Postgraduate Study Opportunities

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Postgraduate (PhD) Study at MRC Human Nutrition Research

HNR’s postgraduate training programme has been developed to foster and maintain a high quality training environment for postgraduate students.

Most of our PhD students are registered with the Faculty of Biology in the Graduate School of Biological, Medical and Veterinary Sciences at the University of Cambridge and they therefore belong to one of its Colleges, which encourages integration into the life of the University. HNR also hosts students who are registered with other universities, including the Open University. Most of our students are full-time but HNR is also able to admit part-time students at the University of Cambridge.

HNR offers four competitive MRC fully funded PhD studentships per year for students who satisfy MRC eligibility requirements. Applicants will be considered with a first or good upper second class Honours degree in a relevant subject and if they meet the University of Cambridge entrance requirements. The MRC studentship covers payment of the University and College fees, an annual maintenance award (£13,726 per annum from October 2011) conference allowance and Research Training Support Grant for the period of three years.

HNR also has a small number of students from UK and overseas who are either funded through non-MRC studentships or who have been awarded scholarships.

Applications MRC funded PhD studentships at HNR – 2014

Applications for 2014 are now closed. Positions for 2015 will be advertised in December 2014.

Application Process: MRC funded PhD studentships

Initially applicants should send a covering letter, identifying which PhD project they are interested in, a full CV and the contact details of two academic referees to Gradoffice

Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview at HNR. This normally takes place in January/February.

HNR typically receives 15-30 applications per project and awards four studentships per year.

Successful applicants must then complete the University of Cambridge GRADSAF and send supporting documentation to Ms Louise Lattimore (contact details at bottom of page).

For information on completing the GRADSAF please click here

You will need to know the following information when completing the GRADSAF:

  • Course description: Biological Sciences
  • Course Code: NUHN22
  • Programme of study: PhD(Probationary) at MRC Human Nutrition Research
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Study Mode: Full-time

Application Process: non-MRC funded PhD studentships

Students who have secured their own funding should contact the relevant supervisor/research group to discuss a potential project outline and details of funding arrangements. It is highly desirable for students to have made contact with a potential supervisor to ensure the project is within the remit of the work at MRC HNR. This should be done before any application to the university, where an application fee will be charged by the university.

The MRC Postgraduate Studentships Handbook

The MRC Postgraduate Studentships Handbook provides detailed information about eligibility criteria, financial support, terms and conditions of the studentship, etc.

The Postgraduate Training Programme

An individually tailored research training programme is agreed between PhD students and their supervisors. This will include in-house training, courses run by the University of Cambridge and MRC, as well as externally run courses. In addition, the MRC and the University of Cambridge strongly encourage their PhD students to attend transferable skills training. Students are encouraged to attend seminars and will be expected to present their work at conferences.

Contact Information

The administration of the research students is managed by the Director of Studies, Dr Jules Griffin, assisted by the Postgraduate Administrator.

Dr Jules Griffin – email address

Ms Louise Lattimore - email address

MRC Human Nutrition Research
Elsie Widdowson Laboratory
Fulbourn Road

Useful Links

University of Cambridge Admissions Home Page
University of Cambridge Graduate Studies Prospectus On-line
Graduate School of Biological Medical and Veterinary Sciences


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