Cancer Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 220 Cancer Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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We have 220 Cancer Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

A PhD in Cancer Biology would provide you with the opportunity to research a specific cancer in great detail. Whether you’re developing a new treatment, understanding the factors that allow a tumour to arise or innovating better diagnostic tests, you’ll be improving our understanding of cancer and saving lives.

What’s it like to do a PhD in Cancer Biology?

Doing a PhD in Cancer Biology, you’ll develop excellent laboratory skills, particularly in cell culture, working with RNA and studying the proteome. Most Cancer Biology projects link to other subjects and as such, you’ll have experience working with techniques from Cell Biology, Immunology and Genetics.

Some typical research topics in Cancer Biology include:

  • Developing novel diagnostic tests
  • Understanding a potential trigger of metastasis
  • Developing novel therapeutics to treat a specific cancer
  • The immune system and cancer interactions
  • Characterising the role of a specific tumour suppressor or oncogene in a certain cancer

Generally, Cancer Biology programmes are advertised on the university website with the research proposal, including the scope and primary aim of the research pre-determined by the supervisor. These projects are usually fully-funded.

It’s uncommon to propose your own research in Cancer Biology since the additional bench fees make self-funding difficult. It can also be tricky to find a supervisor with the interests that line up well with your suggested project that also have the equipment and expertise to supervise you through your PhD.

In your daily life you’ll be in the laboratory conducting experiments, reading the literature for new methods you could try, analysing old data, and talking to colleagues and your supervisor about your work. In the final year of your PhD you’ll submit a thesis of around 60,000 words that will contribute to the knowledge of your field and you’ll defend your work during your viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Cancer Biology PhD programmes involve a Masters in a subject directly related to Biology, with at least a Merit or Distinction. If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need to show that you have the right level of language proficiency.

PhD in Cancer Biology funding options

The Research Council responsible for funding Cancer Biology PhDs in the UK is the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). They provide fully-funded studentships including a stipend for living costs, a consumables budget for bench fees and a tuition fee waiver. Students don’t apply directly to the BBSRC, you apply for advertised projects with this funding attached.

It’s uncommon for Cancer Biology PhD students to be ‘self-funded’ due to the additional bench fees. However, if you were planning to fund yourself it might be achievable (depending on your project) through the UK government’s PhD loan and part-time work.

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Validation of TRAF6/PD-L1 inhibition in pre-clinical models of multiple myeloma: implications for combinational immunotherapy

Programmed death-ligand 1(PD-L1), a negative regulator of the immune system, is highly expressed in newly-diagnosed and relapsed multiple myeloma patients, and its expression is associated with suppressed anti-tumour immunity. Read more

PhD study in Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology, and Biotechnology

The PhD programme lasts for 8 semesters and the number of ECTS credits assigned to the programme is at least 40. The programme offers courses developing professional and didactic skills as well as general knowledge. Read more

Investigating the role of the microenvironment in paediatric and adult acute myeloid leukaemia

The incidence of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) increases with age, and in childhood accounts for 20% of all leukaemia. The current overall survival rate in children is only 60-70%, and thereafter falls progressively with age to 5-15% in the elderly. Read more

FGF signalling in regulation of tumour immune microenvironment

Immune “cold” tumours are tumours with little infiltrations of T lymphocytes and therefore immune suppressed, developed by a mechanism of evasion from immune surveillance through cancer progression (Hallmarks of Cancer). Read more

Networks of support for people affected by a rare cancer: explicating the online communication needs of patients and families

47% of cancer diagnoses in Europe are classified as ‘less common or rare’ (Public Health England, 2014). A rare cancer is a reportedly lonely diagnosis due to lengthy and complex care pathways which can be a barrier to meeting other patients and families. Read more

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