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Postgraduate Admissions

About the Department of Plant Sciences

The Department of Plant Sciences is an outstanding University Centre for research in plant and microbial sciences. It offers unrivalled research and training opportunities in the following areas of plant and microbial science:

  • Cell function & responses to environment
  • Developmental biology & signalling
  • Genetics and epigenetics
  • Ecosystem function and conservation
  • Evolution and diversity
  • Microbiology & biotic interactions
  • Plant pathology and epidemiology
  • Systems and mathematical biology
  • Enhancing photosynthesis
  • Biotechnology and engineering

2 courses offered in the Department of Plant Sciences

The research MPhil degree essentially follows the format of the PhD but is compressed into one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study. The work consists of research and courses as required under academic supervision. Applicants should contact a potential supervisor before proceeding with their MPhil application. You can browse the personal/group pages of the Research Group Leaders to check details of their research.

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The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the University's principal research degree. A PhD in Plant Sciences takes three to four years of full-time study to complete and consists of research and courses as required under academic supervision. Applicants should contact a potential supervisor before proceeding with their PhD application. You can browse the personal/group pages of the Research Group Leaders to check details of their research.

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5 courses also advertised in the Department of Plant Sciences

From the British Antarctic Survey

In this course, a PhD is undertaken under the joint supervision of a research scientist at the British Antarctic Survey and a University supervisor.  Students may be based at BAS, but will be registered for their degree with one of the partnering departments:- Archaeology & Anthropology, Land Economy, Plant Sciences, Zoology, Earth Sciences, Geography and Scott Polar Research Institute, Applied Mathematics & Theoretical Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Computer Science and Technology.

The British Antarctic Survey welcomes enquiries from those interested in higher degrees in earth science subjects, physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology and related subjects.

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From the Department of Earth Sciences

The UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in the Application of Artificial Intelligence to the study of Environmental Risks (AI4ER) trains researchers (through several multidisciplinary cohorts) to be uniquely equipped to develop and apply leading-edge computational approaches to address critical global environmental challenges by exploiting vast, diverse and often currently untapped environmental data sets. Embedded in the outstanding research environments of the University of Cambridge and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), the AI4ER CDT addresses problems that are relevant to building resilience to environmental hazards and managing environmental change. The primary application areas are:

  • Weather, Climate and Air Quality
  • Natural Hazards
  • Natural Resources (food, water & resource security and biodiversity)

Students in the CDT cohorts engage in a one-year MRes degree in Physical Sciences (Environmental Data Science) which includes a taught component and a major research element, followed by a three-year PhD research project. Students will receive high-quality training in research, professional, technical and transferable skills through a focused core programme with an emphasis on the development of data science skills through hackathons and team challenges. Training is guided by personalised advice and the expertise of a network of partners in industry, government, the third sector and beyond.

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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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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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From the Department of Physics

The vision of this MRes+PhD is to deliver bespoke training in key areas of Nano to translate exploratory nanoscience into impactful technologies, and stimulate new interactions that support our vision. The MRes year provides high-quality advanced-level training through lecture courses, hands-on practicals and projects, prior to final selection of interdisciplinary PhD research projects within research groups in the Departments of Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Materials Science or another relevant department across the University.

A significant element of the MRes training and beyond will be a focus on innovation and industry engagement, including courses on Nurturing and Managing Innovation in Science, Systems Design aspects of nanomaterials and devices, and on Responsible Innovation, and opportunities to transition academic research to higher TRL levels and commercial applications through the Translational Prize scheme.

 

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