Why choose this programme?
Combine medical training with research
The Cancer Research UK Manchester Centre MB-PhD is a fully funded three-year programme aimed at MBChB students wishing to intercalate to train as clinician scientists.
This training route will see you work towards both your MBChB and PhD awards over the course of the programme, combining your medical training with research training in the area of cancer sciences.
Each year, we aim to recruit the best candidates who are seeking to drive new innovations in clinical care and research. Our first cohort of students started their studies in September 2020.
Why cancer sciences?
Cancer sciences is such a broad area that it can be applicable in all aspects of medicine, surgery and general practice.
You will develop invaluable transferable skills and be fully equipped to start a career in clinical research.
Cancer sciences is linked to areas of medicine such as:
- clinical oncology
- clinical genetics
- medical oncology
More about the MB-PhD
Clinician scientists play an essential role in cancer research, bridging the gap between patients and scientific research.
Working across both the clinic and the laboratory, clinician scientists are in a unique position to reflect the needs of people with cancer in the discovery of new treatments and tests.
A PhD is one of the highest-level academic degrees that can be awarded.
Unlike most undergraduate and master’s programmes, a PhD is a pure research degree but this doesn’t mean that you will only spend three years in a library or lab.
There are many opportunities for professional development including; networking and communication, teaching, presenting at conferences and opportunities to publish work.
Currently, most UK trainee clinician scientists take on a PhD after completing their initial medical training, often when they are in their thirties.
Cancer Research UK launched their nationwide MB-PhD programme after seeing a decline in the number of clinicians on an academic career pathway, particularly female researchers.
Doing a PhD during medical school can accelerate your academic career before you get too embedded in clinical work or have other commitments.
The skills you will acquire can be applied in many areas of medicine and you will learn valuable critical appraisal skills early.
On completion of your MB-PhD you will graduate as a doctor at the forefront of your field.
A combined approach
You will benefit from a bespoke training and mentorship programme alongside your research project.
You will be part of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre and Cancer Research UK Manchester Centre, which host regular seminars and lectures with speakers; from postgraduate trainees up to world-leading international researchers. They also host career development events.
As a postgraduate researcher in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, you will also have access to the Doctoral Academy Training programme to develop your transferable skills.
Learn more about our current CRUK MB-PhD students:
- Programme induction
- Project specific training/development
- Upskilling in cancer sciences
- Completion of literature and continuation review
- Training activities to support career development
- Social responsibility
- Second year progress report
- Training activities to support career development
- Thesis planning and submission
- Viva examination
- Support for returning to the MBChB core programme
- Continued mentorship
- Continued research engagement and opportunities via your supervisory group
Helping you choose a project
The list of projects and their details are available on the CRUK Manchester website. Applications are open for the September 2024 intake.
Discuss your project
Prospective candidates are strongly encouraged to contact multiple potential supervisors directly to discuss their advertised projects and research. For general queries and/or supervisor details, please contact us.
Dr Georgina Binnie-Wright (Postgraduate Programme Manager)
What the funding covers
Successful applicants will receive a PhD studentship for the three-year duration of the programme, which includes:
Fees and stipend
- full funding for PhD tuition fees (up to the UK rate)
- lab costs/running expenses
- a stipend of £21,000 per annum for living costs
International candidates should contact the Postgraduate Programme Manager to discuss fee scholarships available to the highest-performing international applicants at interview.
Student loan eligibility
An undergraduate Student Loans Company (SLC) payment up to a maximum of four years of MBChB study (including interest accrual payment), subject to completion of key years of study. Students who have paid undergraduate fees via other methods (for example, personal loans), are still eligible for reimbursement of up to four years MBChB fees.
Who can apply
Candidates should be MBChB students at The University of Manchester or BSc (Hons) Medicine students at the University of St Andrews.
The University of Manchester
University of Manchester MBChB students must be either:
- currently studying in Year 3; or
- currently studying in Year 2 and already holding a BA/BSc (Hons) degree classification of an Upper Second or above in a relevant subject;
- or intercalating after either Year 2 or Year 3 of the MBChB.
University of St Andrews
University of St Andrews Medicine BSc (Hons) students on the Manchester course pathway must be:
- currently studying on Year 3 of the Manchester MBChB, having already obtained a BSc classification of an Upper Second (2:1) or above from the University of St Andrews;
- predicted to obtain a BSc classification of an Upper Second (2:1) or above from the University of St Andrews.
Making an application
Apply for the programme
Each year, we recruit a number of undergraduate students onto our three-year PhD programme, with the approval of relevant intercalation teams. In some cases, projects may be four years in duration.
We are looking for candidates who are seeking to drive new innovations in clinical care and research.
If you wish to be considered for a studentship and meet our eligibility criteria, you must complete a single online application.
Full details on eligibility and residence criteria are available via the instructions below.
- Application deadline: Monday 12 February 2024
- Applicants meet with MB-PhD programme director: Thursday 29 February 2024
- Interviews: Monday 11 March 2024
- Start date: September 2024
Undergraduate summer placements
Try out a research project
Each year, we offer research opportunities within the MB-PhD to University of Manchester and St Andrews-Manchester Pathway Medical School students.
Placements for summer 2024 will be advertised in due course.
Have any questions? Get in touch.
Queries regarding the application process and funding can be sent to Dr Georgina Binnie-Wright, MCRC-CRUK Manchester Centre Postgraduate Programme Manager.
University of Manchester intercalation queries should be sent to Professor Sue Atley and the intercalation team.