Early Cancer Institute Non-Clinical PhD Studentships (Fixed Term)

University of Cambridge
November 22, 2023
Offerd Salary:£21,500
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
Early Cancer Institute Non-Clinical PhD Studentships (Fixed Term)

We invite applications from UK and Overseas students for the following 3.5 year fully funded non-clinical studentships based in the Early Cancer Institute, Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge, UK:

  • Exploring the temporal dynamics of clonal evolution in oesophageal and lung cancer - with Dr Alex Frankell.
  • Machine learning and integrative 'omics for multi-cancer risk prediction - with Dr Siddhartha Kar.
  • Understanding pre-leukaemic evolutionary dynamics and factors that might drive or impede progression towards acute myeloid leukaemia - with Dr Caroline Watson.
  • Please see the Further Particulars documents for more information, they can be found at the bottom of the page

    The Early Cancer Institute

    The Early Cancer Institute at the University of Cambridge is the UK's only Institute dedicated to the early detection of cancer. This world-leading centre is based on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and houses a highly multidisciplinary, collaborative range of experts working to take early detection innovations from bench to bedside and move the world beyond the fear of cancer.

    Our key research objectives are:

  • Risk prediction
  • Detection of early cancers
  • Interception to prevent lethal cancer developing
  • To achieve our aims, we perform laboratory research to determine the cell and molecular factors that lead to the initiation and development of primary cancer.

    Importantly we want to understand what distinguishes between the development of indolent, very slowly progressing lesions occurring as a normal part of ageing compared with processes leading to a symptomatic cancer that threatens life.

    We perform analyses of big data and AI to develop risk prediction tools with close collaboration with the Cambridge Centre for Genetic Epidemiology and Genomics England.

    We are developing novel technologies that have the resolution to detect cancer and pre-cancer with the required accuracy for clinical application. We have collaborative projects with Chemical Engineering and Physics.

    We collaborate with public health, social scientists and ethicists across the wider University, including Social Anthropology and Public Health and Primary Care, to understand the implications for the health system and for society at large as new clinical strategies emerge.


    These studentships commence October 2024. They provide a maintenance stipend of £21,500 per annum for 3.5 years, tuition fees at the UK rate. In addition, £1,725 for personal development & overseas travel and £5,000 for research consumables is provided per annum for the first 3 years.


    We are looking for highly motivated and enthusiastic individuals capable of thinking and working independently. Applicants should have or shortly expect to obtain a minimum of a good upper second-class honors degree from a UK university, or an equivalent standard from an overseas university, in a relevant discipline.

    These studentships are open to all nationalities. However, non-UK citizens will be considered only if they are able to secure funding to cover the overseas fees differential (this is £27,600 per annum and a total of £82,800 for the full PhD course) through other scholarships and funding schemes.

    How to apply

    Application closing date: 22 November 2023

    Before applying please ensure that you meet, or expect to meet our PhD entrance requirements (https: // www. postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/cvocpdonc/requirements), then submit a full PhD application via the University of Cambridge Postgraduate Applicant Portal (https: // apply.postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applicant/login?apply=CVOCPDONC&dswid=-2666).

    When making your application, you should:

  • Select to commence study in Michaelmas term 2024 (October 2024).

  • Add the name of the Research Leader you wish to study with (Dr Frankell, Dr Kar, or Dr Watson) and RD39009 to the 'Proposed research title' section.

  • If your fee status is classified as overseas, you must also apply for the University funding competition to obtain funding for the higher fee rate - tick the box on the online application form.

  • Check all supporting documents (CV, References and if available, Transcripts) are uploaded by the studentship closing date (22 November 2023). Please note, it is the applicant's responsibility to ensure all supporting documents are submitted on time, failure to do so will result in rejection of your application.

  • Applicants are encouraged to contact individual Research Leaders to discuss the project they are offering in greater detail.

    Further information about the PhD in Oncology course and how to apply can be found here - https: // www. postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/cvocpdonc/apply and full information about making an application to the University of Cambridge can be found on the University's Postgraduate Study website (https: // www. postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/cvocpdonc/apply).

    Interview and selection process

    Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application via the University of Cambridge Postgraduate Applicant Portal by late December 2023.

    Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an online interview in early January 2024. You will be interviewed by a panel of Principal Investigators from the Early Cancer Institute. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their interview by early February 2024 after completion of all the interviews. Successful applicants will receive a formal offer letter by mid-February 2024.

    For general enquiries about these PhD studentships or the application process, please contact the Department of Oncology Postgraduate Education Team at: [email protected].

    Student support and training

    As a Postgraduate Student with the Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge, you will have access to a wide range of training opportunities and benefit from close supervision provided by a Principal Supervisor who oversees your research project and an Adviser who provides additional support. Our Postgraduate Student Administrator acts as the first point of contact for any student with a query or difficulty that is not directly related to their scientific work. All student matters in the department are overseen by our Director of Postgraduate Education and the Cancer Biology Postgraduate Education Committee. There are no taught elements or examined coursework in the PhD in Oncology course, but students are encouraged to attend the wide variety of lectures and training courses available across the department and wider University. This includes a centrally run Statistics course and the University Core Skills Training Programme, which covers sessions on Time Management, Presentation and Performance and Scientific Writing. Our Postgraduate Students are automatically made members of the University's Postgraduate School of Life Sciences (https: // www. postgradschl.lifesci.cam.ac.uk/research-themes-1/cancer), which also offers a wide variety of core skills and professional development training. We also expect that our Postgraduate Students register as members of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre (https: // crukcambridgecentre.org.uk/).

    Further information

  • Dr Alex Frankell: Exploring the temporal dynamics of clonal evolution in oesophageal and lung cancer. (please see the Further Particulars document for more information, it can be found at the bottom of the page)

  • Dr Siddhartha Kar: Machine learning and integrative 'omics for multi- cancer risk prediction. (please see the Further Particulars document for more information, it can be found at the bottom of the page)

  • Dr Caroline Watson: Understanding pre-leukaemic evolutionary dynamics and factors that might drive or impede progression towards acute myeloid leukaemia. (please see the Further Particulars document for more information, it can be found at the bottom of the page)

  • Please quote reference RD39009 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.

    Further information
  • Further Particulars Dr Frankell
  • Further Particulars Dr Kar
  • Further Particulars Dr Watson
  • Department/Location

    Department of Oncology






    19 October 2023

    Closing date

    22 November 2023

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