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Postgraduate Admissions

Apply using the Applicant Portal

The Apply Now button on the right will take you to the Applicant Portal. There, you can create and submit your application and supporting documents, and you can also request your references.

An application is only complete when:

  1. you have submitted your application and supporting documents via the Applicant Portal
  2. you have paid the application fee if applicable. For further information on application fees, and which courses require an application fee, see here.
  3. your referees have provided their references.

If you miss the deadlines specified in this section, you will not be able to submit your application.

When applying to the Wellcome Sanger Institute’s PhD programme, applicants must apply directly to the Institute by following the instructions detailed in the "How to apply" section on the PhD Programme page on the Wellcome Sanger Institute’s website.

If overseas applicants, who have not studied in the UK or an EU country, have GRE scores, they should include them in their application.

Part-time study may not be viable, depending on the project, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you are considering part-time study, please reach out to the Sanger Institute Postgraduate Office ( to discuss this option before making an application for this mode of study.

Selection Process

All applicants applying to the Wellcome Sanger Institute’s PhD programme must follow the instructions detailed in the "How to apply" section on the PhD Programme page on the Wellcome Sanger Institute’s website.

By submitting an application directly via the Sanger Institute's website, applicants are automatically considered for one of the Institute's funded places. Any applicants with their own scholarship funding should still apply to the PhD programme via the online form on the Sanger Institute's website.

Please note that applications submitted directly to the Sanger Institute are not applications to the University of Cambridge.  Students who are successful in gaining a funded place through the Sanger Institute will also be subsequently required to submit an application through the University’s Applicant Portal.

Applications for the PhD programme are considered as part of a gathered field, and the application deadline will be at the beginning of December.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend our PhD Interview Day, which is being held on the 23rd January 2023 (whether this will be in person or virtual will be decided nearer the time).

At the PhD Interview Day, the shortlisted applicants will have three interviews with individual Sanger Institute Faculty members and one panel interview with three Sanger Institute Faculty members. Any shortlisted applicants unavailable for the PhD Interview Day can be interviewed via videoconference during the two weeks prior to the Interview Day. Decisions on offers are made shortly after this.

Visit the PhD Programme page on the Wellcome Sanger Institute’s website for more details.

What Happens Next? | Postgraduate Admissions (

Further information on How To Apply

Things You'll Need

In order to apply for this course you'll need to think about getting a few things ready before you apply.

  • Two academic references  
  • Transcript  
  • CV/resume
  • Evidence of competence in English  
    If required - you can check using our tool
  • Statement of Interest (M)
  • Proposed Supervisor (Optional)
  • Research Proposal (O)

Gates Cambridge Scholarships

If you wish to be considered for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship you will also need to provide the following:

  • Gates Cambridge Reference  
  • Research Proposal (PhD applicants only)

See Gates Cambridge for more information.

How to Find a Supervisor

Applicants to our 4-year PhD programme do not need to choose a PhD supervisor at the point of application since successful students will spend their first 8 months undertaking three rotation projects in different laboratories before choosing their final PhD project and supervisor. Therefore applicants need to apply to the Programme and not to individual supervisors. 

However, 4-year PhD programme applicants are asked to list three Faculty members whose research interests them, and should therefore visit our Potential Supervisors page for information on our Faculty members and their research areas.

Candidates applying to eg the Gates Cambridge Programme will need to name a Sanger Institute Faculty member in their application, who is willing to supervise their proposed project.

Apply Now

Key Information

3-4 years full-time

5-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Wellcome Sanger Institute

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2023

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
May 16, 2023
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2023

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

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 1, 2022
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 12, 2022

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2023, Lent 2024 and Easter 2024.

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