When do I apply?
You will be invited to apply for the MB/PhD programme during the Lent Term of Year 3 pre-clinical studies and interviews are likely to take place at the beginning of the Easter Term.
Do I need to have 1sts in Tripos?
No. Combining a PhD with clinical medical training is demanding, so evidence of academic resilience is required. For this reason, you need at least a 2:1 at Part II. However, enthusiasm for scientific research and a hunger for discovery are more important than simple Tripos scores.
How competitive is it?
Much of the selection is self-imposed, but, as a guide:
- In 2013, 26 registered an interest, 11 applied and 6 were accepted;
- In 2014, 34 registered an interest, 17 applied and 8 were accepted;
- In 2015, 32 registered an interest, 11 applied and 6 were accepted;
- In 2016, 40 registered an interest, 16 applied and 6 were accepted.
What Part II subjects are better to do?
There is not official preferred option, but choosing a subject with a large experimental research project demonstrates commitment to research, and will give you enough familiarity with its ups and downs on which to base a decision to apply.
Do you need previous research experience?
Yes, you need to have participated in a research project of some sort and have practical experience of experimental work. Many, though not all, successful applicants will have some experience of lab research outside their course.
How/when do I pick a project? Does this have to be clinically-based?
You will have nearly free rein to identify the best and most exciting project opportunity in any of the departments in the Clinical School, one of the university departments in biological sciences, or affiliated institutes (e.g. Gurdon Institute, CRUK Cambridge Research Institute, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Sanger Institute). The choice will be made over the first six months of the Year 4 of the clinical course, and will require you to investigate the various opportunities on offer yourself, with mentorship from the Programme Director.
How long does the PhD take?
Three years, with occasional students being granted a fourth year if required.
Will I need to find funding for the PhD?
No. Securing a place on the programme guarantees payment of fees at Home/EU student rates, and a maintenance payment for each year of the three year PhD which is equivalent to the Research Councils UK recommended stipend rate (e.g for 2017/18 academic year this amount is £14,553). It is often possible for this to be modestly topped up by other charitable funds.
Overseas students would be responsible for meeting the funding shortfall between Home/EU and Overseas student fee rates. To do this they could apply for scholarships (e.g. Gates Cambridge Scholarship or scholarships through the Cambridge Overseas Trust). If scholarship applications were unsuccessful it would be highly unlikely that the Clinical School would be able to provide Overseas students with the necessary funding shortfall required.