PhD Recruitment Process2023-11-17T12:57:50+00:00

The CRUK CoL Centre PhD Programme

Applications for the CRUK CoL Centre PhD programme starting in September 2024 are closed!

This is a unique multidisciplinary and collaborative training opportunity for graduates 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.

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

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 a relevant subject.

Applicants do not need to submit information relating to English language skills during the CoL Centre application process. If you are offered a PhD studentship you might require an English language qualification to apply at the host university.

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.

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: Investigating the roles of Pol Epsilon in genome and epigenome stability

Primary supervisor: Roberto Bellelli, Queen Mary University of London Co-supervisor: David Michod, UCL

Project 2: Mechanistic mathematical models of tumour/host interaction

Primary supervisor: Benny Chain, UCL Co-supervisors: Jo Spencer & Annibale Alessia, King’s College London,

Project 3: Role of tumour suppressor-induced immune escape in the early phases of cancer evolution

Primary supervisor: Francesca Cicarelli, Queen Mary University of London Co-supervisor: Ilaria Malanchi, The Francis Crick Institute

Project 4: Modifying the impact of Anthracyclines on Clonal Selection in Clonal Haematopoiesis

Primary supervisor: Miguel Ganuza, Queen Mary University of London Co-supervisors: Beth Payne, UCL

Project 5: Exploiting tubulin acetylation to improve response to PARPi-based cancer therapies

Primary supervisor: Susana Godinho, Queen Mary University of London Co-supervisor: Suzana Hadjur, UCL

Project 6: DDR-Fate: Single-cell phenotypic characterisation of DNA damage response dependencies identified from whole genome CRISPR screens

Primary supervisor: Graeme Hewitt, King’s College London Co-supervisors: Chris Tape, UCL

Project 7: Breaking down DNA repair: Understanding how DNA mismatch repair loss provokes distinct cancer immune-phenotypes and treatment outcomes

Primary supervisor: Sarah Martin, Queen Mary University of London Co-supervisor: Marnix Jansen, UCL

Project 8:  A translational study of the role of Fusobacterium nucleatum in oral cancer treatment efficacy using tumour-on-chip models

Primary supervisor: Miguel Reiss Ferreira, King’s College London Co-supervisor: Oliver Pearce, Queen Mary University of London

Project 9: Antagonising tumour microenvironment-mediated drug resistance in pancreas adenocarcinoma

Primary supervisor: Ingo Ringshausen, UCL Co-supervisor: Kairbaan Hodivala Dilke, Queen Mary University of London

Project 10: Generation of human CAR-T cells with tissue-resident memory features for improved treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma

Primary supervisor: Anna Schurich, King’s College London Co-supervisor: Laura Pallett, UCL

Project 11: The role of Immunoglobulin class-switching in oncogenic B cell receptor signalling in lymphoma

Primary supervisor: Pavel Tolar, UCL Co-supervisor: Jessica Okosun, Queen Mary University of London

Project 12: A platform for predicting response and resistance to immunotherapy

Primary supervisor: Samra Turajlic, Francis Crick Institute Co-supervisor: Kevin Litchfield, UCL

Applications are now closed!

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