skip to content

Postgraduate Admissions


Applications are invited for a four-year PhD programme through the generous support of AstraZeneca. The Department of Biochemistry is especially strong in research with investigators of international standing in a wide range of disciplines including structural biology, molecular enzymology, cell signalling and control of gene expression, molecular microbiology, plant molecular biology and bioenergy, cancer and cardiovascular biology.

The programme aims to educate and train the next-generation of doctoral scientists in all aspects of cutting edge biochemistry research which in the department focuses on the fundamental processes of biological systems, with a particular emphasis on understanding at the molecular level.

  1. Students awarded places on the programme will join a specific research group from the outset and undertake a research project agreed with the principal investigator.
  2. All students will have the opportunity to spend some time conducting research at the AstraZeneca Global Research and Development Centre in Cambridge.
  3. All students will receive a tailored career development programme and an AstraZeneca-based project supervisor (in addition to a Biochemistry-based supervisor), designed to broaden their research and professional skills.

In addition to their direct supervisor, each PhD student will also have an advisor and a postgraduate thesis panel comprising three members of faculty, two of which are chosen by the student. Our PhD programmes offer many opportunities for both specialised training and the acquisition of transferable skills. Further details of our PhD program can be found at

Applicants should have or shortly expect to obtain a minimum of a UK II.i Honours Degree (or equivalent) in Biochemistry or a related subject. These positions are open to UK citizens or EU students who meet the UK residency requirements (home fees). We are looking for highly motivated, enthusiastic and industrious individuals who are capable of thinking and working independently.

Application - You should identify one or more labs in which you might wish to study, then make informal contact with the principal investigator(s) (PI) to determine that they are potentially able to supervise you, and to discuss the research project you would undertake.

Find PI's areas of research at

Please e-mail the PI following information:

  1. Your CV (max two A4 pages), with full contact details of 2 academic referees.
  2. A covering letter (max two A4 pages) highlighting (a) your research interests, (b) what you hope to achieve from the programme, (c) your career aspirations beyond the programme, and (d) why you wish to undertake this programme in the Department of Biochemistry.

PI email addresses can be found at

If you receive support from the PI you should apply using the Applicant Portal here: You can only submit one application with one PI for consideration. Multiple applications with different PIs will not be accepted. Fully completed applications (including references) must be submitted by the deadline. Please search in the Course Directory for "Biochemistry" PhD studentships, selecting course code BLBI22 as the programme of study.

PLEASE NOTE you must complete the 'Research Summary' section of the University application form. You should discuss this summary with your prospective supervisor.

Funding: A stipend (currently £18,500 pa) will be provided for up to 4 years with effect from 1 October 2021. This funding also covers the University Composition Fee and Maintenance, and an allowance for consumables. A maximum of three studentships will be awarded in the application round.

Please forward any questions to our Postgraduate Admissions Administrator at

Please contact if you have any queries about the application process.

Please quote reference PH24789 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Key Information

Department of Biochemistry

Reference: PH24789

Dates and deadlines:

Wednesday, 18 November, 2020
Closing Date
Friday, 8 January, 2021