MRes + PhD Programme in Cancer Biology

MRes & PhD (1 + 3 years) Course Information

The CRUK Cambridge Centre is a dynamic collaboration of academic researchers, clinicians, and the pharmaceutical and biotech industries based in the Cambridge area. We combine world-class science and technology with excellent patient care to pioneer new ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer. By working together across different disciplines, we are breaking down the barriers between the laboratory and the clinic, enabling patients to benefit from the latest innovations in cancer science.

The extensive research effort by the CRUK Cambridge Centre is supported by a state-of-the-art research environment that includes:

  • World-class research facilities for basic and clinical research
  • Nationally and internationally recognised centres of excellence – the Cambridge Centre is one of only three CRUK Major Centres, and Cambridge is a hub for Early Cancer Detection and Precision Cancer Medicine.
  • Outstanding opportunities for translational research – the wealth of basic research across the Centre fuels major efforts to translate fundamental scientific discoveries to benefit patients with cancer.  

In 2018, the CRUK Cambridge Centre launched an innovative new MRes + PhD programme specifically designed to produce future generations of cancer leaders, trained in early detection and integrative cancer medicine. The new programme comprises of a first year MRes degree with three components:

  • Two 15-week research rotations 
  • A weekly ‘Lectures in Cancer Biology and Medicine’ series and 1 week intensive teaching in genomic medicine, to cover the wide breadth of basic and applied cancer biology
  • A 1-2 week clinical shadowing at Cambridge University hospitals

Continuation onto the PhD in year 2 will be conditional on the student successfully completing both their rotations (determined by formal assessment of their laboratory progress, written and oral report by both the supervisor and external assessor) and the final viva, which is based on their PhD proposal. Continuation recommendations from the viva examiners are then passed to the Degree committee for overall approval. Only both the completion of the course and a successful viva will allow for progression onto the PhD track. The PhD will be a fully-funded three-year course, usually in one of the student's original rotation project host laboratories, thereby allowing for an in-depth study of a particular area of cancer biology.

Applications for entry in October 2025 will open in October 2024.  Up to seven studentships are offered each year, with funding available for at least one overseas applicant. The applications normally open in October of each year and close in mid November, with interviews in January. The studentships available can be found HERE.

It is possible to study part-time, if you are a clinician interested in a part time MRes+ PhD, read THIS.

If you have general enquiries about the CRUK Cambridge Centre non-clinical MRes + PhD studentships or the application process, please contact