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Postgraduate Admissions


A PhD studentship in genetic epidemiology, statistical genetics or computational sciences is available which is funded through the Cancer Research UK programme: "CanRisk: Personalising cancer risk prediction for prevention and early detection" which runs 2021-2026. The objective of the CanRisk multidisciplinary programme is to enable cancer risk prediction within front-line healthcare, to facilitate the identification and management of at risk individuals and to promote cancer prevention and early detection. CanRisk aims to address three key research questions: (1) What improvement can be achieved in personalised cancer risk prediction that takes advantage of recent discoveries in genomics and epidemiology and that is clinically valid across populations? (2) How can we optimise user-friendly tools to facilitate the use of multifactorial cancer risk prediction in routine clinical practice? and (3) How can we operationalise multifactorial cancer risk assessment in primary care and in clinical genetics?

Based at the University of Cambridge, the successful applicant will work within a large collaborative team of scientists, clinicians and patients. They will work on the development of novel cancer risk modelling methods and will apply those to data from large epidemiological studies to address key challenges in breast, ovarian and prostate cancer risk prediction. There will be the opportunity to work on several specific research questions including: modelling the uncertainty in personalised cancer risks; risk prediction of breast and ovarian cancer subtypes; cancer risk prediction in individuals of non-European ancestry; and prediction of contralateral breast cancer risks. The findings of this work will be incorporated into the widely used CanRisk tool ( for use by healthcare professionals.

The PhD studentship will be hosted at the Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology (, Department of Public Health and Primary Care (, University of Cambridge, under the joint supervision of Professors Antonis Antoniou and Douglas Easton, but the PhD student will also work closely with other CanRisk and international collaborators.

The successful applicant will develop skills in disease risk-modelling and risk-prediction, in genetic epidemiology, in the analysis of complex epidemiological and genetic data, and in computational and population health sciences. The student will join the cohort of PhD students being trained by the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre.

The projects will suit students with strong quantitative and analytical skills. Ideally students should possess a master's degree in statistics/biostatistics, epidemiology, health data sciences or a related quantitative discipline. The ideal candidate will have excellent academic abilities (at least a 2.1 honours degree or equivalent undergraduate degree) combined with strong communication skills in order to make the most of interdisciplinary training opportunities.

The CRUK studentship will provide an annual stipend (£19,000 per annum) and university and college fees at UK level.

How to apply

To apply please complete the University GRADSAF application form then click

Please ensure that you add the reference number RH28426 on your application and that the recruiting supervisor will be Professor Antonis Antoniou.

With your application please upload:

i. A letter (2,500 character limit) outlining your suitability, why you are interested in a PhD in this area, your background and research interests, ii. Your CV iii. Your academic transcripts and iv. Details of two academic referees

We invite application from UK, non-UK students. The studentship has a stipend of £19,000 per year for four years. Only UK level University fees are covered: other applicants will need to secure additional funding for overseas student fees. Please ensure you meet the University of Cambridge entrance requirements: see

We welcome informal conversations about this post: please contact Professor Antonis Antoniou at or his assistant Maureen Rae at

Interview and Selection process

The deadline for applications is 19 November, 2021. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by 26 November 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview in the week of 29 November 2021. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their interview soon after and successful applicants will receive a formal offer letter by end of December 2021.

Please quote reference RH28426 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 Public Health and Primary Care

Reference: RH28426

Dates and deadlines:

Thursday, 7 October, 2021
Closing Date
Friday, 19 November, 2021