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Postgraduate Admissions

About the Department of Genetics

The Department of Genetics hosts between 50 and 65 postgraduate students across some 25 research groups,researching a wide range of biological problems, from population genetics and ecology to the detailed analysis of genome sequence.

2 courses offered in the Department of Genetics

Modern genetics research seeks to provide a systems-level understanding of biology by relating genome sequence to function and phenotype. The research in the Department of Genetics covers a wide spectrum of biological problems, united by the application of genetics tools and approaches. Research themes range from understanding basic mechanisms in cell biology relating to the mechanics of division, migration and communication, through the large-scale analysis of genome regulation and epigenetic control, to aspects of population biology focused on issues of ecological and evolutionary significance.

Prospective students must identify a potential supervisor in the Department before applying. Supervisors and their research areas are listed on the Department of Genetics web site. Applicants are strongly advised to contact prospective supervisors to discuss potential projects before making a formal application. 

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Modern genetics research seeks to provide a systems-level understanding of biology by relating genome sequence to function and phenotype. The research in the Department of Genetics covers a wide spectrum of biological problems, united by the application of genetics tools and approaches. Research themes range from understanding basic mechanisms in cell biology relating to the mechanics of division, migration and communication, through the large-scale analysis of genome regulation and epigenetic control, to aspects of population biology focused on issues of ecological and evolutionary significance.

Prospective students must identify a potential supervisor in the Department before applying. Supervisors and their research areas are listed on the Department of Genetics web site. Applicants are strongly advised to contact prospective supervisors to discuss potential projects before making a formal application.

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2 courses also advertised in the Department of Genetics

From the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience

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. This field is increasingly significant in the era of readily available genome sequences, because functional studies of development are essential to decipher the roles of many genes, and will be invaluable if we are to reap the benefits of this wealth of new information. A major challenge now is to find more powerful, systematic and quantitative ways of investigating how this genetic information is translated into morphogenetic instructions, and to analyse how these instructions generate and are modulated by the forces that shape tissues and organs. Our MPhil programme embraces this challenge and offers a powerful opportunity to explore the mechanisms underlying key developmental processes.

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From the Faculty of Clinical Medicine

The Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine Doctoral Training Programme in Medical Research (SCM DTP-MR) includes institutes and units within the School of Clinical Medicine, as well as other University Partner Institutions.
The program is offering at least five fully funded PhD studentships commencing in October 2022. Applicants should identify a group leader whose area of research falls into one of the following themes:
  • Neurosciences and Mental Health
  • Infections and Immunity
  • Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Disease
  • Data Science for Health

Applicants will be expected to approach the group leader, and agree on a suitable research proposal for consideration.  

Students on the SCM DTP-MR will complete 2 rotations in the first two terms. These projects will be in different disciplinary areas related to your field of research, and will allow refinement of your PhD project in line with your emerging research interests as the programme progresses.   The SCM DTP-MR studentships must be based in a department, unit or Institute of the School of Clinical Medicine. Please refer here. 

You will need to successfully complete the first year to be able to progress into your second year of studies.

This is an annual competition, and the opening and closing dates will be advertised on FindaPhD.com and on the SCM DTP-MR website.  ​For further details on the application process, please refer here

In addition, five Industrial MRC CASE (iCASE) studentships will be available for doctoral study at Cambridge, to start in October 2022. These studentships allow postgraduate research students to receive high quality research training, with the additional benefit of working closely with an industrial partner. These collaborations will provide MRC iCASE students with unique technical and transferable skills, as well as an insight into how commercial science is conducted, and entrepreneurial opportunities.

The industry partner specifies a research project that will be of importance to them, and provides a placement at their premises for the student of at least 3 months, together with an additional non-academic supervisor. Projects for MRC iCASE studentships will be advertised in Oct 2021, and can be based in either the School of Clinical Medicine, or the School of Biological Science. For further details on the application process, please refer to the MRC DTP website.

Each studentship (MRC iCASE and SCM DTP-MR), is fully-funded for four years with a stipend of £18,000 p.a., and includes all course fees, plus a research training support grant.

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Department Members


Professor Steven Russell
Head of Department

Dr. Cahir O’Kane
Head of Postgraduate Education

  • 22 Academic Staff
  • 52 Postdoctoral Researchers
  • 65 Graduate Students
  • 31 Undergraduates

http://www.gen.cam.ac.uk/

Research Areas