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Mathematical Genomics and Medicine

Wellcome Trust 4-year PhD Programme in Mathematical Genomics and Medicine


Modern genomics promises not only to help uncover the molecular basis of disease, but also to have a major impact on health care through translation of advances in techniques, computation and knowledge into clinical trials and clinical practice.  Quantitative analysis is at the heart of this goal, and there is a pressing requirement for researchers with thorough mathematical and statistical expertise, in addition to training in medical genetics and informatics.

This PhD programme has been established as a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. The programme will provide the opportunity to work at the interface between the mathematical and computational sciences, and genome-scale and translational medical research.

Designed to train independent, innovative scientists who can develop and use quantitative techniques to advance genomic medical research. An important feature of this project is that all students will have two supervisors, one from a mathematics, engineering or other quantitative science background, and the second from a genetics or genomics biomedical background.

We expect that successful applicants will have strong mathematical, statistical and computational skills, and may include exceptional biologists. They will develop quantitative techniques and theoretical approaches and apply them to practical problems in both translational and basic biomedical research.

Funding and how to apply

Please refer to the MGM recruitment website.

Programme Format

The programme follows a "1 + 3" model, comprising a tailored first year of taught modules and research rotations, followed by a three-year research project.

Year 1
A combination of course work, two research rotations and a series of intensive half-day meetings will develop core skills and techniques and identify project areas and supervisors.

Choice of taught modules
To identify the needs and interests of individual students, each student will meet with the course directors in order to decide an appropriate set of modules to take. Students will take approximately 8 modules in the first 8 months of the programme according to their specific needs.

Each of the two rotations will involve a well-defined research project lasting eight weeks.

Choice of research project
PhD project selection happens towards the end of the second rotation, to allow projects to begin at the start of Year 2. Students will be encouraged to be proactive in shaping their projects through discussions with prospective supervisors. Students will write a proposal for their chosen project.

Years 2-4
Once students have started their research projects they will be assessed annually by two other members of the supervisor pool. At the end of their first year of research (end of year 2) this assessment will take the form of an oral examination of a substantial report, successful completion of which will lead to the student's registration for a PhD. At the end of year 3, they will submit and discuss a plan for their fourth and final year, outlining a timetable of the remaining research activities and a skeleton outline of their thesis.

Welcome to the Graduate School of Life Sciences


We are the largest centre for research and professionial training in the Life Sciences in the UK, offering a unique experience to a community of around 2000 postgraduate students spread across departments within the School of the Biological Sciences, School of Clinical Medicine and eleven University Partner Institutes in the Cambridge area.

Every year some of the world's brightest and most determined students are attracted by the opportunity to carry out research projects with renowned scientists in a vibrant, multidisciplinary environment at one of the world's most respected research-led universities.

The School co-ordinates funding opportunities within the Life Sciences for their postgraduate education, as well as ensuring students receive the highest quality supervision and training.