Black Leaders PhD Recruitment Process2023-11-17T13:02:57+00:00

The CRUK CoL Centre Black Leaders in Cancer PhD Programme

Applications for the CRUK CoL Centre Black Leader in Cancer PhD programme starting in September 2024 are now closed!

Application through Cancer Research UK/ Windsor Fellowship required in addition!

CRUK CoL Centre Black Leaders programme application are closed
Windsor Fellowship Application

This is a unique multidisciplinary and collaborative training opportunity for graduates from a Black heritage background with a background in biological, biomedical or other relevant sciences, who are interested in carrying out research in cancer biotherapeutics.

Students accepted onto the programme will follow the four-year version of our PhD programme, benefitting from high quality multidisciplinary scientific & transferable skills training, and cohort-building & networking activities. In addition, you will develop a customised training plan together with your supervisor tailored to your background and project requirements. As student on this CRUK programme you will receive additional support from the Windsor Fellowship and Black in Cancer.

We are looking for talented and motivated candidates, who are passionate about research and have a strong academic track record. You will be based in your primary supervisor’s research group, and you will have the opportunity to work across the Centre, for example when carrying out research placements or accessing the Centre’s infrastructure cores. These are full-time research positions fully funded for four years.

Eligibility criteria

This scheme is open to people who self-identify as being from a Black heritage background, including a mixed background, for example: Black African, Black Caribbean, Black Other, Mixed background (to include Black African, Black Caribbean or other Black backgrounds). You will need to summit an initial application to the Windsor Fellowship.

Applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an area appropriate to the skills requirements of the Centre.

The funding for this fellowship covers students with Home tuition fee status only. For more information on Home tuition fee status please visit the UKCISA website. Please note that we will only be able to offer studentships to candidates that have Home tuition fee status or provide evidence that they can fund the international portion of the tuition fee from external sources (i.e. not self-funded).


Studentships are sponsored fully for 4 years commencing September 2024. Funding covers:

  • A non-taxable annual stipend of £23,000 per annum (current CRUK rate)
  • Tuition fees for Home status only (see section Eligibility criteria)


Before beginning an application, you should read the information on this page and the “completing the application form” page. You should also find out about the projects being offered to start in September 2024 and their supervisors via the specific project pages below.

In parallel you need to apply to the Windsor Fellowship who will check that you are eligible for the programme.

Key dates

  • Your application must be submitted by the deadline: 9 November 2023, noon
  • We should receive your references by 13 November 2023, noon. Your application may still be considered if references are not received by this deadline. However, no applicant will be invited to interview unless references have been received.
  • You will find out if you have been invited to interview for the programme before: 9 January 2024
  • Supervisors may contact you during the shortlisting period (late mid November to mid December), to find out more about you and your interest in their project.
  • Information session for interviewees: 10 January 2024, 1pm to 2pm
  • Panel interviews will take place: w/c 15 January 2024
  • Programme start date:  September 2024


During the interview, candidates will be interviewed by a panel of CRUK CoL Centre academics from across the Centre’s partners. Please note that not all projects will be funded and studentships will be awarded to the best applicants based on information submitted on the application form, references and performance during the interview.

PhD Projects available

Project 1: Epigenetic regulation of the immune cells, clonal hematopoiesis and cancer initiation

Primary supervisor: Gabriella Ficz, Queen Mary University of London Co-supervisor: Dominique Bonnet, The Francis Crick Institute

Project 2: Radiation drug combinations to improve immune response in metastatic colorectal cancer

Primary supervisor: Maria Hawkins, UCL Co-supervisor: Marco Gerlinger, Queen Mary University of London

Project 3: Identifying ethnically relevant targets for improved treatment of ER+ breast cancer in British-Black women

Primary supervisor: Kairbaan Hodivala Dilke, Queen Mary University of London Co-supervisors: Anita Grigoriadis, King’s College London; Louise Jones, Queen Mary University of London

Project 4: Investigating the cancer evolutionary dynamics of complex structural variants and epigenetic alterations

Primary supervisor: Simone Zaccaria, UCL Co-supervisor: Özgen Deniz, Queen Mary University of London

CRUK CoL Centre Black Leaders programme application are closed
Windsor Fellowship application

For general enquiries regarding the CoL Centre training programme please email: