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How to apply

Applications to the CRUK Manchester Centre PhD training scheme are now open. We recommend that you apply as soon as possible.

If you wish to be considered for the scheme and meet our eligibility criteria, you must complete a single online application.

Complete the form following the instructions below.

Key dates

  • Application deadline: Friday 4 March 2022
  • Interview date: Week beginning 4 April 2022

Application instructions

Step 1: Check you are eligible to apply

Check your eligibility based on which pathway you would like to apply for:

1. Clinical research training fellowships

These fellowships are usually three years in length, but may be four years in exceptional circumstances.

Funding is available for three years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study. Part-time awards cannot be less than 50% of full-time. For visa requirements, international candidates must select the full-time study option.

The fellowship covers:

  • running costs;
  • university tuition fees (at the UK rate);
  • an appropriate salary in line with the candidate's current salary.

All applicants must be post-registration clinicians and ideally have a specialist training post. It is generally expected that CRTFs would return to a training programme in the UK upon completion of their research degree.

2. Non-clinical studentships

These studentships are four years in length and are aimed at applicants who are recent graduates or final year undergraduates.

Funding is available for four years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study. Part-time awards cannot be less than 50% of full-time. For visa requirements, international candidates must select the full-time study option.

The studentships will cover:

  • running costs;
  • university tuition fees (at the UK rate);
  • an annual stipend (£19,000).

Candidates must hold, or be about to obtain, a minimum upper second class undergraduate degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in a relevant subject. A related master's degree would be an advantage.

International applicant eligibility requirements

The University of Manchester aims to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK.

Funding for our CRUK programmes will cover UK tuition fees and stipend only, but a limited number of scholarships will be offered to enable full studentships/Fellowships to be awarded to international applicants.

These full studentships/Fellowships for international applicants applying via The University of Manchester will only be awarded to exceptional quality applicants, due to the competitive nature of this scheme.

These are available for Leeds-Manchester CRTFs only where the lead supervisor is a Manchester staff member.

Step 2: Choose a project

Decide on the project(s) that are most relevant to your research interests from the list of available projects. Applicants can apply for to up to two projects in order of preference.

You do not need to submit a separate application for each project.

Supervisor contact details are included in the project summary and you are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisor ahead of or during your application.

Invitations to our interview days are dictated by supervisor nominations, so you are unlikely to be nominated by a supervisor unless you have made contact with them, in addition to submitting an online application.

If successful in the shortlisting process, you will be notified before Christmas and invited to interview in January.

Step 3: Register to apply

Go to the Online Admissions Application Form and ensure you read all of the instructions carefully.

If you have not already registered for an account, do so first of all. You can then make separate applications under this account for the studentships, and any other studentships you may be interested in.

Step 4: Create a new application

Create a new application for the studentship. Select 'Postgraduate Research' as the 'Level of Study' on the application form. Under Academic Programme, search for and select 'MCRC PhD Programme’

Work your way through the application form, including all details as requested.

For Section 6 – 'Research Details', you must state the name of the project supervisor and project title in the format below. You can indicate up to two supervisors here listing the lead supervisor and project title in order of preference.

  1. Name of Supervisor – Project Title
  2. Name of Supervisor – Project Title

For Section 9 – Funding Sources, you must select the details as follows:

  • Select 'Yes' from the drop-down.
  • Type of Funding: 'Uni of Manchester scheme'.
  • Awarding Body: MCRC PhD Studentship.
  • Status of Funding – Awarded.
  • Funding Covers – Fully Funded.
  • Leave the remaining boxes blank.

Step 5: Supporting documents

Your application form must be accompanied by a number of supporting documents.

  • Supporting statement

A personal statement (1,000 words maximum) indicating your first and second choice projects. Please also comment on your suitability for the post, giving an overview of your relevant experience and training.

  • References

We require two references from people who have knowledge of your academic ability. These are usually academic references from a lecturer or professor at your previous university.

You will need to provide details of your referees in section 10 of the online form. Your referees will be contacted directly after you submit your application and directed to complete our online reference form.

Email addresses

It is recommended that the email address you provide for your referees is related to the academic institution or organisation to which they belong, rather than a personal use email (for example,

If a personal email address is provided, it may cause delays to your application, as extra steps may be required to verify this.

  • Certificates and transcripts

These should be from all of your previous degrees, including official translated copies where applicable.

  • Official English Language certificate

This should be a valid English language qualification, where applicable. See Step 6 below for further details.

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Ensure your CV is current and up to date.

Please note, your application must be complete and contain all required supporting information at the time of submission, as incomplete applications will not be considered.

Step 6: English language requirements

In Section 5 of the online application form, you will be asked to provide details of how you meet the English Language requirement. 

We mainly accept IELTS or TOEFL tests. Please note IELTS and TOEFL are only valid for two years.

We require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall or TOEFL (iBT) 90. Each component of the English test should meet the minimum requirement of IELTS 5.5 in all components, TOEFL (iBT 22). For the writing component, we expect you to have achieved a minimum of 6.0 (IELTS).

If your IELTS or TOEFL expires before the start of your programme, you will need to take another official English test before we can issue you with a CAS for your visa application. This is a requirement of UKVI.

The University accepts a number of English language tests. For more information, see: English language requirements.

Step 7: Acknowledgement

Once submitted, you will receive acknowledgement that your application has been received.

After we have received all your supporting documents, your application will be reviewed and circulated to your preferred supervisor(s).

Step 8: Interview process and what to expect

Formal interviews will be conducted by our interview panel (exact dates/times will be confirmed by email if you are selected) and will consist of:

  • a paper critique by the applicant;
  • a discussion with the panel;
  • a question and answer session with the panel.

Prior to the interview day, a full itinerary will be sent to you confirming further details about the process including information about additional activities that may take place on the day, as well as practical information on getting to the interview location. Virtual attendance will be offered.

Please ensure that you provide full contact details in your CV including an up-to-date email address and telephone number (preferably a mobile number) for correspondence.

If you have any queries about the interview, please contact

If you are not nominated by a supervisor for a panel interview, then we will notify you directly that your application is unsuccessful.

Contact us

For queries regarding the application process, the projects on offer or your eligibility, please email

Any questions relating to the CRUK Manchester Centre PhD training scheme can be directed to

You may wish to contact supervisors directly about projects. You can find the name of the supervisor on each project, and their contact details in the University's online directory.