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PhD studentships - main recruitment round

Applications for our main PhD recruitment round are now closed.

Applications for PhDs are invited from talented graduates or final year undergraduates who hold or expect to gain a first or upper second class honours degree or equivalent, or 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 October 2019. Students receive an annual stipend, currently £21,000 per annum, as well as having fees and project costs paid for the four-year duration. 

There are a number of projects listed by relevant funding body below with details of the supervisory team and project site(s).  Some funded projects will offer a studentships with a specific focus or training experience.  Further detail is given under the funder-headings below, with details of how to apply linked at the end of the project list.

Important dates:

  • Applications for our main PhD recruitment round are now closed.
  • Applicants should be available for interview on Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 January 2019.


The ICR and Cancer Research UK Centre funded studentships

The Cancer Research UK Centre is a strategic partnership between Cancer Research UK, the ICR and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust which aims to enhance translational research.

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

1) Targeting the activated stroma to limit breast cancer metastasis

View project proposal

2) When DNA becomes its own enemy - formation and resolution of toxic DNA structures during genome repeat replication

View project proposal

3) What does it take to trigger mitosis? 

View project proposal

4) Elucidating the antigenic drivers that underpin immune response in head and neck cancer

View project proposal

5) Investigation and characterisation of drug tolerant persister cells that arise in response to CHK1 and MPS1 inhibition 

View project proposal

6) Identifying and functionally characterising non-coding drivers for colorectal cancer 

View project proposal

7) Role and Therapeutic Potential of Histone Demethylases in Synovial Sarcomas that affect Young Adults

View project proposal

8) Synthetic 4D CT for adaptive MR-guided radiotherapy treatment on an MR-Linac 

View project proposal

9) Artificial intelligence (AI) for monitoring heterogeneous radiotherapy response in soft-tissue sarcoma imaging 

View project proposal

10) Human TFIIIC, genome topology and cancer 

View project proposal

CRUK Childhood Brain Tumour centre funded studentship

11) Regenerating medulloblastoma predisposition using genetically manipulated human stem cells

View project proposal

Sarcoma UK and ICR funded studentship

12) Deconstructing the sarcoma matrisome for drug target and biomarker discovery 

View project proposal

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,

13) Soft Tissue Sarcoma Diagnosis and Classification from Histopathological Images using Deep Learning

View project proposal

14) Deep learning the chemopreventive action of NSAIDs in Barrett’s oesophagus 

View project proposal

15) Digital proteome mapping of FFPE biopsies for applications in routine practice and clinical trials 

View project proposal

16) Developing artificial intelligence and machine learning on MRI of pelvic tumours

View project proposal

17) Developing whole body MRI methods for automated lesion tracking in metastatic melanoma as a tool for assessing heterogeneity and response to immunotherapy

View project proposal

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

This programme offers an exciting opportunity to train as a researcher with exposure to and understanding of integrated interdisciplinary drug discovery in both academia and industry.

These studentships are funded by the Medical Research Council. Normally to be eligible for a full award a student must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship. Please see the MRC residency requirements for further information.

Our iCASE programme offers projects in collaboration with two industry partners, AstraZeneca and Merck. The scheme will:

  • Provide students with experience of collaborative research with a non‐academic partner
  • Offer outstanding students an experience of at least two distinct research cultures
  • Provide access to a wider than usual range of technology, facilities and expertise
  • Enable the student to spend a period of time with the non-academic partner (usually no  less than 3 months over the lifetime of the PhD)

Visit the Medical Research Council website for further details of the scheme.

There are two iCASE studentships available:

In collaboration with AstraZeneca:

18) Lysine-targeting covalent inhibitors of the molecular chaperone HSP72 and C797S resistant EGFR

View project proposal

In collaboration with Merck KGaA:

19) Dissecting heterogeneity in cancer-associated fibroblast (CAF): tumour interactions and personalised targeting in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

View project proposal

Eligibility and application information

In addition to our general entry requirements, further eligibility criteria may apply to specific programmes and projects. Carefully read any information provided by the funding body and also the project proposals.

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 19 projects above, you will be asked to indicate up to three project preferences.

Important dates:

  • Applications for our main recruitment round our now closed.
  • Applicants should be available for interview Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 January 2019.

Register your interest for your future PhD studentships

Other studentships outside of the ICR's main PhD recruitment round may be advertised throughout the year. These studentships have a separate application process. 

To register your interest for future PhD studentship opportunities, please email [email protected].

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