Back to search results
Header Image

Cancer Research UK Birmingham Centre - Clinical PhD Studentship

University of Birmingham - Institute of Cancer and Genomics; Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy; Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research

Supervisor(s) NA

Application Deadline: 1st March 2019

Funding availability:

  • Up to £256,000 over 3 years, including fees, £13,000 laboratory expenses annually and salary

Research interests/description of main research theme:

Applications are invited for a Clinical PhD studentship at the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Birmingham Centre. Capitalising on a single biomedical campus comprising the University of Birmingham and key clinical partners including University Hospitals Birmingham, the Centre builds on Birmingham’s integrated scientific and clinical research programmes and aligned clinical trials, which contribute to a cancer research portfolio of ~£25 million per year. The Centre establishes Birmingham as one of the UK’s premier sites for cancer research, and provides an opportunity to deliver internationally significant translational cancer science. Our mission is to catalyse translationally aligned fundamental discovery science in oncology, and novel therapeutic developments originating from this research, contributing to CRUK’s strategic target of increasing cancer survival rates from 50% to 75% within the next 10 years. Linked strategically with Birmingham’s Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and UoB’s CRUK Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU), the Centre forms part of a vibrant pathway for genuine bench-to-bedside cancer research. 

The Centre’s PhD programme provides an outstanding opportunity for early career training in this dynamic, multidisciplinary environment. In addition, delivery of high quality research outputs from these studentships (high impact publications, novel therapeutic strategies and clinical trial concepts) is viewed as strategically critical for the Centre. This prestigious fellowship provides full funding for student fees, laboratory consumables and salary. 

The Centre’s scientific focus is on understanding oncogenesis and tumour immunobiology, providing the scientific basis for novel targeted therapies, immunotherapies, and stratification approaches. The three core themes of the Centre are Immunology, Genomics and the Tumour Microenvironment. 

  • Our Immunology theme ( (website currently being updated) explores how anti‐tumour immunity is regulated, including the immunobiology of the tumour microenvironment, and how factors such as tumour genetics, oncogenic signalling and microbiota combine to influence it. Linking with these studies, we are characterising novel axes of cancer immunosuppression, identifying new molecular targets, and developing innovative immunotherapeutic strategies. 
  • Our Genomics theme ( is defining how DNA damage and repair defects influence cancer predisposition, how epigenetic reprogramming drives tumourigenesis, and, aligning with clinical trials on epigenetic modifiers, highlights new therapeutic opportunities. Linking with our clinical infrastructure genomics studies can identify how mutational profiles/epigenetic signatures influence patient outcomes/treatment response, providing novel stratification approaches. 
  • Our Tumour Microenvironment theme engages groups from the Institute of Metabolism and Systems research, with the ultimate goal of harnessing the tumour microenvironment to improve our understanding of prognosis, response to treatment, and catalyse development of novel therapeutic approaches or treatment combinations. 

Applicants must submit a CV, with a detailed project proposal and named supervisors. Those interested are therefore encouraged to contact potential supervisors within the Centre to develop their application and project proposal ASAP.  Project proposal strength is assessed as part of the review and selection process.


Person Specification 
This clinical PhD opportunity is only appropriate for applicants with a medical degree that are currently undertaking clinical training. They will have a strong academic track record, experience in laboratory research, good interpersonal skills and will be highly motivated and ambitious. They will have a collegiate mind set, and as well as benefitting from the diverse expertise, resources and opportunities the Centre studentship programme has to offer, they will be willing to work in partnership with Centre colleagues to promote and publicise the research of the Centre. As part of this, the studentship will provide opportunities for science engagement activities in the cancer area. 

Join the CRUK Birmingham Centre as a PhD fellow and help to make it one of the UK’s most successful sites for translationally oriented cancer research. 

How to apply

Applications should be directed to Claire Fenlon (
To apply, please send: 

  • Detailed project proposal, developed in collaboration with proposed supervisory team – a project application form is available from
  • A detailed CV, including your nationality and country of birth; 
  • Names and addresses of two referees, ideally who have supervised your laboratory research, but excluding proposed supervisors for the project; 
  • A personal statement highlighting your research experience/capabilities and your reason for applying for a PhD studentship at the CRUK Birmingham Centre; 
  • Copies of your degree certificates with transcripts; 
  • Evidence of your proficiency in the English language, if applicable. 
Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Birmingham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Up to £256,000 over 3 years, including fees, £13,000 laboratory expenses annually and salary
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 21st December 2018
Closes: 14th March 2019
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Show all PhDs for University of Birmingham …
Advert information

Type / Role:

Subject Area(s):


PhD tools

Browser Upgrade Recommended has been optimised for the latest browsers.

For the best user experience, we recommend viewing on one of the following:

Google Chrome Firefox Microsoft Edge