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University of York, Cancer Epidemiology

University of York, Cancer Epidemiology

Funded by Cancer Research UK, the Epidemiology and Cancer Statistics Group (ECSG) in the Department of Health Sciences has a 4-year PhD studentship in Cancer Epidemiology to start on, or before, September 2021. The successful candidate will join a multidisciplinary research team working on the Haematological Malignancy Research Network, which provides accurate population-based research outputs on the occurrence, treatment and survival of patients with haematological cancers (leukaemias, lymphomas and myeloma).


HMRN’s population-based patient cohort includes individuals diagnosed with haematological cancers (currently 38,000 – recruiting around 2,400 new patients each year), and its age and sex matched general population cohort unaffected individuals (currently 180,000). Both cohorts are linked to the same national administrative datasets (HES, cancer registrations, and deaths); and patient cohort members are also tracked through clinical systems, the information collected including diagnostic and prognostic markers, treatment episodes, and outcomes. Patient reported outcomes and experiences are also collected via questionnaires, qualitative interviews and focus groups.

HMRN’s maturing population-based cohorts occupy a unique forefront position, offering the opportunity to carry out innovative research at all points along the patient pathway. Accounting for around 10% of all new cancer diagnoses, haematological malignancies comprise over 100 different subtypes with widely differing treatments and prognoses – ranging from relatively indolent to more aggressive forms. Access to HMRN’s large linked datasets and rich research environment, provides the opportunity to address key research questions, including, but not limited to:

  • aetiology
  • early diagnosis
  • disease management, prognostics and outcomes
  • excess mortality/relative survival
  • patient reported outcomes (PROMS)
  • survivorship

As part of Health Sciences Doctoral programme you will also be able to undertake skills training in epidemiology and statistics via access to courses offered on the Masters programmes.

Entry requirements

Applicants will normally have a good undergraduate degree (2:1 or above) in a scientific subject, and/or Masters epidemiology, statistics or health services research.

For students whose first language is not English there is a minimum requirement of an IELTS score of at least 6.5 in each component of the test and an overall score of at least 7.


The studentship provides a tax-free stipend per annum for UK/EU citizens in line with CRUK standard rates (£19,000 in 2020/21) for 4 years, plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Students from elsewhere who can provide evidence of the ability to fund the difference in tuition fees may also apply (see here for more information).


Should be received by 28th February 2021 before 16:00h UTC. using the Department of Health Sciences on-line application process, accessed using this link. State you are applying for the advertised scholarship and include ref: CRUK2021 under the ‘How studies will be funded’ section. Under Research Proposal type ‘NOT REQUIRED’ in the Summary and upload a document stating “this is not required for this application.


Interviews will take place on the 15th March and be conducted via Zoom

Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries to discuss areas of interest are encouraged, and should be made to Dr Alex Smith .

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