Applying for a PhD
Positions to study at the Institute are typically open between October and December each year and applications should be made via the University of Cambridge Graduate Application Portal (GAP). Further information on how to apply is included in the page below, please read everything here carefully before applying.
Other positions may become available from other sources throughout the year and can be found on our vacancies page. Applicants are encouraged to contact possible supervisors to discuss research projects informally before applying.
The GAP system charges an application fee, although the Graduate School of Life Sciences scheme allows you to make up to three applications with a single fee. The fee can be waived if your home country is considered to be in Group 1 or 2 of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) list of Overseas Development Aid (ODA) recipients as compiled by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). You must have lived in that country since birth.
Step 1 - EligibilityCompetition for admission to the Babraham Institute and University of Cambridge graduate programmes is intense. Like all departments in the Graduate School, we require all our graduate entrants to have:
- At least a 2i in an Honours degree or equivalent (e.g CGPA 3.5/4.0) in a relevant subject
- Two outstanding references from senior university staff at your most recent university
- Fluency in the English language – recent IELTS test with an overall band score of at least 7.0 with not less than 7.0 in speaking, listening and writing, and 6.5 in reading.
Step 2 - Before applyingBefore filling in the Graduate Application Form (GRADSAF) on the Application Portal:
- Ensure you meet the necessary funding requirements as laid out on the Funding page.
- Decide which two Babraham Institute Projects/Supervisors you are most interested in applying for (current opportunities can be found here). These should be selected from the list of currently available projects. You will need to show your preferred and back-up choice.
- The name of your chosen supervisors should be added to the University's application form 'Research Supervisor' section in the format: 'Prof Reik (1st)/ Dr Kelsey (2nd)'
- Decide which sources of funding you wish to apply for. The Application Portal will allow you to apply for relevant studentships advertised by the Babraham Institute as well as University-wide funding and College studentships. Please check the University of Cambridge Funding Search web page before applying.
- Check appropriate deadlines for application for the PhD Programme (typically in early December) and for any relevant funding opportunities. Note that you will need to complete your application before the earliest of any/all of these deadlines. All supporting documents and references must be received by the University before the deadline. Late applications cannot not be considered.
Step 3 - Application informationInformation needed to fill in on the Graduate Application Form (GRADSAF) on the Application Portal
- Course details:
- Course Description: Biological Sciences
- Programme of Study: PhD in Biological Sciences (Babraham Institute)
- Course code: NUAN22
- Duration: 3 years
- Study mode: Full time
- Research Supervisor details. These can be filled in on the Research Supervisor box.
- You should choose two supervisors (preferred and back-up) in the format: 'Prof Reik (1st)/ Dr Kelsey (2nd)'
- Brief details of the projects you are applying for can be added to the Research Project box.
- The names and addresses (including email) of the two academic referees you intend to use. One should be a person familiar with your practical skills and one must be from a person familiar with your academic performance. If you are applying for Gates Cambridge Trust funding, you will also need to add a personal (character) referee.
- Please note that you are not required to obtain these references personally. Once details of your referees have been uploaded into your GRADSAF form, the referees will then receive an automated email. This will give each referee access to the University’s online Electronic Referencing System and they will then have 7 days in which to submit their reference.
- Follow the other instructions on the GRADSAF form as indicated.
Step 4 - Making your ApplicationAll supporting documents must be uploaded on to the Application Portal with your GRADSAF
These need to be uploaded as .pdf documents (Adobe Acrobat) and they should NOT be password protected.
- Full Curriculum Vitae. This should include:
- Nationality and Residence in UK information
- Details of Schooling including GCSE and A Level results (or other qualifications)
- Details of University Education including courses taken and results of any examinations to date
- List of any Scholarships and Awards that you have received
- Degree result (if already known)
- Details of any lab based projects or laboratory placements or any other Research Experience
- Details of any industrial placements
- Details of any previous employment
- The names and addresses (including email) of the two academic referees you intend to use.
- Your contact details for the January following your application
- Statement of Research Interests/Reasons for applying
- Details of your two chosen Babraham Institute Research projects and why you are specifically applying for them.
- Your language test certificate (for non-native English speakers).
- University transcripts, if available, or module/exam results to date if you are a current undergraduate
Students will not be able to take up an award unless they meet all University eligibility criteria and are successful in securing admission to the University. In addition, they will not be able to apply for a visa (if needed) until they hold an unconditional offer from the University.
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
ContactIf you would like more information or have any questions not answered on this website or the universities graduate application site please contact us:
The Graduate Studies Programme Administrator, Babraham Hall, Babraham Institute, Babraham Research Campus, Cambridge CB22 3AT
Tel: 01223 496324