Applying to the MRC Biostatistics Unit PhD Programme
The BSU seeks to recruit outstanding students with strong research potential, as based on their academic records, previous research experience, references and interview assessment.
On average we receive about 40 applications per year, and approximately 12-15 students are invited for interview.
Usually our recruitment for funded studentships takes place in Autumn each year with a closing date in early January. However, we do occasionally re-advertise in the Spring to fill unallocated funded places.
Applicants who do not require department or university funding are welcome to apply at any time during the year using either one of the current projects listed here or suggesting one of their own
The same entrance criteria are applied to all students, whether they are applying for MRC Studentships, funded scholarships from the University of Cambridge or have their own external funding, thus ensuring that the excellent standard of PhD students is maintained.
University of Cambridge entrance criteria
Competition for admission to the University of Cambridge graduate programme is intense. Like all departments affiliated to the Graduate School, we require all our graduate entrants to have:
- at least a 2.1 in an Honours degree or equivalent (eg 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 –
- IELTS: Overall band score of 7.0, with not less than 7.0 in speaking, listening and writing, and 6.5 in reading
- TOEFL: paper-based test 600 with 5.0 in the Test of Written English (TWE)
- TOEFL: internet-based test 100 with a minimum score of 25 in each element
- You must achieve the minimum requirements in the same test and this must be no more than two years before the start of the course.
- Please note- applicants are not expected to meet the language requirement at the time of their application but must do before commencing studies.
The minimum entry requirements given above are set by the University, not the BSU, and are non-negotiable. For more details of the University’s entrance requirements see here.
Academic Eligibility for the MRC Biostatistics Unit
PhD studies in the MRC Biostatistics Unit require a unique blend of statistical competence, mathematical knowledge and programming expertise and our rigorous interview process will test your ability in each of these areas.
We would therefore advise that all candidates have at least a degree level qualification in one of these areas, with significant experience and knowledge of at least one other.
A Masters degree in statistics or a related discipline is considered desirable but not essential.
The BSU has a number of funded studentships available each year and is expecting to have 4 available for commencement in Michaelmas (October) 2021.
BSU funded studentships are open to both Home and Overseas applicants and normally provide
- A generous monthly stipend
- Fees at the Home rate
- A travel and training budget
However, in the case of Overseas applicants fees are provided at the University of Cambridge Home fee rate only. Funds to cover any additional top-up cost of overseas fees are expected to be found by the applicant.
Only applications selecting (at least) one of the projects listed on our PhD opportunities page will be considered for these BSU studentships.
Applications to the MRC BSU are accepted via the University application portal only and the university will forward on all complete applications to directly to the department for their consideration- details of how to apply can be found here
The relevant information for this department is as follow:
- Department: MRC Biostatistics Unit
- Course Code: MDBI22
- Programme of Study: PhD (Probationary) at MRC Biostatistics Unit
- Duration: 3 years
- Study mode: Full-time (we do not accept applications to study part time)
Applicants are advised to tick all relevant funding application boxes in order to be considered for as many central funding competitions as possible to maximise their chances of obtaining funding.
Applications to the projects listed on our PhD opportunities page will also be considered for our BSU funded studentships listed above.
Once you have submitted your initial application, please ensure you upload all your supporting information by the required date or your application will automatically expire. We ask all applicants provide a CV and two references, all to be supplied electronically via the University application system in addition to the University application form. Do not send items directly to the Unit by post or email, they cannot be accepted directly.
Applying to the University costs £70 for Michaelmas Term 2021/22 for an online application- all application information needs to be uploaded to the website before the relevant deadline.
The application deadline to be considered for all funding is Thursday 7th January 2021 at 12:00 midday UK time. All applications received by the department by this date are considered as part of a gathered field immediately after this deadline.
All applications received after this deadline will only be considered for funding in the unlikely event of there being some unallocated funding remaining (in which case applications are reopened and a second deadline in March/ April will be set)
Applications from students who do not require department or university funding are accepted all year round and are considered on a rolling basis. Applicants who do not require funding are welcome to apply using one of the list of current projects available here or suggest one of their own.