PhD students

Our PhD programme is designed to attract the brightest scientific minds and is a fabulous opportunity for highly motivated and talented people to embark on their career in biomedical research.

Applications are open!

More information
A PhD student writes on a wall


An international PhD programme

We are proud to be a diverse, open, international institute. Crick staff and students come from over 80 different nationalities. 
Our inclusion strategy is shaping an inclusive culture where everyone can thrive.
We welcome applicants of all ethnicities, nationalities and genders.

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 the EU and 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.

The programme

Students accepted onto the Crick PhD programme register with one of our partner universities. You will attend an induction week and follow a structured 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.

Programme table

Year 1

  • Month 3-4: project proposal and first year symposium 

  • Month 9: early stage assessment

Year 2

  • Month 18: mid-term review and second year talk series

  • Month 24: progress review

Year 3

  • Year 3 research seminar

  • Month 30: chalk talk and progress review

Year 4

  • Month 40 – 42: thesis writing training and thesis planning

  • Month 48: thesis submission and exit seminar


Anastasia Moraiti

One of the best parts of the programme is the many opportunities to present your research, be challenged, and receive feedback from peers and more experienced colleagues. It also goes the other way: at lab meetings, internal seminars, larger conferences, or at coffee chats, you will learn to give constructive feedback and develop your critical thinking.

Anastasia Moraiti, PhD student, Tapon Lab


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.


Collaboration quote

PhD student Kevin Ng in a collaboration space at the Crick.

The programme has been hugely inspiring – you’re surrounded by some of the smartest people and best science in the world, and the PhD programme pushes you to get the most out of yourself and your science. Thanks to the sheer number of PhD students in the building, you build up a great network of friends who can support you both socially and scientifically.

Kevin Ng, PhD student, Kassiotis Lab

Student support and wellbeing

Carrying out a PhD can be challenging, but we have dedicated systems in place to ensure you have all the support and guidance you need during your studies. Our PhD students have access to a comprehensive support network involving their supervisor and research group, a dedicated thesis committee, our Academic Training team, which includes our Student Support and Wellbeing Lead, and the PhD student community itself, represented by the PhD Student Committee. Additional support is offered through wellbeing training sessions tailored for PhD students in each year of study, a PhD support group and our Employee Assistance Programme.


Support quote

Barry Liu

Crick and its partner universities offer numerous training opportunities such as statistics and programming courses I have been able to apply to my research. In addition, the training offered by the science technology platforms (STPs) gives me the opportunity to learn how to use the state-of-the-art facilities here at the Crick.

Barry Liu, PhD student, Rosenthal Lab

Career development

We are committed to supporting our students in their professional development, and will encourage you to plan ahead in thinking about your future career.

To help with this we offer the following career development activities:

  • from second year onwards, a work placement programme (1-4 weeks) in collaboration with a variety of organisations,
  • monthly careers talks and workshops delivered by speakers working in academia, industry research and a variety of science adjacent sectors,
  • an alumni network that connects current and former Crick staff and students,
  • a mentoring framework that allows participants to access advice and guidance from across the Crick community,
  • a CV review and advice service.
  • workshops on how to find postdoc positions and on careers beyond academia

Students also have full access to the careers services within their registered partner university.

Support quote

Portrait photo of Sophie Kraunsoe

Doing a PhD at the Crick is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to world-class research. The Crick is an inspiring place to work - you have access to amazing facilities and expert colleagues to help push your science forward. PhD students progress through the programme as a cohort so you learn about research in many different areas and build a network of friends who can encourage and support you throughout.

Sophie Kraunsoe, PhD student, Cardoso-Moreira Lab

Alumni career paths

After completing their PhD, most of our students (55%) continue working in scientific research, in industry and academia, 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, and many of our alumni (24%) have gone on to work for prominent organisations in pharma, biotech or technology transfer, 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. 16% of our students have moved into careers in areas such as management, consultancy, finance, and teaching.

Alumni support quote

Aakriti Jain

The Crick definitely set me up for my next steps. It really helped to be exposed to so many different types of research techniques and tools when thinking about future projects and trying to understand research done by other labs around the world.

Aakriti Jain, Postdoc, University of California, Berkeley

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