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PhD studentship projects 2021

Applications are open for three projects. 

Programme details

We invite applications for PhDs from talented graduates or final year undergraduates. Candidates are welcome to apply wherever in the world they are currently based. We particularly welcome British applicants from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds, as they are underrepresented at PhD level, both within the ICR and nationwide.

We will assess your application and interview performance to select individuals with the potential to become world leading cancer researchers. We consider all applications on merit and have a strong commitment to enhancing the diversity of our staff and students.

Candidates should hold, or, expect to gain either;

  • A first, or, upper-second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.
  • A masters degree in a relevant subject.

Successful candidates will undertake a four-year research training programme under the guidance of a team of our world-class researchers. Studentships start in October 2021 unless otherwise specified. Students will receive an annual stipend, currently £21,000 per annum. Tuition fees and project costs are paid for the four-year duration.

We are recruiting for three projects. These are listed below. Click on the project titles to view a full project proposal. This will contain information about the work involved in each project, the full supervisory team and any collaborators.

Details of how to apply, including the application deadline, are at the end of the project list at the bottom of this page.

Project with Dr Matthew BlackledgeDr Matthew Blackledge

Computational Imaging team
Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging
Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton

Project: Can artificial intelligence predict outcome
in patients receiving stereotactic radiosurgery
of brain metastasis? 

View Dr Blackedge's project proposal

Dr Matthew Blackledge seeks to provide clinical imaging
methodologies for evaluating and understanding response
mechanisms associated with novel therapeutics for bone
metastases. In this project, the student will develop novel
approaches using artificial intelligence and deep-learning to
help identify patients at risk of seizure after receiving Stereotactic
radiosurgery for brain metastases, and to better evaluate the
efficacy of the treatment. The student will use MR-imaging, patient
demographics and radiotherapy dose to develop new algorithms
for response assessment and allow accurate MRI interpretation.

Project area(s): Physics or Engineering, Computer Sciences.
Funder: ICR, open to all applicants (including those overseas).

Project with Professor James O'ConnorJames O'Connor profile picture 1x1

Quantitative Biomedical Imaging team
Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging
Sir Richard Doll Building, Sutton

Project: Maximising use of imaging data in clinical trials

View Professor O'Connor's project proposal

"My work focuses on developing and validating imaging biomarkers
for use in Oncology. My group is multidisciplinary; biologists,
physicists, mathematicians and computational scientists; and
spans pre-clinical science and clinical studies. Our current focus
is on how data can be best used to guide patient outcome."

Project area(s): Maths, Statistics and Epidemiology, Computer Sciences.
Funder: BRC, open to all applicants (including those overseas).

Project with Dr Yinyin YuanYinyin Yuan

Computational Pathology and Integrative Genomics team
Division of Molecular Pathology
Brookes Lawley Building, Sutton

Project: Deep multi-omic integration to understand inter-organ relationships that regulate systemic immunometabolism

View Dr Yuan's project proposal

This PhD will be a collaboration between the Imaging and
Data Analytics department at AstraZeneca and the
Computational Pathology and Integrated Genomics team
at the Institute of Cancer Research. In this project we will
systematically interrogate tissue biology using deep multi-omic
integration of existing data derived from multiple preclinical
disease models and well-characterised clinical samples.
We aim to identify novel insights into this multi-organ interplay
to drive novel preventative strategies and therapies.

Project area(s): Biological Sciences; Physics or Engineering; Maths, Statistics or Epidemiology
Collaborator(s): AstraZeneca with associate supervisor Dr Stephanie Ling
Funder: BBSRC, open to all applicants (including those overseas).


Eligibility and application information

All applicants must meet our entry requirements. Specific projects may have further eligibility criteria. These are detailed in the project proposals, linked in the title of each project.  

How to apply

Important dates:

  • Applications opened on Monday 01 March 2021
  • Applications close on Sunday 28 March at 11:55pm UK time
  • Remote/online video-based panel interviews will be held during the week(s) commencing 12 or 19 March with dates to be confirmed.


Previously advertised studentships

 Applications closed on Sunday 15 November at 11:55pm UK time. 

Innovative Training Network studentship, funded by the European Commission; 

Professor Clare Isacke (Chelsea) - Biology of breast cancer metastasis


National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded, three year Studentship; Professor Judith Bliss (Sutton) - Enabling better reporting of outcomes for breast cancer radiotherapy trials

VAGABOND Innovative Training Network Studentship; Professor Louis Chesler (Sutton) - Development of therapies targeting the oncogenic and immunologic activity of MYCN in neuroblastoma