Research course

Clinical Medicine

University of Cambridge · Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK Good II.i Honours Degree.

If your degree is not from the UK, please check International Qualifications to find the equivalent in your country.

Non-medical healthcare professionals would be expected to have a Master’s degree with appropriate research training or show evidence of relevant research training.

Months of entry


Course content

This programme is designed to allow clinical health professionals to reach their full potential and pursue a successful academic career. Up to seven fellowships are offered each year with a single round of admissions.

Fellowships, supported either by the University or Wellcome Sanger Institute, cover the broad themes of Genetic and Molecular Basis of Disease; Pathogens, Infectious Disease and Immunity; Physiology, Pathophysiology and Experimental Medicine; Behaviour, Mental Health and Neurological Diseases; Epidemiology, Prevention and Public Health; Health Care Delivery and Improvement. Interdisciplinary research, with doctoral projects co-supervised by biomedical researchers and university investigators in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, is also encouraged.

To be eligible to apply for the fellowships, you must be qualified in clinical, dental or veterinary medicine, or be a non-medical health professional registered with a national professional regulatory body in the UK [see programme website for more info].

Medical and dental applicants must be eligible for/already have GMC/GDC registration and be in a training grade (i.e., not a Consultant, University Faculty or equivalent position) in the UK or RoI. Veterinary applicants can have achieved board certification following completion of clinical residency but should not hold an academic position within the University.

Although veterinary postgraduates are not eligible for a Sanger Institute-funded 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.

Non-medical healthcare professionals may be at different stages in their clinical careers, but should possess relevant research experience to be able to take advantage of this opportunity. They would also not be expected to be University Faculty or equivalent positions.

It is important to note that fellowships supported by the Universities of Cambridge and East Anglia are only open to health professionals in clinical training in the UK and RoI. Wellcome Sanger-funded fellowships are open to health professionals in clinical training both in the UK and overseas. All successful candidates must be registered with their appropriate national professional regulatory body in the UK prior to commencement of the fellowship.

For medical graduates who do not hold academic clinical fellowships (ACFs) and non-medical health professionals, there is the opportunity to undertake a three-month pre-doctoral research placement. During this time, you can undertake mini-projects with research groups in your area of interest, to enable you to make an informed choice of PhD project and supervisor(s), and subsequently to formulate a “Project Proposal” leading to a PhD.

At the start of the Programme, all fellows attend induction events for postgraduate students organised at the University of Cambridge, the University of East Anglia or Wellcome Sanger Institute. The programme includes lectures, workshops, and taught modules, constituting a personal portfolio of training.

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.

Information for international students

Language Requirement

IELTS (Academic)

Element Score

Listening 7.0

Writing 7.0

Reading 6.5

Speaking 7.0

Total 7.0

TOEFL Internet Score

Element Score

Listening 25

Writing 25

Reading 25

Speaking 25

Total 100


Score: Grade A & B (overall score of 193, with no element lower than 185 plus a Language Centre assessment)


Score: Grade A, B, or C (with at least 200 with no element lower than 185).

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details