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Frequently Asked Questions

When can I apply?

Application opens in October each year, with an application deadline of early January. 


Do I need to complete an application through the University's Applicant Portal?

Yes. All applications must go through the University's Applicant Portal.


What is the University Course Code for the Four-Year Stem Cell Programme?

BLSTR1 - 'MRes in Stem Cell Biology'


I already have a Masters Degree - do I have to do the rotations in year 1?

Yes. All students must take the MRes course in year one, which includes rotating in 3 different labs (of your choice). This is a vital part of the 4-Year Programme, because it helps you to decide where/what you would like to do for your 3-year PhD project. If you want to go straight into a specific lab, this is probably not the PhD Programme for you and you should look at other options available. 


Can I just take the MRes course, but not the full PhD?

No. This Programme is only suitable for candidates wanting to complete the full Four-Year Programme. We do not offer the MRes course on it's own, so those candidates searching just for a Masters course will need to view the online course directory.


How many places are available on this PhD Programme?

Wellcome provide funding for up to 4 students each year. In addition, the MRC provide funding for up to 2 students per year on the 'Physical Biology' programme. 


What kind of research experience will the programme be looking for?

Any type of research experience you can get is important, before you can really know whether a research PhD is the right path for you. Summer student lab experience or perhaps longer research projects are both good examples. 


My Masters achieved a higher mark than my Bachelors degree. Would my Masters degree mark outweigh my Bachelors - if my Bachelors was a lower grade?

Yes. For example, if you achieved a 2:2 in your Bachelors, but a higher Masters mark, you would be eligible. 


Can International students apply for this PhD Programme?

Wellcome Programme: Yes, students of any nationality are eligible to apply for this studentship, however please note that the funding that Wellcome provides, does not cover the 'Overseas Fees' that International students incur. International students are therefore required to find alternative funding to cover the 'Overseas Fees'.

Further information: 

MRC Programme: Applicants for this Programme must meet the MRC residency requirements, as detailed in the Research Council UK (RCUK) conditions. Postgraduate students from EU countries other than the UK are generally eligible for a fees-only award. To be eligible for a fees-only award, a postgraduate student must be ordinarily resident in a member state of the EU; in the same way as UK students must be ordinarily resident in the UK. 

Further information:


Do I need to take a language test?

No, not at application stage. If you are interviewed and offered a conditional place on the programme, you will be given a "pre-offer language condition". You would then need to arrange and pass a language test before being given a confirmed offer.

Further information: 


Where can I apply to for funding to cover my 'Overseas Fees'?

International students will have to find their own funding to cover the 'overseas fees'. There are University of Cambridge Scholarships you can apply for. See here for the application deadlines. You need to apply for these within your main PhD application (there is a section specifically to apply for Cambridge Scholarship funding). 


I have my own funding to pay for a PhD - can I still apply?

This Programme is funded by Wellcome and is not therefore eligible for students with their own funding.


I would like to study for a Masters, rather than a PhD.  Do you offer Masters programmes?

No, we do not run an independent Masters programme at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute. However, if you have a particular area of interest which is aligned with one of our Principal Investigators, you should get in touch with them directly.  Here is a list of research groups, including contact details. 


I still need some help please!

Please contact our Postgraduate Administrator by email: