To be eligible to apply for a PhD at the ICR, you must possess or expect to obtain a degree in a relevant subject — either an undergraduate degree (at UK First or Upper Second class honours level, or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard) or a Master’s degree (either a UK Master’s or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard).
If you have not yet completed the relevant qualification then you are expected to be in your final year of study, and to nominate an academic referee from your institution who can confirm the classification you are on track to achieve. Note that our standard expectation from undergraduate study is a First, but we will consider candidates with a good Upper Second.
Candidates are also expected to have experience of relevant laboratory or research work. One of your referees must be able to comment on your research experience.
Candidates whose first language is not English must be able to demonstrate a proficiency in English to the equivalent of an IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum of 6 in any one component. Students without a valid IETLS score should have either education experience in English (minimum 1 year) or work experience (minimum 18 months), and be able to satisfy Home Office visa criteria where necessary.
Please note the Home Office visa criteria for English language eligibility is either for applicants to be from or have studied an appropriate academic qualification in a majority English-speaking country, or have passed an approved English language test (the full visa guidance gives details of countries that are recognized as majority English speaking countries).
If you meet the eligibility criteria above, please apply via our online application form which can be found in the "Further official information".
The closing date is 5 September 2016.
The application form requires you to nominate two referees, one of whom must be able to comment on your research experience. We will request references from these referees immediately when your application is submitted, and will not consider applications without references. You are strongly advised to also ask your referees to respond promptly to us, and to submit your application well before the closing date to give your referees more time. The deadline for their references will be 12 September 2016.
Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed to assess their academic abilities and whether they have the energy, enthusiasm and motivation to succeed at PhD level. Please see our what to expect at interview page for further information.
Our main round of recruitment will begin in October 2016 for studentships commencing in October 2017. For any queries and to register your interest for any future PhD studentship opportunities please email Registry.
Admissions Procedure: Full-time PhD Students
- The recruitment process will normally commence in September/October and should include, where possible, all funded studentships.
- Potential projects must be vetted according to the ICR’s procedure for approval of studentships which will cover review of academic, financial and supervisory arrangements for the duration of the project.
- Studentships will be advertised in October as part of the ICR’s annual recruitment process. The advert must be approved by the Academic Dean or his/her Representative. Studentships are normally advertised in the scientific press, relevant websites, the ICR’s website and to university departments with high RAE rankings, running relevant undergraduate/masters degree courses. Studentships in very specialised areas may also be advertised via relevant subject-specific email list.
- All applications must be submitted using the on-line application by the advertised deadline. Complete applications will be initially screened against the criteria, as outlined in 1.2/3.1, to ensure applicants meet or are likely to be able to meet the required minimum standards. All the applications are then made available via a web-interface to the Dean’s Team and supervisors of the projects who will rank the applications.
- Successful applicants will be invited to a recruitment event in January/February. The Registry will normally pay reasonable travel expenditure but not first class travel.
- All interviewees will undergo assessment, and be scored by a panel which will comprise a minimum of three staff acting on behalf of the ICR. Those meeting the minimum requirement on the assessment will then be interviewed by the prospective supervisors.
- Before any offer is made, the supervisors and Dean’s Team will meet to agree all offers. Successful candidates will be contacted by email from the Registry and informally offered a place.
- When a candidate has confirmed their acceptance of the informal offer, a formal written offer will be issued. The offer letter will state the terms and conditions that need to be met. All offers will be subject to medical clearance and, where appropriate, the award of degree with the required classification.
- If a candidate would like to request that their offer is deferred they must submit a request in writing to the Registry including the reason for the deferral and the length of time requested.
- Should a candidate decline the offer, the supervisors of the project may offer to a reserve candidate. If there is no reserve candidate, the supervisors of the project may re-advertise the project with the approval of the Academic Dean’s Team. Any candidates invited for interview are required to be interviewed by a minimum of the project supervisor and a member of the Dean’s Team. The interview should follow the format of the recruitment event as closely as possible.
- In exceptional circumstances (including 2.10 above) supervisors may be allowed to advertise outside of the event as long as they are able to justify this to the Academic Dean’s Team. The supervisor will be required to submit a short written case. This could be where a studentship has not been filled as part of the recruitment event or if a Division receives funding for a studentship which they did not have at the time of the initial advertising round. Studentships can only be advertised outside of the main ICR recruitment event if approved by the Academic Dean’s Team. The studentship must be advertised externally and as a minimum on the ICR’s website. All interviews must follow the format of the recruitment event as closely as possible.
Qualifications for Entry: Full-time PhD Students
Applicants should normally possess or expect to obtain EITHER:
- a degree in a relevant subject at upper second class honours or above OR:
- a Masters degree in a relevant subject OR:
- an overseas qualification of equivalent standard to the above.
- Candidates whose first language is not English must be able to demonstrate a proficiency in English to the equivalent of:
IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum of 6 in any one component
The ICR offers training to candidates for whom English is not a first language. It may be possible to make a conditional offer to candidates whose IELTS score is less than the minimum, subject to further study and re-examination.
- Overseas candidates may not be eligible to be considered for projects funded by Research Councils, due to restrictions placed by the Research Councils. However, all ICR funded studentships are open to candidates irrespective of nationality, subject to meeting the minimum entrance criteria.
Admissions Procedure: Part-time PhD Students (non-clinical)
- Candidates should be employees of the Institute of Cancer Research or the Royal Marsden NHS Trust and should have been in post for a minimum of one calendar year. Registration will not be backdated.
- Candidates must recognise that the work for which they are primarily employed takes precedence over their studies for MPhil or PhD. It is likely that some of this work will provide material for the thesis, but it must be accepted that there may be a change of direction of research within a Division, or even redeployment to another Division.
- Candidates should submit a 300 word summary of the project, together with a completed Supervisor Form to the Deputy Dean (Biomedical Sciences). They should also include a letter of support from the Head of Division that confirms the candidate's suitability for a research degree, that the facilities required are available and that the proposed study will not compromise the work of the Division or Team. The Head of Division must also guarantee a specified amount of study time for the candidate, agreed with the Deputy Dean [Biomedical Sciences]. Before registration is approved, the prospective supervisor and student must agree a work timetable. For research students, a minimum of 40% of normal work time must be available to contribute to the thesis for the plan to be deemed viable. This assumes that the student will contribute an additional effort equivalent to 10% FTE in their own time.
Qualifications for Entry: Part-time PhD Students
- Candidates should normally possess a degree in a relevant discipline at second class honours or above, or equivalent.
- Where the candidate possesses an award at lower second class honours, the candidate will be required to produce an extended Year 2 report of Master’s degree standard.
Admissions Procedure : MD(Res) Students
- Candidates are required to complete the ICR’s Application Form and a protocol outline which should then be discussed with their supervisor. The supervisor must complete the Supervisors form. The proposed project must be authorised by the relevant ICR Head of Division, who is confirming the feasibility of the proposal and that adequate resources will be available for the duration of the project. Once all forms are complete and signed the candidate should make an appointment to discuss their proposed research project with the Deputy Dean (Clinical Studies) or Senior Tutor.
- Before registration is approved, the prospective supervisor and student must agree a work timetable. For MD(Res) students, the ICR Code of Practice stipulates “the normal expectation is that the maximum time which may be spent on routine clinical service work during normal working hours is one session per week (this excludes sessions where the majority of the student’s time is spent in recruiting or monitoring research subjects). It is expected that Students will contribute a minimum additional effort equivalent to 10% FTE in their own time. These students will be subject to the same monitoring as full-time students.
In exceptional circumstances this can be negotiated with the Deputy Dean (Clinical) and Senior Tutor. However a minimum of 4 sessions must be protected for research. Where this is the case it is expected that Students will contribute a minimum additional effort equivalent to 10% FTE in their own time.
Students required to provide clinical service cover during normal working hours may do so for a maximum of two weeks per annum for full-time students and the pro rata equivalent for part-time students.
- The specific qualifications for entry, in addition to the general criteria set out in the ICR’s Academic Regulations, are set out in the programme regulations for each course.
- Applications must be made on the ICR’s Application Form. Applications may be made at any time, however there will be a date notified in the prospectus, and to enquirers, by which time no further applications will be considered for entry at the next given intake. An application fee may be charged.
- All applications will be considered in the first instance by the Course Director(s) concerned and at least one other member of academic staff involved in the teaching and delivery of the course in question.
- All applications that the Course Director(s) and other member of academic staff wish to progress will be offered a place, subject to any appropriate conditions. Candidates may be invited to attend an interview prior to a decision being made.
- Any applicant in receipt of an offer of admission who wishes to withdraw before enrolment on the course must notify the Registry in writing of their intention to do so. The ICR reserves the right not to refund the application fee or any other charge paid up until the point of withdrawal.
- Any applicant wishing to request that their offer is deferred must submit a request in writing to the Course Directors including the reason for the deferral and the length of time requested. Any request for deferral is considered by the Course Directors on its merits, which will include the likelihood of space being available on the programme’s next starting date and the reasonableness of the request.
For more information click "Further official information" below.
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