PhD students at the CRUK Cambridge Institute

The Institute is committed to training the scientific leaders of tomorrow. Our MPhil and PhD programmes prepare students for fulfilling careers in academia, industry, or roles outside of the lab.

PhD in Medical Science

The PhD in Medical Science course at the CRUK CI allows students to become fully embedded within their Principal Supervisor’s research team, giving them close interactions with postgraduate and postdoctoral colleagues. Each student will focus on a specific project aligned with the research group, enabling them to contribute to the overall objectives of both the lab and the Institute.

We expect our students to take ownership of their project, driving it forward with assistance from other members of the Institute, which encourages each student to develop the skills they need to become a successful independent researcher. Within four years of commencing study, students are supported to submit their thesis and to prepare their research findings for publication in scientific journals.


Approximately half our PhD students receive funding from Cancer Research UK. In addition, funding may be available from grants held by individual research groups. We also host Clinical Research Training Fellows and students on the Cambridge MB/PhD programme. We welcome applications from students who have won competitive studentships or fellowships.

How to apply

Prospective students can apply in response to an advertisement placed by the Institute (please follow application instructions n the advertisement). Or if you intend to apply for independent funding (or have already done so) please contact your preferred supervisor before completing an online application via the University of Cambridge Applicant Portal. Please note that you are allowed to apply for both Institute funding and also an alternative independent source of funding for your studies.


All advertised projects include full funding for University and College fees and a stipend of £21,000 per annum. Applications for our PhD Programme are now open – please check our Vacancies page for individual projects.

MPhil in Medical Science

The MPhil in Medical Science research course at the CRUK CI integrates each student within the research team of their supervisor. Working alongside other postgraduate and postdoctoral colleagues, our MPhil students focus on their own projects which are expected to contribute to the advancement of the research of their group. MPhil students are encouraged to attend scientific talks of interest and appropriate training courses that support their study, as well as to participate in all aspects of postgraduate student life at the Institute. At the end of the study period, MPhil students are supported to write a thesis detailing their project. The Institute accepts only a few MPhil students each year, and in the main, applicants are successful if they are recognised as bringing a valuable technique or methodology to their research group.


The Institute provides a single studentship annually, so we recommend prospective students explore alternative funding options before applying.

How to apply

Prior to submitting the University’s online application form, you should identify a supervisor in the Institute who is willing to host you for MPhil study.

More details about the application process, fees, and other entry requirements can be found on the postgraduate admissions website. The University and the CRUK Cambridge Institute value diversity and are committed to equality of opportunity.