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Postgraduate Admissions

The Cambridge Stem Cell Institute is a world-leading centre for stem cell research with a mission to transform human health through a deep understanding of stem cell biology. Our scientists study stem cell behaviour, both normal and pathological, and use their findings to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

The Institute consists of 28 outstanding research groups, working across three key research themes: Stem Cell States, Stem Cells in Disease and Stem Cells & Therapeutics.

Specialist postgraduate training in Stem Cell Biology and Medicine is essential to produce a stream of highly skilled and innovative investigators equipped with a deep understanding of stem cell science and its significance for future medicine.

Our overarching goal is to produce well-trained and rounded PhD graduates who have generated significant and original research findings and are fully prepared for an ambitious and challenging career, whether continuing in stem cell science or moving to another profession.

The Institute offers this PhD programme of research under an individual supervision of a principal investigator. During their PhD, the students are based in a research group, supported by their primary supervisor and a Postgraduate Education Committee and Postgraduate Student Committee. Students write a thesis, which is examined via an oral examination.

The PhD introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge. Its main aims are:

  • to give students with relevant experience at a first-degree level the opportunity to carry out focused research in the discipline under close supervision; and
  • to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of their PhD, students should:

  • have a thorough knowledge of the literature and a comprehensive understanding of scientific methods and techniques applicable to their own research;
  • be able to demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their field;
  • have developed the ability to critically evaluate current research and research techniques and methodologies;
  • have self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems;
  • be able to act autonomously in the planning and implementation of research; and 
  • have gained oral presentation and scientific writing skills.

Open Days

The Open Day usually takes place at the beginning of November. The event is suitable for those considering applying for postgraduate study at the University. It provides opportunities to meet with academics, explore the Colleges, and find out more about the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

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Key Information


4 years full-time

5 - 7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Wellcome - Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

Course – related enquiries

Application – related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2021

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
June 30, 2021
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2021

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2021
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2022

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
Jan. 14, 2022
Course Starts
April 17, 2022

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 7, 2021
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 14, 2020

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