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Postgraduate Admissions

Applications are coordinated by the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute (CRUK CI). Students have an initial probationary year with registration for the PhD, towards the end of year one, dependent on the successful completion of a first-year report and an oral examination. 

Within 4 years of commencing the study, students are supported to submit their PhD theses (60,000-word limit) which is followed by an oral examination focussing on both their specific research topic and wider field of knowledge.

Each student is supported by a thesis committee, which also assesses their progress and provides feedback.  A thesis committee is comprised of a principal supervisor, who is normally the head of the research team, a second group leader from within the Institute and an additional 1 or 2 external members.  Dr Ann Kaminski (Head of Scientific Administration) acts as the first point of contact for any student with a query or difficulty that is not directly related to their scientific work.  All student matters in the Institute are overseen by the CRUK CI Postgraduate Training Committee and the Cancer Biology Postgraduate Education Committee, both of which have the well-being of our students at heart.

All students are encouraged to attend lectures of interest both in the Institute and in the wider University. They are also expected to participate in journal clubs and lab meetings and to take advantage of the numerous and varied opportunities including transferable skills training offered by both the Institute and the University. Students are encouraged to attend scientific meetings relevant to their course of study. All students in the Institute are members of the student-run postgraduate society which organises regular scientific and social events.


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


3-4 years full-time

5-7 years part-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute

Course – related enquiries

Application – related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 3, 2019
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2020
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2021

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

Applications open
Sept. 3, 2019
Application deadline
Jan. 14, 2021
Course Starts
April 17, 2021

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

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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