Research course

Clinical Medicine

University of Cambridge · Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK 2:1 Honours Degree.

Months of entry


Course content

This programme is designed to allow clinical academics to reach their full potential and pursue a successful academic career. Ten scholarships are offered each year with a single round of admissions each year.

We offer eight fellowships per year funded by the Wellcome Trust, plus an additional two fellowships per year funded by the Wellcome Sanger Institute, covering the broad themes of genetic medicine, infection and immunity, neuroscience and mental health, structural and cell biology applied to medicine, cardiovascular medicine, developmental biology, and epidemiology, public health and primary care. To be eligible to apply for the fellowships, you must be qualified in clinical or veterinary medicine and in a training (i.e., not Consultant or equivalent) grade. Although veterinary graduates are not eligible for a Sanger Institute fellowship, they can undertake research at the Sanger Institute supervised either solely or jointly by a Sanger faculty member, whilst supported by another fellowship from the programme.

Studentships are advertised in September–November each year for entry the following year. The programme includes a series of lectures, workshops, and taught modules aimed at developing a personal portfolio of training. There is also the opportunity for a three month "out of programme experience" (OOPE) for individuals who do not hold academic clinical fellowships. During this time you can attend appropriate lectures, workshops, meet a range of supervisors and undertake mini-projects in laboratories in your area of interest that enable students to select a PhD supervisor and second supervisor, and to prepare a PhD research proposal in the form of a "project grant application".

Students choosing to undertake a PhD in epidemiology, public health and primary care, or requiring computational biology knowledge can undertake an MPhil before embarking on a PhD.

At the start of the Programme, all students attend induction events for graduate students organised by the School of Clinical Medicine. They also have the opportunity to attend various transferable skills training sessions throughout the year. It is expected that students spend approximately two weeks each year on transferable skills training. The Graduate School of Life Sciences provides a large selection of both taught and online courses to choose from.

Throughout the Programme and after completion, you will be mentored by one or more individuals from the Faculty and Management Committee of the PhD programme.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details