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Funded Programmes and Projects

Funded Projects

Within the GSLS there are a number of opportunities to work on funded projects. Please see the Job Opportunities website for more details, or view the list along the right hand side of this page. 

Oppenheimer Studentship

Applications are invited for an Ernest Oppenheimer Studentship to be held at Cambridge University in Colloid Science as broadly interpreted within the fields of biology, surface chemistry, materials science and nanotechnology. The Studentship is to support research projects directly leading to a PhD.

The application should be made by the designated research supervisor, on behalf of the named candidate so to apply please contact your proposed Supervisor directly. You can find potential Supervisors using our research themes database.

For further information, please see Job Opportunities.

A list of projects recently funded is available. To request this list, please write to Georgina Fuller at .

Please note that the closing date for applications is Tuesday 2 January 2018.

Funded Programmes

The University and its Partner Institutions offer a number of programmes that are funded by the Research Councils or major charities, such as the Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK etc. 

These programmes advertise studentships that are awarded specifically for the particular programme of study on a strictly competitive basis; candidates are normally interviewed in Cambridge for these awards. These programmes mean that successful candidates receive a combined offer of a place on the course and funding. 

The Programmes currently available in the GSLS are listed below:

AstraZeneca Scholarships

As part of a framework programme, AstraZeneca fund a minimum of nine scholarships annually, divided across the Departments of Biochemistry, Chemistry and Pharmacology, with each running for a four-year period. Projects will be advertised via departmental websites, on findaphd.com and on the Cambridge Job Opportunities pages. For further information about this programme, please contact Dr Vibhuti Patel.

In addition to the framework programme, AstraZeneca and the University of Cambridge fund a number of joint schemes to support Ph.D. students, spanning translational science, and basic and clinical research. The programmes reflect the long-term commitment of AstraZeneca to the science base in the UK, and the shared dedication of the company and the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre University of Cambridge/Cambridge BRC to developing the next generation of world-class scientists. For further information on other programmes, please contact Dr Anita Marguerie de Rotrou.

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BBSRC DTP Programme

As part of this four-year full-time programme students spend six months completing training in Statistics, Computational and Systems Biology, and Research Skills (Exploiting New Ways of Working) and undertaking two 10-week rotation projects, either at the University or at one of the Partner Institutes. During this time you will choose your PhD project and complete a project proposal. The remainder of the four years is spent completing a research project for the award of PhD. Students also benefit from further research skills training and subject-specific training and spend three months undertaking a Professional Internship for PhD Students (PIPS).

Students are admitted to one of four BBSRC strategic research Themes

The University of Cambridge is offering up to 30 four-year BBSRC-funded studentships starting in October 2018.

How to apply?

Students apply directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal.

Find out more

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Cambridge-MedImmune PhD in Biomedical Research 

MedImmune, the global biologics unit of AstraZeneca, focusses on the areas of: cardiovascular and metabolic disease, infection, respiratory and inflammatory diseases, oncology and neuroscience. This unique programme provides the opportunity to work at the interface of academia and industry. The programme aims to promote pre-clinical research, provide access to innovative translational research and to strengthen understanding of disease.

Details of the funding offered for each project will be outlined in the advert.

How to apply?

Projects will be advertised via the Department website.

Find out more

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Cardiovascular Research 4-Year Cambridge-BHF PhD Programme

The goal of this 1+3 MRes + PhD programme in Cardiovascular Research is to train scientists in cross-disciplinary research related to cardiovascular disease, particularly those who can work effectively across traditional disciplines and lead collaborative research projects. The programme combines formal training in molecular and cellular biology, physiology of model organisms, human physiology, human genetics, genomics and population health sciences.

The programme brings together world-leading expertise, drawing on faculty at the University of Cambridge’s Schools of Medicine and Biological Sciences and several interdisciplinary institutes: the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Institute of Public Health, Institute of Metabolic Science, and Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine.

The programme provides a generous living allowance and full fees at the ‘home’ rate.

How to apply?

Applicants apply directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal.

Find out more

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Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute MPhil and PhD in Medical Science

The PhD in Medical Science in CRUK CI is a research course in which each student studies in the research laboratory of their principal supervisor, with close interaction with their graduate and post-doctoral colleagues. Each student will be work on a specific project that will be aligned with and contribute to the overall objectives of the lab. Students are expected to take ownership of their projects and to drive them forward with assistance from other members of the Institute. Students are supported to submit their theses within 4 years of commencing study, and to prepare their research findings for publication in scientific journals.

About half of our PhD students receive studentships from Cancer Research UK. In addition, studentship funding is available from grants held by individual research groups and we also host students on the MB/PhD programme and clinical research training fellows. We welcome applications from students who have won competitive fellowships.

The CRUK also offers one funded place per year on the MPhil in Medical Science at CRUK CI. 

How to apply?

Projects will be advertised via the Department website and along the right hand side of this page.  

Applicants apply for the course directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal for the MPhil and the PhD

Find out more

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CRUK Cambridge Centre MRes + PhD in Cancer Biology

The CRUK Cambridge Centre has launched an innovative new MRes/PhD programme comprising of a first year MRes degree with three components:

  • Two 15 week research rotations 
  • A weekly ‘Lectures in Cancer Studies’ series and 1 week intensive teaching in genomic medicine, to cover the wide breadth of basic and applied cancer biology
  • A 1-2 week placement in a patient-facing setting to give insight into the rewards and challenges of cancer research

Successful completion of the 1 year MRes programme, including assessment of rotation project write-ups and defence of a PhD proposal, will lead directly on to a 3 year PhD, usually in one of the rotation project host laboratories.

Students will choose one of the 12 CRUK Cambridge Centre Programmes (ie Cellular and Molecular Biology, Early Detection, Haematological Cancers, Neurobiology and Brain Cancers/Paediatric Cancers or Urological Cancers) for their MRes rotation projects. 

Five CRUK Cambridge Centre MRes + PhD studentships are available for non-clinical applicants, to commence in October 2019. The CRUK Cambridge Centre MRes + PhD studentships include full funding from Cancer Research UK to cover the University Composition Fee (at Home/EU rate), a travel and consumables budget, and a generous stipend, which is currently £19,000 per annum. In addition, the CRUK Cambridge Centre and the Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust provide joint funding for one overseas non-clinical student each academic year.

How to apply?

Students apply directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal.

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CRUK Cambridge Centre Clinical Research Fellowships

One of the main principles of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre is the open exchange of scientific knowledge and skills across the many disciplines involved in cancer science, creating a culture of continuous learning and development for all members. In keeping with this aim, the Centre also supports a broad programme of formal education and training designed to nurture the next generation of cancer researchers and clinicians. We will fund up to 4 Clinical Research Training Fellowships for October 2019, covering an exciting range of studies, mapped onto a subset of one of our 12 Programmes, as listed below under PhD projects available for 2019.

By being part of the CRUK Cambridge Centre, clinical students will also have the opportunity to attend a number of lecture series, workshops and meetings aimed at facilitating and strengthening collaborations between complementary disciplines and across different departments and institutes.

We invite applications from UK, EU and non-EU students who have completed their clinical training. Please ensure you meet the entrance requirements and follow the application processes detailed below.

How to apply?

Students apply directly the University's Job Opportunities website.

Find out more

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EMBL-EBI International PhD Programme

Established in 1983, the EMBL International PhD Programme provides students with the best starting platform for a successful career in science. Characterised by first-class training, internationality, dedicated mentoring and early independence in research, it is among the world's most competitive PhD training schemes. All of EMBL's six sites participate in the programme.

The typical duration of a PhD thesis at EMBL is 3.5 to 4 years. EMBL predoctoral fellowships are initially awarded for 3.5 years, with the possibility of a half-year extension. The stipend is competitive by international standards and includes broad health care benefits and pension.

How to apply?

Projects are advertised on the Department website and students are invited to apply via the EMBL Applicant Portal in the first instance.

Find out more

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Experimental Medicine Training Initiative – EMI PhD Programme

The EMI scheme provides top quality training for highly motivated, bright and enthusiastic clinicians, and non-clinical scientists in the design and execution of Experimental Medicine studies, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to lead Experimental Medicine studies in the future.

PhD projects will be developed jointly by industry and academic partners and should include at least one Experimental Medicine study involving giving a drug/or challenge agent to human subjects. Other components may include mechanistic, laboratory-based analyses, and biomarker discovery/development/validation.

There is an option to spend up to a year based with the industrial partner, or other Departments within the University.

This programme funds 3-year posts, with an additional 6-month taught component for those who have not completed the MPhil, which will equip students with the scientific and regulatory knowledge required to undertake Experimental Medicine studies in man.

How to apply?

Details of how to apply can be found on the Department website

Find out more

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Herchel Smith Cambridge Harvard PhD Programme

Funded by a generous bequest from Dr Herchel Smith the University is pleased to offer a PhD studentship programme for prospective Harvard and Cambridge students. Cambridge presently recruits four PhD students annually (for a four-year period of study), while Harvard recruits six PhD students annually (for a two-year period of study).

The Herchel Smith Research Studentships are among the most prestigious studentships offered by the Universities. Students are selected at both institutions within the broad area of Life Sciences and regular meetings of students and Managers are incorporated into the scheme,.

At Cambridge the Herchel Smith Research Studentships provide:

  • University and College Fees
  • Stipend at Wellcome Trust rates for four years (starting stipend 2012 = £19,913)
  • Research Support grant

Successful applicants may have the opportunity to apply to undertake a two to three month research project at Harvard University as part of their studies.

How to apply?

There is no separate form of application for Herchel Smith Studentships; all eligible applicants who apply through the Graduate Applicant Portal will be considered.

Find out more

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Institute of Metabolic Science  PhD Programme

The Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science (IMS) is a purpose built centre on the Addenbrooke's Biomedical Campus dedicated to research, education, prevention and clinical care in the areas of obesity, diabetes and related diseases, all of which are major and increasing threats to public health, both in the UK and worldwide.

Almost a quarter of all adults and one in five children in the UK are considered obese, and these numbers continue to increase. Obesity significantly increases the risk of developing life-threatening conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, osteoarticular and reproductive diseases, reducing both quality of life and life expectancy of affected individuals as well as adding significantly to healthcare costs.

Led by Professor Sir Stephen O'Rahilly and Professor Nick Wareham, the goal of the IMS is to promote world-leading research by bringing together clinicians, laboratory and clinical scientists and epidemiologists to forge the multidisciplinary links that will improve understanding of the causes and consequences of these conditions and allow advances in basic science to be rapidly applied to improving patient care and disease prevention.

Details of the funding offered for each project will be outlined on the advert.

How to apply?

Current studentships are advertised on the Institute’s website.

Find out more

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MRC Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute 

The MRC & Wellcome Trust Centre for Behavioural and Clinical Neurosciences Institute (BCNI) in Cambridge links clinical research at the level of functional neural systems to basic work on the brain with a common theme of different neuroimaging modalities and neuropsychopharmacology. The main objectives are to identify neural systems with defined cognitive or behavioural functions that underlie different forms of cognitive dysfunction and psychopathology.

The BCNI supports graduate training in translational neuroscience for students with clinical and preclinical backgrounds, thus meeting the growing demand for a next generation of well-trained young translational neuroscientists.

The programme is funded by the MRC and the Wellcome Trust. A generous stipend is offered and the studentship will include research costs and tuition fees at the home/EU rate.

Find out more

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MRC Biostatistics Unit

The MRC Biostatistics Unit at the University of Cambridge (MRC BSU) aims to advance understanding of the cause, natural history and treatment of disease, and to evaluate public health strategies, through the development of statistical methods and their application to the design, analysis and interpretation of biomedical studies.

The BSU is an internationally recognised research unit and part of the University of Cambridge, specialising in statistical modelling with application to medical, biological or public health sciences. Details of the work carried out in the Unit appear on our Research page.

The BSU provides an ideal place to commence a career in Biostatistics. Our thriving PhD programme is hugely successful and competition for places is high. The BSU’s relaxed yet enthusiastic, dedicated and stimulating environment provides students with the essential tools, both in research and transferrable skills, to set them on their way to a successful career as an independent researcher.

A BSU Studentship covers all fees at the University of Cambridge home/EU rate, a taxfree stipend or living allowance and a generous travel and training budget.

How to apply?

PhD opportunities will be advertised on the Unit’s website and applicants apply directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal.

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MRC Cancer Unit 

The MRC Cancer Unit at the University of Cambridge (MRC CU) undertakes research into understanding how cancers develop, and seeks to translate this knowledge into new approaches for diagnosis and treatment that can be applied in the clinic. Research focuses on discovering the early steps in epithelial carcinogenesis. A better understanding of these steps will foster new methods to improve the care and survival of patients with epithelial malignancies such as pancreatic, oesophageal, lung, breast and skin cancers.

The Medical Research Council Cancer Unit at the University of Cambridge is a leading centre for cancer research in the UK. Our aim is to undertake research that advances our understanding of the earliest steps in the emergence of cancer, and to use this knowledge for early diagnosis, risk stratification and clinical intervention, through the development of innovative enabling technologies. The Unit is based within the Hutchison/MRC Research Centre on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, and possesses excellent research facilities, strong collaborations with clinicians and colleagues in other disciplines, and a vibrant and supportive working environment.

Fully funded studentships are available.

How to apply?

PhD opportunities for entry in October 2019 will be advertised on the Unit’s website from October 2018. Students apply directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal for the MPhil or the PhD.  

Find out more

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MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit 

The MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (MRC CBU), at the University of Cambridge, is one of the largest and most enduring contributors to the understanding of human cognition and its disorders. The unit explores cognitive activities such as attention, emotion, language and memory. The research carried out spans the spectrum from basic to translational science including developing new treatments for depression, improving hearing through cochlear implants and helping children to overcome memory problems.

We host 20-30 graduate students at any time and applications are invited from prospective PhD students wishing to pursue research in areas covered by any of our research programmes. Our approaches include experimental cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, computational modelling and neuroimaging using MRI, MEG, and EEG.

The programme is funded by the MRC and students received a living stipend and full fees at the Home/EU rate.

How to apply?

Students apply directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal for the MPhil or the PhD.  

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MRC DTP Programme

The Cambridge MRC Doctoral Training Program (DTP) is a partnership between the University of Cambridge and the Babraham Institute, and includes as associate partners the MRC institutes and units in Cambridge, and other University Partner Institutions.

The program is offering at least ten fully funded PhD studentships for projects commencing in October 2019. Details of the available projects fall under the following themes:

  • Infections and Immunity
  • Molecular and Cellular Medicine
  • Neurosciences and Mental Health
  • Population and Systems Medicine

This is an annual competition. The opening and closing dates will be advertised on FindaPhD.com and on the Cambridge MRC DTP website.

In addition to excellent research facilities, students will have access to a wide variety of training and researcher development activities, many of which are offered through the Graduate School of Life Sciences and the wider University.

How to Apply?

Students apply directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal. For more information see the MRC DTP website

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MRC Epidemiology Unit

The MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge (MRC EU) studies the genetic, developmental and environmental factors that cause obesity, diabetes and related metabolic disorders. The outcomes from these studies are then used to develop strategies for the prevention of these diseases in the general population.

The MRC Epidemiology Unit is a research department in the School of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cambridge and investigates the causes and prevention of obesity and diabetes. The department also hosts the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), a UKCRC Centre of Excellence in Public Health Research. CEDAR studies the population-level determinants of dietary and physical activity behaviours, develops and evaluates public health interventions and is helping to shape public health practice and policy.

Our PhD students have the opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge research under the supervision of senior scientists supported by postdoctoral researchers and a large team of fieldworkers, data managers, statisticians, study coordinators, technical and administrative staff.

MRC Studentships (when available) offer Full Funding for applicants who are both UK nationals and UK residents, to cover the University Composition Fee and a stipend (see MRC student eligibility criteria). For other European Economic Area (EEA) applicants, MRC Studentships offer only Partial Funding, covering only the University Composition Fee. More information about financing your studies can be found here.

PhD Studentships in Genetic Epidemiology, Nutritional Epidemiology or Physical Activity Epidemiology

Opportunities for PhD studentships are available at the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge. The studentships enable students to explore and develop their own area of research, within the context of the broader aims of the following research programmes:

  • Aetiology of diabetes and related metabolic disorders
  • Growth and development
  • Nutritional epidemiology
  • Physical activity epidemiology

Please see: https://www.mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk/research/research-areas/ for further information and examples of previous studentships and potential areas of research focus. Prospective students are encouraged to contact potential supervisors to discuss their plans.

PhD Studentships in Public Health Research (Diet and Physical Activity)

Opportunities for PhD studentships are available at the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) and MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge. The studentships enable students to explore and develop their own area of research, within the context of the broader aims of:

  • Understanding the determinants of dietary and physical activity behaviour at individual, community and societal levels
  • Developing, evaluating and modelling the outcomes of interventions that may affect dietary and physical activity behaviour including those outside the health sector, such as fiscal and transport policies
  • Estimating the longer term costs, benefits and trade-offs of behaviour change

Please see here for further information, examples of previous studentships, and potential areas of research focus. Prospective students are encouraged to contact potential supervisors to discuss their plans.

How to apply?

Applicants apply directly via the Graduate Applicant portal for the MPhil or the PhD.

Find out more

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MRC-GSK EMINENT PhD Programme

The Experimental Medicine Initiative to Explore New Therapies is a unique partnership between UK academia and GSK to increase our understanding of disease mechanisms through experimental medicine.  EMINENT represents a unique collaborative network, funded up to £8M by the MRC matched in-kind by GSK.

Bringing together investigators from University College London (UCL), the University of Cambridge, the University of Glasgow, the University of Newcastle, Imperial College London and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), with unprecedented access to GSK’s unlicensed clinic-ready asset portfolio to enable experimental medicine studies aimed at enhancing understanding of disease mechanisms and accelerating development of novel therapeutics for patients in under-served disease areas. The Graduate Training Office provides the administrative support at Cambridge and posts are advertised on the websites below as they come online.

Visit the Graduate and Clinical Academic Training website here.

Visit the EMINENT website here.

How to apply?

Projects will be advertised via the Department websites, on findaphd.com and on the Cambridge Job Opportunities pages.

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MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is a research institute dedicated to the understanding of important biological processes at the levels of atoms, molecules, cells and organisms. Our work covers a broad range of science, employing the diverse methods of physics, chemistry and biology to advance the knowledge needed to solve key problems in human health.

We believe that major challenges are best addressed in a multidisciplinary environment with long-term support and where detailed molecular studies are channelled into opportunities for medical benefits or major technical innovation. The LMB has four Research Divisions with distinct but well aligned research priorities:

  • Cell Biology: To discover the molecular mechanisms of fundamental cellular processes with potential medical significance
  • Neurobiology: To understand fundamental properties of nerve cells in health and disease through the elucidation of molecular mechanisms
  • Protein & Nucleic Acid Chemistry: To obtain insights into human biological diseases at the molecular and structural level
  • Structural Studies: To understand the mechanisms underlying fundamental biological processes

Our scientists tackle fundamental, often difficult, and long-term research problems. The LMB has made revolutionary contributions to science, such as pioneering X-ray crystallography to determine protein structures, the sequencing of DNA and the development of monoclonal antibodies. Eleven Nobel Prizes have been awarded for work carried out by LMB scientists: the most recent one – in 2017 to Richard Henderson, for developments in cryo-electron microscopy for the solution of the atomic structures of macromolecules.

About a fifth of the scientists at the LMB are graduate students, often driving the most creative areas of scientific research. We recruit 15-20 PhD students every year.

During the application process you will automatically be considered for the appropriate LMB funding:

  • Full MRC Studentships for UK and eligible EU graduates
  • Full International Scholarships for other graduates from the EU, the Commonwealth and world wide candidates
  • César Milstein Studentship for Argentinian Nationals

How to apply?

Students apply directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal

Here is a list of current projects and how to find out more about us

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MRC Metabolic Research Laboratories

The MRC Metabolic Research Laboratories at the University of Cambridge (MRC MRL) at the University of Cambridge has been developed to improve understanding the mechanisms responsible for obesity and related metabolic diseases with the eventual goal of developing interventions to prevent and treat them. The MRL also hosts the MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit.

Each year the MRL accepts basic scientists and clinical trainees for traditional 3-year PhD projects and for a 1-year MPhil by research, supported by Research Council studentships or charitable funders, personal awards and by scholarships administered by the Cambridge Trusts.

How to apply?

Applicants apply directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal to work with the PI in the Department of their choosing.  

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MRC Mitochondrial Biology

Research at the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit (MRC MBU) is focussed on the biology of mitochondria and their dysfunction in an ever-increasing range of human diseases. The Unit combines studies exploring the molecular function of the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation system, the mitochondrial proteome and genome, and how mitochondria interact with the cell through homeostatic, signalling and execution pathways. Combined with the wealth of clinical, genetic and biochemical data provided by mitochondrial medicine, and the use of model systems with perturbed mitochondrial physiology, the Unit aims to exploit its findings for the development of new therapies to treat human disease.

The Mitochondrial Biology Unit has an active post-graduate programme for training students for the PhD or occasionally MPhil degrees. The programme aims to provide high quality training in both research and in transferable skills. The students are supervised and assessed by a research supervisor and a separate advisor, under the overall supervision of the Unit's graduate education committee consisting of three of the Unit's Faculty.

Each year, the Unit awards up to four MRC studentships on a competitive basis to eligible students. The studentship pays for Cambridge University and College fees, and each student receives a stipend of £16,000 per annum. This stipend consists of the basic £14,777 per annum provided by the MRC, plus an additional payment of £1,223 per annum from the Unit's funds. The PhD studentships are awarded for either three or four years of study.

How to apply?

Applicants apply directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal for the MPhil or the PhD.

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MRC 4-Year Studentship: 'The Physical Biology of Stem Cells', MRes + PhD

This specialised 4-Year MRes + PhD (1+3) PhD Programme, focusing on 'The Physical Biology of Stem Cells' is funded by the MRC and based in the Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute. Applications are considered once each year (closing date early Jan) and the Programme is targeted specifically to applicants with a Physical Sciences, Mathematical or Computational Sciences background, who are interested in applying their training to aspects of stem cell biology. Up to two studentships are available.

These studentships come with a stipend at the standard RCUK rate, which is then topped up by the Institute to ‘Wellcome’ rate, and fees at the Home/EU rate.

How to apply?

Applicants apply directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal.

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National Institutes of Health Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Programme (NIH OxCam PhD) - This programme is open to US citizens only.

The National Institutes of Health Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program is an accelerated, individualized doctoral training program for outstanding science students committed to biomedical research careers. The program is based on the British system, in which students perform doctoral research without required formal courses other than those students choose to take in relationship to their own interests. Students selected for admission to the program have already developed a passion for science through engagement in summer, job related, or undergraduate research programs. The programme is available to US citizens or those permanently resident in the US.  

Students will receive tuition and stipend support, based on NIH policy, for the duration of the program (approximately 4 yrs.)

How to apply?

Applicants apply to NIH first - How to Apply

Then apply to the University of Cambridge Graduate Applicant Portal.

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Wellcome Trust Mathematical Genomics and Medicine (MGM) MRes + PhD Programme

This four-year programme (MRes+PhD) is a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Sanger Institute.

The programme is designed to train independent, innovative scientists who can develop and use quantitative techniques to advance genomic medical research. The first year (MRes) comprises taught modules together with two research rotations. Successful completion of the MRes year allows the student to continue to the PhD course through development of a three-year research project that will allow each student to develop and execute a coherent body of research that combines quantitative methods with direct involvement in 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.

This programme is funded by the Wellcome Trust. A generous stipend is offered and the studentship will include research costs and tuition fees at the home/EU rate.

How to apply?

Applicants apply directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal.  

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Wellcome Trust Developmental Mechanisms Four-year PhD Programme 

Developmental biology is a remarkably cross-disciplinary area of biomedical research that spans traditional departmental boundaries and many different technologies, such as molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, imaging and bioinformatics.

The University of Cambridge is exceptional in the depth and diversity of its research in developmental biology, and has a dynamic and interactive research community that is ranked amongst the foremost in the world. By bringing together members of four different Departments and the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, this 4-year, MPhil + PhD programme will enable you to take advantage of the University's exceptional strength in this area. Choose from over 40 host laboratories and the whole range of experimental approaches and model organisms.

This programme is funded by the Wellcome Trust. A generous stipend is offered and the studentship will include research costs and tuition fees at the Home/EU rate.

The programme typically awards 5 studentships per annum.

How to apply?

Details of how to apply can be found on the Programme website.

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Wellcome Trust Infection, Immunity and Inflammation PhD Programme

The Wellcome Trust 4 Year PhD Programme in Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation is one of the 1+3 MRes + PhD Programmes offered by the Graduate School of Life Sciences.

This Programme involves a collaboration between the School of Clinical Medicine, the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, the Department of Pathology, the Department of Veterinary Medicine, and the Department of Biochemistry.

The major themes are cell and molecular biology (including structural and cell biology), immunity, infection and inflammation. The first year of training involves 3 practical mini-projects selected by the students. These are offered by research laboratories involved in each of the Programme themes, as well as literature-driven in-depth analyses of research topics relevant to the overall themes of the Programme. At the end of the first year, students are assessed formally for a Masters degree on the basis of a portfolio of written and practical laboratory projects. Students then choose a supervisor for their 3-year PhD thesis projects, which are carried out during years 2-4.

This programme is funded by the Wellcome Trust. A generous stipend is offered and the studentship will include research costs and tuition fees at the home/EU rate.

How to apply?

Students apply directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal.

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Wellcome Trust 4-year PhD studentships in Metabolic and Cardiovascular Disease

The rapid worldwide increase in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes will have a major adverse impact on health, much of which will result from cardiovascular disease.

This PhD programme recruits 4-5 new students each year, providing opportunities for training in a range of approaches to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. We aim to train the scientific leaders of the future, providing a supportive environment in which to learn from world class experts using state of the art facilities.

The programme brings together exceptional expertise available in the University Schools of Clinical Medicine and Biological Sciences with that in Cambridge-based MRC Units and the Wellcome Sanger Institute. Our principal investigators are at the international forefront of their scientific disciplines, and provide breadth of expertise, including studies of cellular and molecular mechanisms, the neuroscience of energy balance, murine and human physiology, vascular biology, genetics, nutrition and population sciences. This puts us in a unique position to undertake cross-disciplinary research with a translational impact on human health.

This programme is funded by the Wellcome Trust. A generous stipend is offered and the studentship will include research costs and tuition fees at the home/EU rate.

How to apply?

Applicants apply directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal.

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Wellcome 1+3 Programme in Stem Cell Biology & Medicine

Wellcome generously funds our highly competitive 4-Year MRes + PhD (1+3) PhD Programme in Stem Cell Biology & Medicine. The Cambridge Stem Cell Institute offers a unique environment for high-level research training in stem cell biology, with our research groups working across three key research themes: Stem Cell States, Stem Cells in Disease and Stem Cells & Therapeutics. The University of Cambridge is exceptional in the depth and diversity of its research in this field, and has a dynamic and interactive research community, ranked amongst the foremost in the world. Our Programme in Stem Cell Biology & Medicine enables students to take advantage of the strength and breadth of stem cell research available in Cambridge, plus the added benefits that the unique culture of College life and membership of the University of Cambridge provide.

This programme provides students with an opportunity to spend time in three different labs during their first 'rotation' year, before making a decision about where they would like to undertake their thesis work in years 2-4. 

These studentships are considered once each year and are relevant to prospective students who have not decided on a specific supervisor and/or do not have their own funding.

Up to four studentships are available on this programme each year. Funding includes a generous stipend, plus research costs and tuition fees at the home/EU rate.

How to apply?

Applicants apply directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal.

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Wellcome Trust PhD Programme for Clinicians

This programme is designed to allow clinical academics to reach their full potential and pursue a successful academic career. Ten scholarships are offered each year with a single round of admissions each year.

We offer eight fellowships per year funded by the Wellcome Trust, plus an additional two fellowships per year funded by the Wellcome Sanger Institute, covering the broad themes of genetic medicine, infection and immunity, neuroscience and mental health, structural and cell biology applied to medicine, cardiovascular medicine, developmental biology, and epidemiology, public health and primary care. To be eligible to apply for the two Sanger Institute fellowships, you must be medically qualified; individuals qualified in veterinary medicine can apply for the remaining fellowships only.

How to apply?

Applicants apply directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal.

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Wellcome Sanger Institute

The Wellcome Sanger Institute use sequencing, informatics and analysis of genetic variation to further our understanding of gene function in health and disease.

The Institute’s PhD programmes aim to provide training and research opportunities in the field of genomic science that reflect the unique nature of Sanger Institute science, with an emphasis on large-scale, high-throughput approaches and the development of a blend of wet-lab and computational skills. The Institute also aims to provide students with general research and transferable skills training in addition to training in their specific research area. Applicants will generally have a bioscience background, but applicants with a computational or mathematical background can also apply.

The Sanger 4-year PhD programme provides 12 funded PhD studentships per year and the Clinical PhD programme provides 2 funded clinical PhD fellowships per year. 

The Wellcome Sanger Institute occasionally takes on MPhil students providing they have their own funding. Before applying for the MPhil course, applicants must have the support of a faculty member at the Institute.

How to apply?

Sanger Institute 4-year PhD programme: Applications are submitted first via the Sanger Institute application process.

Wellcome Trust PhD Programme for Clinicians: Applicants apply directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal.

MPhil students: Applicants apply directly via the Graduate Applicant Portal

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