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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 £75 application fee. Further information on application fees 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.

There are two routes of entry into CRUK CI for postgraduate study. Please note that these are not mutually exclusive.

  1. Apply for a Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute PhD studentship. All available studentships are advertised on our website, on the University of Cambridge website and on Findaphd.com for the application period, October - mid-November. Please submit your application via the University online Applicant Portal as advised on the advertisement. If shortlisted, you will be called for an interview in December or January. 
  2. If you have applied for an independent competitive studentship from some other source, or are considering applying for such a studentship, and would like to study under the supervision of a group leader in CRUK CI, then you are strongly advised to contact potential supervisors, informally, by email to discuss your plans before completing the University online application form. To your initial exploratory email, please attach your CV which should list the courses you have studied at the undergraduate level, including grades obtained if possible.  Also include the names and contact details of two academic referees and explain in your email why you wish to join the supervisor's research team.  Only after a group leader has informally agreed to supervise your PhD should you submit an application for PhD study via the University online Applicant Portal.  

Note: Offers made of places on this course are conditional on clearing any security checks the University deems necessary. Security checks are routinely required for all individuals involved in research activities that include working with sensitive information; working with children and vulnerable adults; working with live animals or with tissues supplied from live animals or working in an environment in which such work is pursued by others; working with dangerous pathogens or in a category 3 containment laboratory; or working with some other sensitive technologies.

Where necessary the University will ensure that applicants are not disproportionately impacted by the requirement for any security checks by allowing new students to take up places and start appropriate areas of their work prior to a check in other areas being completed.

This course is part of a scheme within the Postgraduate School of Life Sciences which enables three applications to be made with payment of a single £75 application fee. A list of other eligible courses and further information can be found here.

Selection Process

Applicants should expect to hear whether they have been short-listed for interview within six weeks of the application deadline.

All shortlisted postgraduate applicants are interviewed. If you are from overseas, your first interview may be conducted via Zoom, but before you are appointed, if circumstances allow, you will be invited to the Institute for a formal interview with your proposed supervisor and other senior members of the Institute.  You may be asked to make a presentation of a recent research project and you will meet many of the lab members who would support you during your study. The cost of attending an interview will be borne by the Institute.

If you apply for a Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute PhD studentship, you must submit your application by the advertised deadline. Your application will then be considered along with all others received.

If you have independent funding (or are considering applying for independent funding) to support your studies, and a group leader has informally agreed to supervise your PhD project, your formal application will be considered shortly after it is received by the Institute.

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 (2500 characters)
  • Medical Science - Supervisor
  • Research experience (M)

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

Information on the interests and activities of all research groups can be found on the Institute's website at here. Potential applicants for PhD study are strongly advised to read this information to discover which group(s) they would be interested in joining and to which they could make some contribution to the research effort.

Please refer to the 'Application notes' for additional information.

Apply Now

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. 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.

Michaelmas 2022

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
May 16, 2022
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2022

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

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
Oct. 4, 2022
Course Starts
Jan. 5, 2023

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

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
Jan. 14, 2023
Course Starts
April 17, 2023

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 6, 2022
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 13, 2021

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2022, Lent 2023 and Easter 2023.


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