skip to content

Postgraduate Study

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 School of the Biological Sciences

The Cambridge Biosciences DTP is a four year fully-funded PhD programme that aims to create highly skilled and employable people. The programme offers training across 23 University Departments/Institutes and 3 Partner Institutes providing access to a wide range of research areas related to the strategic themes of the BBSRC. We offer three types of DTP studentships:

  • DTP Standard
  • Targeted
  • iCase

During the programme, DTP Standard and Targeted students will undertake two ten-week rotations in different labs before commencing their PhD. They will receive training in a variety of areas including but not limited to statistics, programming, ethics, data analysis, scientific writing and public engagement. Students will also undertake a 12-week internship (PIPS).

iCase students are not required to undertake rotations but may do so if they feel that this training would be useful. They must undertake a placement with their Industrial Partner for a minimum of three months and a maximum of 18 months.

Students will be expected to submit their thesis at the end of the fourth year.

Part-time study, whilst not the norm, may be viable, depending on the project, and will be considered on a case by case basis so please discuss this option with your proposed supervisor before making an application for this mode of study.

More Information

From the Faculty of Clinical Medicine

We provide high-quality research training to clinical health professionals with an aptitude for research to enable them to become future leaders in medical and healthcare science. We offer training in an outstanding environment, spanning basic science, translational medicine, interdisciplinary, behavioural and applied health research.

We take great pride in our track record of successfully training health professionals to undertake the highest quality research across Cambridge and Norwich. We offer one of the most rewarding environments in which you could pursue your research training with world-leading researchers in The  Schools of Clinical Medicine and Biological Sciences at the Universities of Cambridge, Wellcome Sanger Institute and other MRC, Wellcome & Cancer Research UK funded Institutes, Centres & Units in the wider Cambridge area, as well as the School of Health Sciences and Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia with other partners on the Norwich Research Park.  The most important criteria we are looking for are the pursuit of research excellence, hard work and the will to make a difference to health.

The programme faculty provides mentoring and guidance on opportunities to undertake pre-doctoral research placements, enabling successful candidates to make an informed choice of PhD project and supervisor.  Bespoke training and support for career development for fellows, together with support to supervisors, ensures a successful research experience.  Post-doctorally, we will guide fellows based on their individual progress, to make the transition into higher research fellowships and clinical pathways, enabling ongoing training with continuance of research momentum.

More Information

Department Members

Professor Daniel St Johnston
Head of Department

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