Our PhD applications for 2022 are now closed.

Cancer Research UK PhD Application Deadlines and Processes 2022 - Application deadline 17 June 2022

The interview timeline below refers to the three 4 year PhD studentships we currently have on offer, all shortlisting and interviews for previous available studentships have taken place and studentships filled. 

  • Please complete all sections of the application form in full
  • Please complete the equality, diversity and inclusion form 
  • Applications must be submitted through our student recruitment portal system
  • Applications must be submitted before the deadline: at 1700 hrs GMT on Friday 17 June 2022
  • Late applications will not be accepted
  • Once your application has been submitted no amendments/adjustments can be made
  • Interviews will be held on Thursday 14 July 2022 - details to follow for shortlisted to interview candidates

We plan to hold in-person interviews on site, however, we will take into consideration any change in circumstances at the time to ensure the safety of all concerned and in amending the interview format to virtual if deemed appropriate.

Click here to submit your application. 

Important Dates for Your Diary

  • Friday 17 June 2022 -  Applications Close, 1700 hours, GMT

    STAGE 1.  Monday 20 June - Friday 1 July 2022

Selected candidates will be contacted by email and invited to undergo pre-selection zoom meeting with recruiting group leader(s).  Candidates may also be contacted prior to applications closing to undergo this process.

   STAGE 2. From Monday 4 July 2022 onwards

Successful pre-selected candidates will be contacted by email and invited to attend for in person interview on Thursday 14 July 2022, Alderley Park, Cheshire

  STAGE 3. Friday 15 - Friday 22 July 2022

Interviewees informed of interview outcome.  PhD offers will be emailed to successful candidates

  • Thursday 28 July 2022 

    If you have not been contacted by this date unfortunately your application has not been successful on this occasion.

  • Friday 29 July 2022

    Deadline for successful candidates to make their PhD application to the University of Manchester   

  • 1-30 September 2022

     University of Manchester PhD registration

  • 1 October 2022

     PhD commencement date

For April or September 2023 commencement the above University application and registration dates will differ, details will be provided nearer the time.


Stage 1 - Pre-selection

The shortlisting process will usually begin following application closure, however you may be contacted sooner and selected candidates invited to participate in a pre-selection zoom meeting.  This pre-selection interview will be for 15-30 minutes formatted as either a discussion around your research or laboratory experiences, your knowledge around the subject or project on offer, or a short review of a recent scientific publication between yourself and the recruiting Group Leader(s).  You will be contacted via email beforehand to set up a convenient date and time for this to take place. It is expected this process will take up to one-two weeks to complete.  If we have more than one project on offer, you may be contacted by more than one recruiting group leader.

Stage 2 - Invitation

If you successfully reach the next stage of the interview process, you will be sent an invitation to interview with the recruiting group leader(s) and members of our Education Committee on the specified date.  Upon your confirmation, format and timetable for the interview will be emailed. As part of the interview process, candidates are asked to present a short critique (10 minutes plus 5 minutes for audience questions) on a pre-selected research paper which will be forwarded under separate cover prior to interview. This will be to an audience consisting of recruiting group leader(s) and members of our Education Committee.  Candidates will not be present at each other's presentations.

We ask for a review of a research paper because we feel that this allows all candidates to have an equal opportunity, irrespective of their academic background and laboratory experience to showcase their enthusiasm around a subject area. Our aim is to assess whether you think deeply about your science, can communicate it, and if you have a passion for the subject. Shortlisted candidates will be forwarded a selection of recent papers from which only one must be chosen to critique. Selected papers will be sent upon interview acceptance.

Interviewees will be given a tour of the recruiting group leader(s) lab with some of our current students and have a chat over coffee with lab members. Time is scheduled for 1:1 interviews with the research group leader(s) and there will be an opportunity to chat to some of our graduate students and research fellows over the lunchtime period.  If we have more than one project on offer, there may also be an opportunity to meet with your 2nd or 3rd choice project group leaders during this process.  You will undergo a 20 minute 1:1 interview with one/two members of our Education Committee, who represent the welfare of students within the CRUK Manchester Institute.  This will be a formal interview on your current and previous academic experience, your interests etc.

Stage 3 - Interview Outcome

Successful candidates will be contacted as soon as possible post-interview and usually within one week, with an offer.  We appreciate your response as soon as possible, we may have candidates in reserve who will be offered a position if you are unable to accept. Unsuccessful candidates will be contacted as soon as possible with constructive written feedback.

Given the number of applications we receive, it is not feasible to provide application status or feedback to those candidates who have not reached stage 1 of the interview process.