Graduate Admissions

 

Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute

Research Programmes

MPhil in Medical Science at CRUKCI

Length and dates of course:
12 months
Application deadline:
30 June for admission in October (Michaelmas Term)
30 September for admission in January (Lent Term)
31 December for admission in April (Easter Term)
Academic requirement:
Applicants should already have, or expect to gain a good honours degree (2i or above) from a world-renowned University
English language requirement: See table of specific scores needed for this course
Course code: MDCIM1 (CRUKCI MPhil Programme)


Applications are co-ordinated by CRUKCI. The MPhil course lasts for 12 months, during which time the student is expected to complete a research project, and write and submit a thesis of less than 20,000 words in length. The student will then be examined orally on the thesis and on the wider field of knowledge into which it falls.Each student (MPhil or PhD) applies to a specific supervisor and is also assigned a second supervisor who acts as a mentor and provides support. In addition, Ann Kaminski (Head of Scientific Administration) acts as the first point of contact for any student with a query or difficulty that is not directly related to their scientific work. The students are provided with information which clearly sets out what is expected of them during their period of research in order to obtain their degree. All student matters in the Institute are overseen by the Studentships and Fellowships Committee, which has the well-being of our students at heart. All first year graduate students (M Phil or PhD) are required to attend a series of around 30 lectures on cancer biology, which are organised by the Department of Oncology. These lectures are given by specialists in their fields and they aim to provide all students with a comprehensive overview of cancer biology, ranging from basic cell biology through to cancer diagnosis and treatment. Throughout their period at the Institute, all students are expected to participate in journal clubs, lab meetings, lectures and seminars. They are also encouraged to take advantage of the numerous and varied types of transferable skills training offered by both the University and the Charity. Students are encouraged to attend scientific meetings relevant to their course of study. All students in the Institute are members of the student-run Graduate Society which organises regular scientific and social events. Fees and Costs Graduate Course Costs Notes on Application
If you wish to approach a group leader independently, then email is the preferred method. Otherwise, applications may be sent to individual group leaders at the following address:

Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
Li Ka Shing Centre
Robinson Way
Cambridge
CB2 0RE

A complete application for this course will depend on whether you are a continuing student or a new admission. Please see the relevant box below.

Continuing students must provide: Application submitted online, with payment Supporting documents to be uploaded:
two academic references personal reference - ONLY if you wish to be considered for funding from GATES CAMBRIDGE. (See Personal reference for Gates Cambridge for further information)

You are a continuing student if you have previously been admitted to a graduate course by the Board of Graduate Studies (or by the Institute of Continuing Education, for an MSt degree), and became a matriculated student on that course.
How To Apply
New applicants for admission must provide: Application submitted online, with payment Supporting documents to be uploaded:
two academic references transcripts or degree certificates English Language Score Report (if English is not your first language) personal reference - ONLY if you wish to be considered for funding from GATES CAMBRIDGE. (See Personal reference for Gates Cambridge for further information)

How To Apply

PhD

Length and dates of course:
At least 3 years
Application deadline:
30 June for admission in October (Michaelmas Term)
30 September for admission in January (Lent Term)
31 December for admission in April (Easter Term)
Funding deadline:
The application deadline for students applying for a Cancer Research UK funded position will be given on the advertisements for these positions (usually mid-November). Other applications may be more flexible’
English language requirement: See table of specific scores needed for this course
Course code: MDCI22 (CRUKCI PhD Programme)
Fee rate: Science


Applications are co-ordinated by CRUKCI. On starting a course of study leading towards a PhD, you will not at first be registered for the degree, and this registration is dependent on the successful completion of a first year report and an oral examination. In addition, the Institute requires you to prepare a written report at the end of year two (and year three, if you have not already started writing your thesis at this stage). The word limit for the PhD thesis is 60,000 and you will be examined orally on your thesis and on the wider field of knowledge into which it falls. All first year graduate students (M Phil or PhD) are required to attend a series of around 30 lectures on cancer biology, which are organised by the Department of Oncology. These lectures are given by specialists in their fields and they aim to provide all students with a comprehensive overview of cancer biology, ranging from basic cell biology through to cancer diagnosis and treatment. Fees and Costs Graduate Course Costs
Funding Details Studentships for study towards a PhD are available from Cancer Research UK. A Cancer Research UK studentship includes a generous stipend, full payment of University and College fees and also bench fees to cover consumables used in the laboratory. These studentships are open to applicants who have studied at a world-renowned university from anywhere in the world. Please see `Notes on Application' section below on how to apply for a Cancer Research UK studentship. Funding from other sources may also be available. Notes on Application
There are two routes of entry for graduate study into CRUKCI. Please note that these are not mutually exclusive. 1. Apply for a PhD position funded by Cancer Research UK. All available positions are advertised in New Scientist and Nature (at the beginning of October) and on findaphd.com and our website. On our website you will find details of the projects and also how to apply. You must make an on-line application by the deadline as instructed on the website. If short-listed, you will be called for interview in December/January. If you are successful in gaining a position, you will then be encouraged to complete the University GRADSAF application form for entry for graduate study at the University of Cambridge.

2. If you have applied for a independent competitive studentship from some other source, or are considering applying for such a studentship, and would like to study in the CRUKCI, then you should consult the CRUKCI website to determine which group leader you would most like to work with. Then please make email contact with your preferred group leader explaining your situation. Please also see general admission procedures within the Graduate School of Life Sciences.
Address for applications All applications involving Cancer Research UK funding must be made online via the website. If you wish to approach a group leader independently, then email is the preferred method. Otherwise, applications may be sent to individual group leaders at the following address:

Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
Li Ka Shing Centre
Robinson Way
Cambridge
CB2 0RE

A complete application for this course will depend on whether you are a continuing student or a new admission. Please see the relevant box below.

Continuing students must provide: Application submitted online, with payment Supporting documents to be uploaded:
two academic references personal reference - ONLY if you wish to be considered for funding from GATES CAMBRIDGE. (See Personal reference for Gates Cambridge for further information)

You are a continuing student if you have previously been admitted to a graduate course by the Board of Graduate Studies (or by the Institute of Continuing Education, for an MSt degree), and became a matriculated student on that course.
How To Apply
New applicants for admission must provide: Application submitted online, with payment Supporting documents to be uploaded:
two academic references transcripts or degree certificates English Language Score Report (if English is not your first language) personal reference - ONLY if you wish to be considered for funding from GATES CAMBRIDGE. (See Personal reference for Gates Cambridge for further information)

How To Apply
Further information
Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
Graduate School of Life Sciences Student Testimonials "I obtained a BSc degree in Biotechnology from the National University of Ireland Galway, and a M.Sc. degree in Medical Genetics from the University of Glasgow. After some time working as a research assistant, I commenced my PhD studentship in Doug Winton's group in 2006. What appealed to me about the PhD studentship offer was that the project details were very interesting, and that I would be working for a well-established and respected research group based in the new state of the art research institute. It also gave me the chance to interact and collaborate with the extensive scientific community within the University of Cambridge and the numerous other research institutes dotted around Cambridge.

I really enjoy my time here in the CRUKCI as it has a fantastic working environment with so many world-class scientists under one roof. For a young PhD student starting off on his scientific career it is important to be surrounded by experienced and approachable scientists, and I feel the institute scores highly in that regard.

The resources available to the researcher in our institute are amazing; the microscopy, histopathology and flow cytometry has all of the latest equipment and is staffed with skilled scientists who are always willing to help. Not only is the working environment excellent, but there is also a very active Graduate Society; film nights, formal dinners and wine tasting are just some of the events organised. Also, the nearby Frank Lee Leisure Centre hosts numerous sporting activities, including swimming, football and squash. I organise a weekly football kick-about for our institute, which is well-attended by colleagues from all labs, and not only is it great fun but it encourages dialogue and fosters a spirit of collaboration and bonhomie. I cannot be more positive about my time here in CRUKCI, and I would highly recommend anyone with serious intentions of pursuing a career in cancer research, or in medical science in general, to consider the PhD programme in our institute."

Shane Kelly, PhD student
"I obtained a BSc in Biotechnology from Imperial College London. When I first came to Cambridge for an interview with Professor Carlos Caldas, I knew immediately that Cambridge Research Institute was the place to be. As soon as I started my PhD, I appreciated the institute even more. With excellent core facilities providing expert knowledge on genomics, microscopy, histopathology, bioinformatics and much more, one can stay focused on doing research and develop all sorts of skills. The University of Cambridge has an extensive scientific community and numerous research institutes, which makes it really easy to interact with other scientists.

The CRUKCI community is very welcoming and helpful. There is always time for a coffee break - be it a scientific discussion or simply a relaxing chat after hours of pipetting. In addition, there are Institute Lunchtime Seminars where PhD students and post-docs from different labs present their work, thanks to which we get to know who is an expert in a given technique or field. There are many other lectures and seminars organized, often with prestigious guest speakers.

The Graduate Society is extremely active and organizes a number of social and scientific events throughout the year. We get the chance to listen and meet great researches in cancer field as well as get to know other students during formal dinners in Cambridge colleges, pub crawls or movie nights.

Cambridge itself is a very vibrant environment where one cannot get bored. There are hundreds of university clubs and societies, numerous sports grounds and centres, places to eat and go out. My PhD time at the CRUKCI has so far been a great experience I am glad that I made that choice."

Angelika Modelska, PhD student
"I am a PhD student in the Computational Biology Group led by Simon Tavare at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. I previously obtained my MSc degree in Mathematical Modelling from the University of Amsterdam and my BSc degree in Computer Science from the University of Bologna. For a student with a computational and mathematical background like me, the CRUKCI offers a unique opportunity to integrate my knowledge with the biological and clinical aspects of cancer.

I find the environment at the CRUKCI truly multidisciplinary and stimulating, it allows students and researchers from different backgrounds to really integrate with clinical and biological cancer research. Moreover, the access to the excellent experimental facilities is open to all students and permits anyone to extend their expertise, regardless of their specific background, to the newest experimental or computational techniques employed in cancer research. In addition the CRUKCI hosts talks and seminars on a daily basis and the informal environment is always open for questions, ideas and chances of collaborations.

I have had an extremely positive experience at the CRUKCI. I think its friendly research environment, its infrastructure and organization, and the world-class scientists who work here, give great opportunities for those who pursue a career in cancer research. All this is accompanied by a very active graduate society that organizes several cool events and the usual Friday post-work happy hour at the institute. Furthermore, the canteen is among the best you can get in Cambridge, the building is new as well as all the facilities and the location is great - it really cannot get any better."

Andrea Sottoriva, PhD student
"Knocked out!!! Yes, I was indeed knocked out with admirations of what an institution can offer to graduate students. Being an international student, having looked through several institution profiles, I couldn't find a better place than the Cambridge Research Institute (CRUKCI) for my PhD. It offers a fantastic platform for graduates to pursue their research interests with well designed graduate program and a generous funding. The CRUKCI offers state of the art infrastructure, excellent support and assistance from core facilities ranging from media preparation to microarray platforms, so much so that I feel spoiled by the help I get from the core facility staffs for my every day experiments. The institution has the right blend of scientists and clinicians and is closely associated with one of the biggest hospitals in the UK to offer the best basic and translational research experience. The CRUKCI also acts as a central platform to several lecture series and scientific talks and I have had the privilege to listen to some of the biggest names in life science research.

I joined John Stingl's lab in October 2008 to work on mammary stem cells and breast cancer. On arrival, I was overwhelmed with the welcome and assistance I received from every member of my lab. I had a well planned PhD project and it has always been fun working with my supervisor. It's always a lively experience in the lab be it be on or off-bench.

The graduate society (GradSoc) played an active role, much before my arrival and after arrival to make sure I had a kick start when I come. The mentor-mentee system helped me settle during my initial days here and helped me understand the complex collegiate system and life in Cambridge in general. Throughout the year, the GradSoc also arranges movie nights, formal dinners, several sporting activities and my favourite being the Friday night happy hour. We as graduates also benefit from an exclusive one to one session with world famous scientists, at least once a month to discuss several aspects of their research and learn more about various other research themes from the experts. Be it be my poster presentation in annual retreat or talks during PhD presentations and lunchtime seminars, they have always helped me improve my scientific skills and I have always received fruitful comments on my research work.

In addition, we also benefit from being part of the well known University of Cambridge. Walking in any street of Cambridge is like walking back in the history. Punting down the Cam River, walking past the labs of Watson and Crick, the crowds of students and the ever-charming college buildings make a stay in Cambridge an unforgettable experience of life.

I am delighted to be part of this institution. I am certain that the experience I receive in the CRUKCI will help me establish a successful scientific career ahead."

Rajshekhar Giraddi, PhD student
"As the daughter of an American diplomat I spent a number of years in Europe and I chose to stay here for my undergraduate degree at Newcastle University. I returned to the US to gain lab experience and I decided that I wanted to return to the UK for my PhD. When I found the studentships being offered at the CRUKCI I was thrilled. A program that combined generous funding for international students, a world-class university, and the exciting field of cancer research seemed like a dream come true.

I gladly accepted a position in Doug Winton's lab and I have greatly enjoyed my time here thus far. Doug is an enthusiastic and supportive mentor and I really value his hands-on approach to training. Our lab is primarily interested in the stem cell biology of the small intestine however, there are a wide variety of projects in the group and this increases my exposure to new concepts and techniques on a daily basis. One of the best things about the institute is translational nature of the research. To be surrounded by top-quality science that will lead to advances in the clinic is inspiring.

I had the good fortune of attending the annual institute retreat before starting my PhD. This provided a broad overview of the research interests in the institute as well as an introduction to the fantastic core facilities. After attending the retreat I felt part of the CRUKCI community. This feeling is reinforced weekly through lunchtime seminars as well as science-related and social activities organised throughout the year for the graduate students. The CRUKCI is a wonderful place and the level of support we receive as PhD students is superb. This means that everyone is included and can make the most of their time here."

Sarah Kozar, PhD student
"Overwhelmed. I guess that is what I felt the first day I arrived in Cambridge. The prospect of coming to study in the place I'd read about during my entire academic life was both exciting and terrifying. Gladly that was only the beginning.

My application process was slightly different from usual. I initially came to the CRUKCI as an external MSc student from Lisbon. Suddenly I found myself in a shiny new building being inaugurated by Her Majesty the Queen, and having to speak about my brand new project (in English!) to several groups of Cancer Research UK fundraisers. This all sounds quite scary but it ended up being a great first experience!

I soon met several other people that had also just moved into the building and they were always happy to help me. I immediately learned to couple science with communication - an important part of research and a big priority in the Institute, where you are often encouraged to talk about your work to both lay and scientific audiences. Add all this to a brand new building with excellent research facilities, and you have the perfect start to a scientific career.

As I didn't have a college when I first came to Cambridge, I quickly adopted all members of the CRUKCI Graduate Society as my own network of friends. GradSoc organises several events, both of a scientific and a social nature, making our stay in the CRUKCI both productive and highly enjoyable. The relationship between students is one of interaction and collaboration, and we always try to make new students feel welcome.

Moving to a different country to study for a degree can be a tough experience at the beginning. The best way to overcome this is to take maximum advantage of all the activities the University and the CRUKCI have to offer. That way you can really add a great life experience to a world-class scientific training. At least that's how I've found it so far."

Pedro Correa de Sampaio, PhD student


Members of the department also participate in the following programmes:


Head of Department: Professor Sir Bruce Ponder
Academic Staff: 21
Postdoctoral Researchers: 66
Graduate Students: 61
Undergraduate Students: 0

Website: www.cambridgecancer.org.uk

Key Research Areas:
Cancer biology and in vivo models
Preclinical and clinical imaging
Cancer genomics
Data analysis and modelling
Research on specific cancer types
Experimental therapeutics
Population-based studies

Research and Support