PhD Recruitment Process2022-11-16T19:38:40+00:00

The CRUK CoL Centre PhD Programme

Applications for the CRUK CoL Centre PhD programme starting in September 2023 are now 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).


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 2023 and their supervisors via the specific project pages below.

Key dates

  • Your application must be submitted by the deadline: 10 November 2022, noon
  • We should receive your references by 14 November 2022, 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 2023
  • 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: 13 January 2023, 1pm to 2pm
  • Panel interviews will take place: w/c 23 January 2023
  • Programme start date:  September 2023


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: Testing the causal relationship between epigenetic drift, clonal haematopoiesis and malignant switch in human blood

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

Project 4: Tracking cancer evolution using ctDNA from early to late stage disease in lung cancer

Primary supervisor: Mariam Jamal-Hanjani, UCL Co-supervisors: Charles Swanton, The Francis Crick Institute, Amanda Fitzpatrick, King’s College London

Project 5: The γδT cell: an unconventional T cell and unconventional target for immune checkpoint inhibitors?

Primary supervisor: Nnenna Kanu, UCL Co-supervisor: Yin Wu, King’s College London

Project 6: Defining mechanisms of immunotherapy resistance in DNA mismatch-repair deficient colorectal cancer mouse models

Primary supervisor: Sarah Martin, Queen Mary University of London Co-supervisors: Anthony Kong, King’s College London, Marco Gerlinger, Queen Mary University of London

Project 7: Heritability of non-genetic variation in tumour evolution

Primary supervisor: Nicholas McGranahan, UCL Co-supervisor: Eric Sahai, The Francis Crick Institute

Project 8:  Untangling the mechanisms of presentation of unconventional epitopes to predict their immunogenicity and efficacy in anti-cancer immunotherapy

Primary supervisor: Michele Mishto, King’s College London Co-supervisor: Benny Chain, UCL

Project 9: Targeting non-mutated MHC-I immunopeptides in head and neck cancers with T-cell adoptive therapy

Primary supervisor: Sergio Quezada, UCL Co-supervisor: Tony Ng, King’s College London

Project 10: Defining the Functions of EGFR Variants in Glioblastoma Heterogeneity

Primary supervisor: Paulo Ribeiro, Queen Mary University of London Co-supervisor: Alex Gould, The Francis Crick Institute

Project 11: Development of PET/PDT theranostics for High Grade Glioma

Primary supervisor: Graeme Stasiuk, King’s College London Co-supervisor: Alexander MacRobert, UCL

Project 12: Understanding how loss of chromatin remodelling factor ARID2 promotes chromosomal instability during lung cancer evolution

Primary supervisor: Lovorka Stojic, Queen Mary University of London Co-supervisor: Nnenna Kanu, UCL

Project 13: The enigma of immunoglobulin class-switching in B cell lymphoma

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

Applications are now closed!