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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.

Applications to the NIH OxCam Programme must be made through the National Institutes of Health in the USA and only US citizens are eligible. 

Candidates should apply to the NIH first - visit the How to Apply website.  Applications open on 1st August each year and close on 1st December. 

Interviews are held in mid-February annually and the NIH informs candidates of the outcome later that month or in early March.  Up to 20 places are offered, but there is no fixed allocation to each University.  Candidates have until early May to accept or decline their offer.

The successful candidates who wish to undertake their PhD in Cambridge must then submit a separate application to Cambridge for consideration by their proposed supervisor(s) and department(s). 

Alternatively, applicants may also apply to Cambridge in parallel with their NIH application in order to have the opportunity to be considered for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which offers joint funding with the NIH for this programme.  Applications to Cambridge open on 1st September each year.  

Further details on the NIH OxCam programme in Cambridge are available on the Clinical School Postgraduate Students website at NIH OxCam

Selection Process

Applications to the NIH OxCam Scholars Programme in the US are considered as part of a gathered field.

Applications are open from 1 August to 1 December of each year. Candidates are shortlisted by the NIH in December and January and invited to interview in February.

The interview panels comprise academics from Cambridge, Oxford and the NIH, as well as programme directors and student representatives.  Interviews are held in mid-February across a 3-days event that every interviewee is expected to attend.  Decisions are issued about two weeks later.   

Some of the successful candidates will already have an offer of a place at Cambridge due to an early application so they could be considered for Gates funding.  There are usually one or more successful Gates applications every year among the OxCam Scholars. 

Other successful OxCam candidates may not yet have decided between Oxford or Cambridge, or discussed a research proposal with potential supervisors, and so from early March you should begin to work with PIs at the NIH and in the UK to create a collaborative research proposal.  If you decide to come Cambridge you must submit an application that will be considered by the supervisor(s) and department(s) identified and will be subject to the University's admissions criteria.  For more information visit the Cambridge NIH OxCam website.

Candidates should contact potential supervisors for informal discussions as soon as possible.  The deadline for applications to Cambridge is in mid-May.  You can submit more than one application and identify more than one supervisor and research proposal.  If you have alternative research proposals involving different supervisors in other departments you should make separate applications for each one.  

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

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

There is a list of research projects available in Cambridge whose Principal Investigators (PIs) are willing to host an OxCam Scholar and collaborate with a named NIH Mentor. This list is on the NIH website and is a major tool in helping candidates identify research opportunities in Cambridge.  Candidates are encouraged to approach PIs directly to discuss their research interests and proposals. Contact the Programme Administrator in Cambridge  for more information and introductions.

PI Ambassadors can also provide advice and guidance to help candidates select the most appropriate Cambridge PI for their area of research interest.  Candidates are encouraged to make direct contact with any of the Ambassadors listed below and visit the Postgraduate Students website.

Professor Clare Bryant, Professor of Innate Immunity ceb27@cam.ac.uk

Professor Folma Buss, Professor of Molecular and Cellular Dynamics  fb207@cam.ac.uk

Professor Menna Clatworthy, Professor of Translational Immunology Director NIH-OxCam programme (Cambridge)  mrc38@cam.ac.uk

Professor Paul Pharoah, Professor of Cancer Epidemiology  pp10001@medschl.cam.ac.uk

Apply Now

Key Information


3-4 years full-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Medicine This course is advertised in multiple departments. Please see the Overview tab for more details.

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.