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PhD studentship projects
December Recruitment Round - Open

Applications for our December PhD recruitment round are now open.
The deadline for applications is 5 January 2020, 11.55pm (UK time).

Applications for PhDs are invited from talented graduates or final year undergraduates. 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 supervisory team of our world-class researchers, starting in February or March 2020

We are recruiting for two projects. These are listed below by relevant funding body with details of the supervisory team and project site(s). Please review the project proposals for a detailed look at the work involved in each project, any specific focus or training experience provided, and the background(s) suited to application. 

Details of how to apply are explained at the end of the project list at the bottom of this page.

Important dates:

  • Applications for our December PhD recruitment round opened on Monday 2 December 2019
  • The deadline for submitting applications is 11.55pm UK time on Tuesday 7 January 2020.
  • We hope to interview applicants in late January / early February 2020. Dates to be confirmed. 

Advertised Studentships by category

  • NIHR Biomedical Research Centre funded studentship (1)
  • UBIMOTIF MSCA H2020 Innovative Training Network studentship (1)

Other useful links


NIHR Biomedical Research Centre funded studentships

These studentships fund clinically focused projects supporting the translational work of the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at the Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research.

Each project has strong links to clinical units in the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust building on strengths in basic sciences and their translational value. Students will have supervision from both a clinician and a basic scientist and be embedded in the research philosophy of the Biomedical Research Centre.

These studentships are open to all applicants (including overseas applicants). Please see our entry requirements for further eligibility information.

Students receive an annual stipend, currently £21,000 per annum, as well as having fees and project costs paid for the four-year duration. 

PROJECT: Deep learning the chemopreventive action of NSAIDs in Barrett’s oesophagus 

View project proposal



UBIMOTIF MSCA H2020 Innovative Training Network studentship funded by the European Commission

The UBIMOTIF consortium includes 13 research groups and 6 partners from 10 European countries and is a joint training and research program with focus on identification, characterisation and exploitation of short linear motifs in the ubiquitin system.

Visit the UBIMOTIF website for more information.

The studentship will require a considerable amount of travelling including participation in meetings and workshops and completion of two 3 month secondments outside the host laboratory (at the University of Uppsala, Sweden and the IMB Mainz, Germany). Therefore, a requirement is the willingness to travel and stay abroad.

Candidates will be required to meet the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher eligibility criteria:

  • Mobility Rule: researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the United Kingdom for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status are not taken into account. The earliest possible recruitment date is 1 March 2020.
  • Early Stage Researcher (ESR) criteria: ESRs must, at the date of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-Time Equivalent Research Experience is measured from the date when the researcher obtained the degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged).
  • You will only be considered for the position if you fulfil (and can prove so) the eligibility criteria.

Candidates must also meet the ICR's English language criteria.

The position is funded for four years. For the first three years, the selected candidate will receive a MSCA H2020 ETN salary of €5,171/month consisting of a monthly living allowance of €4,571 and a monthly mobility allowance of €600.

An additional €500/month is available if the participant is eligible for the family allowance at time of recruitment (see details here). The exact salary will be calculated in GBP. The 4th year of the PhD will be covered by an ICR-funded stipend and resources at ICR rates (currently £21,000 per annum). 


PROJECT: In-silico discovery of the degrons and the degron-mediated recruitment modules of the human Ubiquitin E3 Ligase system

  • Application menu title: In-silico  investigation of the human Ubiquitin E3 Ligase system
  • Primary supervisor: Dr Norman Davey
  • Other members of the supervisory team: Ylva Ivarsson, additional to be decided. 
  • Primary division and team: Cancer BiologyComputational Pathology (Chelsea)
  • Project area(s): Computer Science

View project proposal

Eligibility and application information

In addition to our general entry requirements, further eligibility criteria may apply to specific programmes and projects. Please ensure to read the information provided by the funding body and also the project proposals. We consider all applications on merit and have a strong commitment to enhancing the diversity of our staff and students.

Please ensure that you read the following application instructions carefully:

How to apply

Applications for our main round of PhD studentships are made online via the ICR's Student Application Portal.

Out of the two projects above, you will be asked to indicate two project preferences.

Important dates:

  • Applications for our December PhD recruitment round opened on Monday 2 December 2019
  • The deadline for submitting applications is 11.55pm UK time on Tuesday 7 January 2020.
  • We hope to interview applicants in late January / early February 2020. Dates to be confirmed. 



Previously advertised studentships

The deadline for applications for these projects was 17 November 2019.

The ICR and Cancer Research UK Centre funded studentships

1) Structure and molecular function of the DREAM complex in gene expression programs of cellular quiescence.Dr Claudio AlfieriStructural Biology, Molecular mechanisms for cell cycle regulation (Chelsea).  View project proposal

2) Novel probes for investigating the tumour microenvironment and tissue targeting. Dr Gurdip BhalayCancer Therapeutics UnitMedicinal Chemistry Team 1 (Sutton). View project proposal

3) A fragment-based approach to identify protein-protein interaction inhibitors of Shelterin complex assembly. Professor Ian CollinsCancer TherapeuticsMedicinal Chemistry 2 (Sutton). View project proposal

4) Defining replication mechanisms at the telomere end. Dr Max DouglasCancer Biology, Telomere Biology (Chelsea). View project proposal

5) Conformational switches of AXIN in Wnt/Beta-catenin signalling. Dr Sebastian GuettlerStructural BiologyStructural Biology of Cell Signalling (Chelsea). View project proposal

6) Enhancement of radiation induced cell death using ultrasound stimulated microbubbles. Dr Emma HarrisRadiotherapy and ImagingImaging for Radiotherapy Adaptation (Sutton). View project proposal

7) Integrative computational analysis of molecular and clinical data to dissect heterogeneity of therapy response in sarcomas.Dr Paul HuangMolecular PathologyMolecular and Systems Oncology (Chelsea). View project proposal

8) Evolutionary dynamics of MEK inhibitor sensitivity and resistance in diffuse midline glioma. Professor Chris JonesMolecular PathologyGlioma (Sutton). View project proposal

9) Understanding the homeostatic response to DNA repair inhibitors in breast cancer. Professor Chris LordBreast Cancer ResearchGene Function (Chelsea). View project proposal 

10) Winners versus Losers: Harnessing Cell Competition to kill tumour cells. Professor Pascal MeierBreast Cancer Research Cell Death and Immunity (Chelsea). View project proposal

11) Systematic investigation of the mechanisms of replication fork protection, towards novel therapeutic strategy.Dr Wojciech Niedzwiedz.Cancer BiologyGenome Instability and Cancer (Chelsea). View project proposal 

12) Advanced functional MRI for the characterisation of paediatric glioma and its response to therapy.Dr Simon Robinson,Radiotherapy and ImagingMagnetic Resonance Imaging (Sutton). View project proposal

13) Functional characterisation of DNA damage response deficiency in cancer.Dr Anderson WangCancer Therapeutics, Target biology and genomic instability (Sutton). View project proposal

14) Leveraging state-of-the-art methods in Artificial Intelligence and medical imaging for automated response evaluation and prediction of soft-tissue sarcomas to systemic treatment. Dr Matthew Blackledge.Radiotherapy and ImagingComputational Imaging (Sutton). View project proposal


CRIS Cancer Foundation and ICR funded studentship

15) Characterisation and preclinical evaluation of a fibroblast-activating protein (FAP) targeted TRUCK CAR T-cell therapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).Dr Astero KlampatsaCancer Therapeutics, Thoracic Oncology Immunotherapy Group (Sutton). View project proposal.

16) No longer available


Sarcoma UK and ICR funded studentship

17) TRANS-CASPS: Translational studies in the Cediranib in Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma (CASPS) trial. Clinical StudiesSarcoma Clinical Trials and Translational Research (Chelsea). View project proposal


NIHR Biomedical Research Centre funded studentships

18) The development and implementation of Multi-Spectral CT imaging techniques and artificial intelligence methods within stereotactic radiosurgery treatment planning for oligometastases in the brain and intracranial meningiomas. Dr Dimitra DarambaraRadiotherapy and ImagingMultimodality Molecular Imaging (Chelsea). View project proposal

19) Molecular mechanisms of acquired chemotherapy resistance in colorectal cancer and their implications for novel therapeutics development. Dr Marco Gerlinger.Molecular PathologyTranslational Oncogenomics.(Chelsea) View project proposal

20) Development and Implementation of Efficient Adaptive Designs in Early Phase Oncology Trials for Novel Agents. Professor Christina YapClinical StudiesClinical Trials and Statistics Unit and Drug Development Unit (Sutton). View project proposal


MRC funded industrial CASE (iCASE) programme in Enabling Integrated Drug Discovery

21) Investigating the druggability of the motif-mediated interactome with peptide PROTACs. Dr Norman Davey.Cancer Biology,Short Linear Motifs (Chelsea). View project proposal

22) In-silico approaches to enable optimisation of small molecule binding by perturbing and interacting with water networks. Dr Swen HoelderCancer TherapeuticsMedicinal Chemistry team 4 (Sutton) View project proposal

23) Elucidating resistance to AKT inhibition in metastatic breast cancer.Professor Nicholas TurnerBreast Cancer Research,Molecular Oncology (Chelsea). View project proposal

24) Understanding the regulation and impact of variant splicing in non-small cell lung cancer.Professor Paul Workman, FRS, Dr Paul Clarke.Cancer TherapeuticsSignal Transduction and Molecular Pharmacology (Sutton) View project proposal


PhD studentships

Applications for our main PhD recruitment round have opened. We’re searching for the brightest minds in cancer research. The deadline for applications is 17 November.

ICR values

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