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.

More than 700 laboratory researchers and physicians are united through a 12 programme structure that brings together investigators working on: Aerodigestive, Breast, Haematological, Brain, Ovarian, Paediatric, Pancreatic and Urological cancers. An additional four programmes focus on: ‘Advanced Cancer Imaging’ to promote our world-leading expertise in laboratory and clinical imaging research; ‘Cell and Molecular Biology’, to engage our colleagues working in all aspects of biology relevant to cancer; ‘Early Detection’ to support this special area of research emphasis in our CRUK Major Centre; and ‘Onco-Innovation’ to provide a collaboration point for our colleagues in the pharmaceutical industry (e.g. AstraZeneca, Medimmune) as well as members from University departments in the physical sciences. 

This extensive research effort 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 placement in a patient-facing setting to give insight into the rewards and challenges of cancer research

Successful completion of the 1 year MRes course, including assessment of rotation project write-ups and defense of a PhD proposal, will lead directly on to a 3 year PhD, usually in one of the rotation project host laboratories.

Up to five 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 at the end of November, with interviews in January. The studentships available can be found HERE.

If you have general enquiries about the CRUK Cambridge Centre non-clinical MRes + PhD studentships or the application process, please contact trainingprogramme@crukcambridgecentre.org.uk.