Basic and Discovery PhDs

Lab coats on hooks

A PhD Studentship is the next step to help you on the road to academic success. Discover more about how to take the next steps in your career in our world-leading training environment.

PhD Overview

It is our ambition to provide you with the research opportunities to become a future leader in cancer research. A PhD studentship is the first step in your academic journey, equipping you with the skills and expertise that will help you on your career trajectory.

The PhD Studentships available in Manchester are highly competitive and we encourage all applicants to get in touch with potential supervisors, and take the time to submit a full and comprehensive application that best reflects you, your experiences, and your skills.

Entry criteria and information on the application processes differ depending on the research programme, so we advise checking with the programme provider.

Here you will find out more about the different programmes available in Manchester for you to further develop your academic career.

Dr Bruno Simoes pipetting samples in lab

What's it like to do a PhD in Cancer Sciences in Manchester?

Find out how a PhD in Manchester will set you up as a future clinical academic leader through a programme filled with support, opportunities and skills development.

The OCRB front

PhD Studentships in Manchester

The majority of PhD studentship opportunities can be accessed through The University of Manchester’s Doctoral Academy, where you can submit an application. These will include both self-funded and fully-funded opportunities. Additional opportunities will be available through our partner organisations:


Cancer Research UK Manchester Centre Schemes

The Manchester Cancer Research Centre Training and Education Team administers programmes offered through the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Manchester Centre.


Every year, the CRUK Manchester Centre offers MBChB students, recent graduates, post-registration clinicians and Allied Health Professionals the chance to further develop their academic career. These opportunities may be fully funded through grants from the Cancer Research UK Manchester Centre, Cancer Research UK RadNet Manchester, ACED Manchester, or through the CRUK Clinical Academic Training (CAT) award.


Opportunities available through this programme include:

  • PhD Studentships,
  • Clinical Research Training Fellowships, including a Leeds-Manchester collaborative scheme
  • MB-PhD programme
  • Allied Health Professional research radiographer positions


We also administer ad-hoc PhD and training opportunities, such as those associated with CRUK Accelerator Awards. Please visit Cancer Research UK Manchester Centre Research Opportunities to find out more.


Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute PhD Studentships

The CRUK Manchester Institute (CRUK MI) is a leading cancer research institute within The University of Manchester, spanning the whole spectrum of cancer research – from investigating the molecular and cellular basis of cancer, to translational research and the development of therapeutics.


The institute supports a number of investigative programmes, spanning both basic and translational cancer research. It has excellent laboratory facilities and outstanding core services and comprises over 350 staff and students.


Further details about the CRUK MI programme, including details about funding, available projects, and how to apply can be found on the CRUK MI Education website.


MRC Doctoral Training Partnership

The Medical Research Council (MRC) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) available through the University of Manchester offers studentships for postgraduate researchers undertaking PhDs in biomedical, clinical and health service areas.


MRC DTP projects focus on the themes of Early Detection and Diagnosis, Understanding the Mechanisms of Disease and Therapeutic Interventions. Details of funded projects are available through the Doctoral Academy. Studentships are fully funded at the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) rate.


Wellcome Trust Immuno-Matrix in Complex Disease

The Wellcome Trust 4-year PhD in Immuno-Matrix in Complex Disease is a basic science programme at the interface of immunology and matrix biology research. This programme will help you gain experience at the interface of matrix biology, immunology and complex disease.


Further information, including how to submit an application and the projects available for advert can be found on the Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health website.

A Day in the Life of an MCRC Non-Clinical PhD Student

Melanie is a non-clinical PhD student in cancer research. This 'Day in the Life' video gives us a glimpse into what it is like to be a PhD student in Manchester.

Melanie Seaton Non-clinical PhD student

PhD Opportunities

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Our MB-PhD scheme enables aspiring clinician scientists to undertake medical degree training in tandem with the research experience of a PhD.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions about our training programmes.

Contact Us

Have you got any questions about the programmes available? Get in touch using our contact form