An integrated PhD training programme for medical researchers

OCRB side at nighttime

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

Clinician scientists are a vital component of our research programme and help to bridge the gap between laboratory research and bedside treatments. The continued development, training and expansion of opportunities for prospective clinical scientists is essential to translational research, with the MB-PhD being the latest opportunity available to undergraduate clinicians at the University of Manchester, and those on the University of St Andrews Manchester course pathway.

Researcher analysing samples

What is an MB-PhD

Our programme was established in 2019, with the first cohort of students beginning in 2020. The MB-PhD scheme was created to provide aspiring clinician scientists with experience of research and the opportunity to obtain an MBChB and PhD in cancer sciences.


The MB-PhD programme was inspired by the established MD/PhD model in the US, and aims to tackle gender and socioeconomic inequalities in the next-generation of cancer researchers. In the UK, most clinician scientists undertake a PhD following the completion of initial medical training, often when individuals are in their thirties and may have additional caring responsibilities. The MB-PhD programme integrates research into the medical degree providing an alternative career pathway for candidates passionate about being leading academic-clinicians.


The MB-PhD programme is a further example of the importance of intercalating clinical training with research. Throughout the course of the programme, individuals will gain skills in both research and medicine empowering them to become a future cancer research leader.


The Studentship Details

Funded through our Cancer Research UK Clinical Academic Training Grant, the MB-PhD is available through the Cancer Research UK Manchester Centre and administered by the MCRC. Applicants must be University of Manchester MB-ChB students or University of St Andrews Medicine BSc (Hons) students on the Manchester course pathway.


If you are interested in these opportunities, you can find further details of eligibility requirements and the projects available on the Cancer Research UK Manchester Centre MB-PhD website.


MB-PhD Summer Placements


For any student eligible for an MB-PhD, we have a new opportunity to learn more about academic research and our Cancer Research UK-funded MB-PhD programme. Prospective students are now able to facilitate placements of up a week with various supervisory teams/lab groups this summer, subject to any COVID-19 restrictions that are in place.

The exact timings of the placement will be agreed between the student and the supervisor following initial contact.

Details of lab groups and supervisory styles can be found on this MB-PhD Summer Placements PDF document (link directs to the Cancer Research UK Manchester Centre website). These include PhD relevant details but should still be applicable to students only wishing to undertake a summer placement. Any students interested in this opportunity should consult the eligibility criteria and view the expression of interest information on the CRUK Manchester Centre website.

Expressions of interest should be returned by Friday 2 July. 

Basic and Discovery PhDs

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