CRUK PhD studentship applications for commencement Autumn 2021 are now closed. 

Please continue to check our webpages for any available studentships for 2021.  

CRUK PhD studentships for commencement Autumn 2022 will be advertised on our webpages October 2021.

2021 PhD Application Deadlines and Processes

  • Please complete all sections of the application form in full
  • Applications must be submitted through our student recruitment portal system
  • Applications will close at 1700 hrs GMT on Monday 12 April 2021
  • Once your application has been submitted no amendments/adjustments can be made
  • Late applications will not be accepted
  • Virtual Interviews Thursday 22 April 2021 - details to follow.

Click here to submit your application. 

The safety and health of our staff and students is paramount during the current pandemic and we will therefore be holding all PhD interview processes via zoom regardless of your current location.  

Important Dates for Your Diary


  • MONDAY 12 APRIL 2021

    Applications Close, 1700 hours, GMT

  • MONDAY 12 - FRIDAY 16 APRIL 2021

    STAGE 1.  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.

  • FRIDAY 16 - MONDAY 19 APRIL 2021

    STAGE 2.  Successful pre-selection candidates will be contacted by email and invited for interview (virtual)

  • THURSDAY 22 APRIL 2021

​      Virtual Interview with recruiting Group Leader and Education Committee members

  • FRIDAY 30 APRIL 2021

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

  • THURSDAY 22 - FRIDAY 30 APRIL 2021  

     Interviewees informed of interview outcome


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

  • 1 - 30 SEPTEMBER 2021

     University of Manchester PhD registration

  • 1 OCTOBER 2021

     PhD commencement date


Stage 1

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 skype/zoom meeting.  This pre-selection interview will be for 15-30 minutes formatted as either a discussion 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 invited to (zoom) interview on the specified date.

Stage 3 - Interview 

Successful candidates will be contacted and invited to attend (zoom) interview with the recruiting group leader(s) and members of the Education Committee.    

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.

During the course of the interview day, candidates will be given a virtual 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 leaders and there will be an opportunity to chat to some of our graduate students and research fellows over the (virtual) lunchtime period.  If you 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, previous and academic experience.

Stage 4

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.