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Wellcome Trust 4-year PhD Programme in Molecular and Cell Biology Systems

Do you want to choose your PhD project from an extensive breadth of molecular, cellular and developmental biology projects?

The Dynamics of Cellular Regulatory Networks programme offers advanced training in a range of cutting-edge projects at levels from genes to cells to tissues, supported by state-of-the-art core facilities.

Applications for September 2018 are now CLOSED.

Programme themes

The PhD Programme is based on four interlinked themes that form a logical progression in understanding the synthesis, function and outputs of cellular networks during development and disease states:

  • Cellular Dynamics and Proteostasis
  • Dynamic Signalling Systems
  • Global Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Cellular Mechanisms of Disease

About the programme: The Dynamics of Cellular Regulatory Networks

Students perform three laboratory-based research projects, each under the supervision of one or more of the supervisors participating in the Programme. Supervisors are grouped into six core training areas, reflecting critical cutting-edge approaches:

  • Molecular and Proteomic
  • Cell Biological
  • Genomics and Transcriptomics
  • Computational
  • Dynamic Imaging
  • Organismal

To ensure students obtain a broad training in contemporary research methods within the first year, students choose each of the three rotation projects from a different training area. Each project lasts a total of ~14-15 weeks, including the preparation of a written report.

As outlined below, there is a range of Programme-specific courses during the first year. The Research Meeting in week 2, where all supervisors present an overview of their research, provides an excellent introduction to the research areas within the Programme, and importantly, allows new students to meet new potential supervisors.

Subject to satisfactory completion of the first year, students begin their final PhD project in the second year. Joint projects between supervisors that will forge interdisciplinary links are encouraged, with the overlap in research themes providing excellent scope for collaboration. For example, these may include projects jointly directed by wetlab and computational biologists, or clinical and non-clinical supervisors.

Students then write a Literature Review in January, and a Continuation Report by July. The Continuation Report is examined by members of the Wellcome Trust Programme Graduate Committee in order to allow progression into their third year of PhD study.

Admissions and funding

We take a maximum of five students per year onto the programme, which begins at the end of September. Competition for entry to the programme is fierce, and we are looking for candidates who demonstrate academic excellence and high motivation for research. Candidates must have, or expect to attain, at minimum upper second class degree, or its equivalent. Many of our successful applicants have achieved a first class degree in a related subject area. Due to the interest in the programme our selection criteria for shortlisting is strict.

The Programme is supported by the Wellcome Trust, which provides a generous stipend (currently starting at approximately £20K per year) and UK/EU student tuition fees for five students per year. Funds are also provided to cover research costs and the cost of attendance at scientific meetings.

Find out more about Admissions and funding.

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