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Graduate education

The Department has a thriving graduate community of circa 100 students. They are involved in projects that span the research in the department, which is broadly divided into 4 thematic areas: Cellular and Systems Physiology; Developmental Biology and Reproduction; Neuroscience; Form and Function.

We offer excellent opportunities and facilities for training in research, leading to the degree of PhD (Doctor of Philosophy), or MPhil (Master of Philosophy) in the Biological Sciences. You can find all current PDN studentship projects here.

We are part of the Graduate School in Life Sciences and are involved in several training programmes:

BBSRC DTP - Cambridge 4 Year Programme in Biological Sciences
■  Cambridge/Babraham - MRC Doctoral Training Programme
Centre for Trophoblast Research
Wellcome Trust 4 year PhD Programme in Developmental Mechanisms
Wellcome Trust/MRC 4 year International PhD Programme in Stem Cell Biology 
Wellcome Trust 4 year PhD Programme in Metabolic & Cardiovascular Disease 
Cambridge 4 year British Heart Foundation Programme in Cardiovascular Research
■ MPhil in Basic and Translational Neuroscience

 Any other studentship opportunities (eg. Medical Research Council) will be advertised here if and when available.

  • Fully funded Royal Society 4-year PhD studentship for Home/EU students. Application deadline: 23 November, 2017 (to start October, 2018).  Prospective students should contact ( directly stating their research interests and sending a CV and the names of 2-3 referees. 

In addition many students obtain funding from other sources to pursue research projects in diverse areas.

The Department is centrally located, housed in two buildings on the Downing Site. Some members of staff are located in the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute and in the Wellcome Trust Centre for Stem Cell Research, both a short distance away in Tennis Court Road. We also accommodate the Centre for Trophoblast Research and have strong collaborative links with the Clinical School, the Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair.

Enquiries concerning graduate teaching within the Department of PDN should be directed to

No further applications are being considered for the following programmes. These options are currently closed.
MRC Integrated Doctoral Training Programme: In vivo Biology and Medicine
BBSRC Training Programme in Integrative biology 'Genes to Organisms'
 4 year PhD Programme between Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Farm Research Campus (JFRC) and the University of Cambridge

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