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Stem Cell Biology and Medicine

Wellcome Trust Four Year PhD Programme in Stem Cell Biology and Medicine

Studentships starting October 2016

Application deadline 4th January 2016

Interviews to be held on 18th, 19th and 20th January 2016

Stem Cell Biology

Stem cells are defined by the dual capacity to self-renew and to differentiate. These properties sustain homeostatic cell turnover in adult tissues and enable repair and regeneration throughout the lifetime of the organism. In contrast, pluripotent stem cells are generated in the laboratory from early embryos or by molecular reprogramming. They have the capacity to make any somatic cell type, including tissue stem cells.

Stem cell biology aims to identify and characterise which cells are true stem cells, and to elucidate the physiological, cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern self-renewal, fate specification and differentiation. This research should provide new foundations for biomedical discovery, biotechnological and bio-pharmaceutical exploitation, and clinical applications in regenerative medicine.


Cambridge Stem Cell Community

The University of Cambridge is exceptional in the depth and diversity of its research in Stem Cell Biology, and has a dynamic and interactive research community that is ranked amongst the foremost in the world. By bringing together members of both the Schools of Biology and Medicine, this four year PhD programme will enable you to take advantage of the strength and breadth of stem cell research available in Cambridge. Choose from over 30 participating host laboratories using a range of experimental approaches and organisms.


Programme Outline

During the first year students will:

  • perform laboratory rotations in three different participating groups working on both basic and translational stem cell biology;
  • study fundamental aspects of Stem Cell Biology through a series of teaching modules led by leaders in the field;
  • learn a variety of techniques, such as advanced imaging, flow cytometry, and management of complex data sets.

Students are expected to choose a laboratory for their thesis research by June 2017, and will then write a research proposal to be assessed for the MRes Degree in Stem Cell Biology. This assessment will also be used to determine whether students continue on to a 3-year PhD.


Application Process

Visit for full details including how to apply.  Please note you will be required to complete and submit a departmental application form, provide two references and upload copies of your transcripts as part of the application process.

Informal enquiries are also welcome via email to

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.