and international (3i) working that creates genuinely disruptive thinkers. These are the thinkers who will have the edge in a highly competitive, global job market.

Why? Because they have not only disciplinary expertise but also the intellectual flexibility required to respond to a constantly changing professional environment and broader socio-economic landscape. In essence, SPaRK combines ground-breaking research projects with higher level skills development at cohort level which seeks to produce creative thinkers and problem-solvers.



The deadline for applications is Wednesday 11th April 2018.

Details of the projects available for 2017-18 are detailed below. Please click on the link for further details of each project. If you have any further questions, please contact the lead supervisor. All candidates are encouraged to make contact with their potential supervisor in advance of submitting an application. 


Primary Supervisor

Lead School


Dr Noleen McCorry Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences  Transforming care for people with diabetes
Dr Ian Overton Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences Network Pharmacology for Novel Cancer Combination Therapies and Diagnostics
Dr Gunnar N. Schroeder Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences Dissection of protease signalling during bacterial infection for drug and biomarker discovery
Professor Cliff Taggart Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences Novel Anti-inflammatory Approaches to Ameliorate Chronic Inflammatory Lung Disease
Dr Richard Turkington Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences  Metabolomics for early detection of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Recurrence
Professor Jayne Woodside Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences  Agricultural Policy and Public Health: Integrative Frameworks to Explore Food Security