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Cancer Research UK 4 year PhD Studentship - the design, development and implementation of user friendly cancer risk tools in a variety of clinical settings

   Department of Public Health and Primary Care

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  Dr S Archer, Dr Juliet Usher-Smith, Dr Marc Tischkowitz  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The student will undertake research within the Cancer Research UK programme: "CanRisk: Personalising cancer risk prediction for prevention and early detection" which runs 2021-2026. The objective of the CanRisk multidisciplinary programme is to enable cancer risk prediction within front-line healthcare and facilitate the identification and management of at-risk individuals and to promote cancer prevention and early detection. CanRisk aims to address three key research questions: (1) What improvement can be achieved in personalised cancer risk prediction that takes advantage of recent discoveries in genomics and epidemiology and that is clinically valid across populations? (2) How can we optimise user-friendly tools to facilitate the use of multifactorial cancer risk prediction in routine clinical practice? and (3) How can we operationalise multifactorial cancer risk assessment in primary care and in clinical genetics?

Based at the University of Cambridge, the successful applicant will work within a large collaborative team of scientists, clinicians and patients. They will work on the design, development and implementation of user friendly cancer risk tools in a variety of clinical settings. There will be the opportunity to work on several applied research questions including: Is it feasible to implement multifactorial breast cancer risk prediction using CanRisk in primary care? And What impact does upfront multifactorial risk assessment using CanRisk have on clinical and psycho-social outcomes in unaffected women referred to genetics clinics? Additional research may also be developed within the broader programme in discussion with the supervisor. The findings of this work will influence the delivery of risk stratified health care in the England.

The PhD studentship will be hosted within the Primary Care Unit, Department of Public Health and Primary Care (, University of Cambridge, under the supervision of Dr Stephanie Archer alongside Dr Juliet Usher-Smith and Professor Marc Tischkowitz. The PhD student will also work closely with other members of the CanRisk team and international collaborators.

The successful applicant will develop skills in applied health research, including systematic reviews and quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis. The student will be well supported in their development, receiving regular academic supervision. They will be able to choose a bespoke set of courses at Cambridge to develop their skills and knowledge. The student will join the cohort of PhD students being trained by the Cancer Research - UK Cambridge Centre.

The projects will suit students with a background in applied health research with quantitative and/or qualitative skills. Ideally students should possess a master's degree in a health, social science or humanities based subject. The ideal candidate will have excellent academic abilities (at least a 2.1 honours degree or equivalent undergraduate degree) combined with strong communication skills in order to make the most of interdisciplinary training opportunities.

The CRUK studentship will provide an annual stipend (£19,000 per annum) and university and college fees at UK level.

This role requires an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check: any offer we make will be conditional upon the satisfactory completion of this check; whether an outcome is satisfactory will be determined by the University. The nature of this role means that the successful candidate will also need to undergo a health assessment.

How to apply

Please apply via the Applicant Portal

Click on Course Directory and choose Public Health & Primary Care - PhD

Course details: PhD in Public Health & Primary Care (Full-time)

Start Date: 1st October, 2022 (Michaelmas Term 2022)

Supervisor: Dr Stephanie Archer

Reference: SN29513 Cancer Research UK 4 year PhD Studentship

Please ensure that you add the reference number SN29513 on your application and that the recruiting supervisor will be Dr Stephanie Archer.

With your application please upload:

(i) a letter (2,500 character limit - not including spaces) outlining your suitability, why you are interested in a PhD in this area, your background and research interests, (ii) your CV (iii) your academic transcripts and (iv) details of two academic referees.

We invite applications from UK and non-UK students. The studentship has a stipend of £19,000 per year for four years. However, only UK level University fees are covered: other applicants will need to secure additional funding for overseas student fees. Please ensure you meet the University of Cambridge entrance requirements: see

We welcome informal conversations about this post: please contact Dr Stephanie Archer at [Email Address Removed].

Interview and Selection process

The deadline for application is 18th February 2022. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by mid-March 2022. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview in the period 28th March - 1st April 2022. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their interview soon after and successful applicants will receive a formal offer letter by end of April 2022.

Please quote reference SN29513 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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