Four-year PhD Programme

University of Cambridge - Department of Biochemistry

Four-year PhD Programme, Department of Biochemistry (Three Posts)

Applications are invited for a four-year PhD programme through the generous support of AstraZeneca. The Department of Biochemistry is a member of the School of the Biological Sciences and one of the largest departments in the University of Cambridge. The Department is especially strong in research with investigators of international standing in a wide range of disciplines including structural biology, molecular enzymology, cell signalling and control of gene expression, molecular microbiology, plant molecular biology and bioenergy, cancer and cardiovascular biology.

Purpose and details - The programme aims to educate and train the next-generation doctoral scientists in all aspects of cutting edge biochemistry research which in the department focuses on the fundamental processes of biological systems, with a particular emphasis on understanding at the molecular level.

  1. Students awarded places on the programme will join a specific research group from the outset and undertake a research project agreed with the principal investigator.
  2. All students will have the opportunity to spend some time conducting research at the AstraZeneca Global Research and Development Centre in Cambridge.
  3. All students will receive a tailored career development programme and an AstraZeneca-based project supervisor (in addition to a Biochemistry based supervisor), designed to broaden their research and professional skills.

In addition to her/his direct supervisor, each PhD student will also have an advisor. Each student is also assisted by a graduate thesis panel comprising three members of faculty chosen by the student. Our PhD programmes offer many opportunities for both specialised training and the acquisition of transferable skills.

Applicants should have or shortly expect to obtain a minimum of a UK II.i Honours Degree (or equivalent) in Biochemistry or a related subject. Competition is intense and successful applicants will demonstrate very high academic achievements. We are looking for highly motivated, enthusiastic and industrious individuals who are capable of thinking and working independently.

Application process - You should identify one or more labs in which you might wish to study, then make informal contact with the principal investigator(s) to ensure they are potentially able to supervise you, and to understand the research project you would undertake.

To find PIs' areas of research see Research Group Heads

When making informal contact with the PI, please e-mail the following information to them: 

  1. Your CV (max two A4 pages), with full contact details of 2 academic referees.
  2. A covering letter (max two A4 pages) highlighting (a) your research interests, (b) what you hope to achieve from the programme, (c) your career aspirations beyond the programme, and (d) why you wish to undertake this programme in the Department of Biochemistry.

The email addresses of the PIs can be found at

If you receive support from the PI you should apply using the Applicant Portal which can be found at: You can only submit one application with one PI for consideration. Multiple applications with different PIs will not be accepted. Fully completed applications (including references) must be submitted by the deadline. 

Funding - Full funding covering the University Composition Fee (at UK/EU rates), Maintenance (currently £17,000 pa), and an allowance for consumables is provided for up to 4 years, with effect from 1 October 2017.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 4 years in the first instance.

If you have any questions please in the first instance forward your enquiry to our Graduate Admissions Administrator at

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 3rd January 2017. Interviews will be held on 18th and or 19th January 2017.

Please quote reference PH10696 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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