Frequently asked questions
WHO CAN APPLY?
We are happy to consider applications from eligible students who already have or expect to obtain AT LEAST an upper second class honours or equivalent in any subject relevant to the programme (including, for instance, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Physiology, Pharmacology, Population Sciences and related subjects).
Please note that only nationals of the UK, EU and EEA are eligible to hold MRC studentships. Applicants from other 'overseas' countries are ineligible and should not apply. Moreover, there are also conditions governing eligibility of EU (non-UK) nationals to receive a stipend (maintenance allowance) with their studentship, although we will endeavour to make provision to pay a stipend for all successful applicants.
For detailed information on eligibility for MRC studentships, please see the MRC Studentships Handbook.
WHEN SHOULD I APPLY?
There is a single round of admissions each year. The deadline for applications this year is 31st March 2010. We are unable to consider applications at other times of the year.
HOW MANY PLACES ARE THERE ON THE PROGRAMME, and ARE OTHER PhDs AVAILABLE?
Two or three places are available each year on the MRC 4-year Programme in Obesity and Related Metabolic Diseases. Additional places are available on the parallel Wellcome Trust 4-year Programme in Metabolic and Cardiovascular Disease although the conditions of eligibility are different. If you wish to apply for an alternative PhD project in Cambridge, including a 3-year project within IMS, please contact potential PhD supervisors directly.
WHAT FUNDING DOES THE PROGRAMME PROVIDE TO SUCCESSFUL APPLICANTS?
The programme provides a generous living allowance at MRC Capacity Building rates (expected to be around £15,500 p.a. from October 2010) that is considerably greater than the University's estimated maintenance costs, and also provides fees for students at the 'home' rate (applicable also to EU/EEA nationals).
The terms 'home' and 'overseas' as applied to fee status are not as simple as they sound and you should look at the following webpage for definitions: http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/funding.html
WHEN SHOULD I COMPLETE THE UNIVERSITY GRADUATE STUDENT APPLICATION FORM (GRADSAF)?
Successful applicants who are accepted onto the programme will be advised how and when to complete the University Graduate Student Application Form (GRADSAF).
WHERE DO THE CAMBRIDGE COLLEGES FIT IN?
To study for any degree at Cambridge University you must be a member of one of the Cambridge Colleges. You apply for admission to a College at the same time as making a formal application to the University (ie on the GRADSAF form). You do not need to be concerned with Colleges when making your application to the PhD programme. Colleges provide a variety of academic and social opportunities for graduate students, not least (in many cases) accommodation. If you want to learn more about the role of Colleges please see here.
CAN I EXPECT FEEDBACK ON MY APPLICATION?
Unfortunately, given the volume of applications, we will not be able to respond to requests for feedback on applications at any stage.
WHAT IF I HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS?
Contact Dr Maria Adams (email@example.com) with questions about the PhD Programme itself, and the Board of Graduate Studies (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information about the University of Cambridge Graduate Application Form.