Our PhD programme is designed to attract the brightest scientific minds and is a fabulous opportunity for highly motivated and exceptionally talented people to embark on their career in biomedical research.
We have 200 PhD students at various stages of their four‐year PhDs at the Crick at any one time. The students contribute to the international community of the Crick; 60% are from elsewhere in the EU or from further afield.
The energy and enthusiasm of the student population are a vital part of Crick's research community, and the comprehensive Crick PhD programme ensures that our students have strong career prospects in science.
Students accepted onto the Crick PhD programme register with one of our partner universities. You will attend an induction week and follow a dedicated four-year programme, agreed with our partner universities.
Your progress will be monitored through a series of annual progression points, and you will be required to present your research each year.
Month 3-4: project proposal and first year symposium
Month 9: early stage assessment
Month 18: mid-term review and second year talk series
Month 24: progress review
Year 3 research seminar
Month 30: chalk talk and progress review
Month 40 – 42: thesis writing training and thesis planning
Month 48: thesis submission and exit seminar
I enjoy having the freedom to shape my project and pursue interesting research questions. It’s exciting to work with smart and motivated people every day, trying to find the important answers to things in biology we don’t know.
Throughout the PhD programme, you will receive tailored training on presenting and writing about your research, including specialised IT software training and workshops on talking about science to both scientific and non-specialist audiences.
We will also encourage you to make the most of the wide range of training courses available at the Crick, and to access the skills training programme within your university.
Attending scientific conferences provides valuable exposure to the wider scientific community, and is an exciting and important learning experience. You will have access to funding to allow you to present your work at national and international conferences and we encourage you to do so, particularly in the second half of your PhD.
Carrying out a PhD is challenging. To ensure you have all the support and guidance you need, our PhD students have access to a comprehensive support network involving your supervisor and research group, a dedicated thesis committee, our Academic Training team and the PhD student community itself, represented by the PhD Student Committee.
The Crick does an exceptional job of supporting its students. It’s a very supportive, friendly environment to work. My thesis committee has given me really good feedback on the direction I should take the project.
We encourage students to plan ahead and think about what you would like to do next. To help with this, we run monthly careers talks and workshops on careers at which the speakers, working inside and outside of academia, chat openly and informally about their own careers and offer advice to those interested in pursuing a similar career.
From your second year, you are also given the opportunity to carry out short work placements, as well as having full access to the careers services within your registered university.
Alumni career paths
After completing their PhD, the majority of our students continue working in science, taking up postdoctoral research positions at institutions all over the world. A number of students eventually go on to lead their own research labs. Our clinical research fellows and MB-PhD students return to their clinical career track after their PhD, often carrying out research in parallel with their clinical commitments.
Not all of our students choose an academic career. Others pursue scientific careers working in pharma, biotech or technology transfer, or move into science communication, policy and administration.
The extensive skill-set gained during a PhD is not purely scientific and can be applied to many other career paths - as demonstrated by those students who move into careers in management, consultancy and finance.
You are largely treated as a member of institute staff and this instills a sense of confidence as a student here. Senior researchers are approachable and accessible and have always been keen to help, advise and guide – whether you are in their field or not.
Candidates of all nationalities can apply for the Crick PhD programme.
The standard academic eligibility criteria are:
- A first/upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent from a non-UK university) in a relevant subject.
- Appropriate research experience as part of, or outside of, a university degree course and/or a master's degree in a relevant subject.
- Appropriate English Language skills.