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Postgraduate Admissions

About the Gurdon Institute

The Gurdon Institute offers a world-class environment for post-graduate research in Developmental, Cell and Cancer Biology. In addition to the rich, collaborative working environment, students also benefit from all the unique cultural advantages of college life and membership of the University of Cambridge.

There are two avenues open to prospective students:

  1. If you are a particularly focused individual and able to identify the field you would like to work in, then you can approach any of the Group Leaders directly. Such applications are welcome at any time - send an email with your CV attached. There are many funding opportunities available for these places, and the Group Leader will discuss these if you are invited for interview.
  2. The alternative approach is to apply for a place on the Wellcome Trust four year Masters + PhD Programme in Developmental Biology. This programme provides students with an opportunity to work in three different labs and use a variety of model organisms during their first 'rotation' year, before making a decision about where they would like to conduct their PhD research. Applications are considered once a year in January - please refer to the website for more information. Note that some of our Group Leaders do not participate in this programme, and will only consider direct applications.

Departmental Funding

The major sponsors of our Institute are the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK, and Group Leaders are normally funded in large part by one or the other organisation.

2 courses also advertised in the Gurdon Institute

From the Department of Clinical Biochemistry

It is essential that young clinicians with aptitude are able to receive high-quality research training in clinical science, representing as they do the future of academic medicine. We can offer training in an outstanding environment in subjects that span the research spectrum from basic science to epidemiology and public health.

We take great pride in our track record of successfully training clinicians to undertake the highest quality biomedical research and the Schools of Clinical Medicine and Biological Sciences, together with the MRC, Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK institutes, offer one of the most rewarding environments in which you could pursue your research training.

Principal Investigators in the Programme provide mentoring, workshops and mini-projects in order to allow successful candidates to make an informed choice of PhD project and supervisor that are tailored to the interests of the candidate. This novel approach to the training of clinical scientists aims to provide the support and mentoring required to allow clinical academics to reach their full potential and pursue a successful academic career. We fully recognise that each individual will have a different background and current training position. Some will be academic clinical fellows whilst others will be on standard training programmes. Equally some individuals who are interested in epidemiology and public health or computational biology/bioinformatics may wish to undertake a taught MPhil to obtain sufficient knowledge before embarking on their PhD. These can all be accommodated within the Cambridge scheme. All we ask is academic excellence, hard work and the will to make a difference to your chosen profession.

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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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Department Members

Professor Daniel St Johnston
Head of Department

  • 14 Academic Staff
  • 94 Postdoctoral Researchers
  • 47 Graduate Students