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How To Apply

University of Cambridge applications

To apply to the LMB PhD programme you will need to complete an application via the University of Cambridge Applicant Portal.

Before completing the University application, please make sure you have followed the steps outlined below.

(NB: When using the Applicant Portal, there is a charge of £65 per application, although the Graduate School of Life Sciences scheme enables three applications with a single fee. If you cannot apply online, you may apply on paper, but the fee is £100).

Step one − entrance requirements

  • Please see the detailed entrance requirements to check you have the qualifications we require from our graduate entrants.
  • If English is not your first language you will need to provide evidence that you have met the University’s English language condition.

Step two - LMB PhD project selection

When applying to the LMB you can apply to up to three projects, please follow the instructions below on how to make this selection:

  • Please review the list of available PhD projects and information on preparing your statement of interest(s) before applying online.
  • You can download the LMB PhD Statement of Interest Form here. Your statement(s) should be saved in PDF format and attached to the end of your CV (in one document).
  • Once you have selected your projects please enter the supervisors’ names into the Research section of the application form stating your order of preference if you have one (this can also be marked on your statement of interests).
    • This can be typed into the free text box ‘Research Supervisor’, if you wish to apply to more than one project you can enter the name as shown below:
      Dr. Milstein (1st)/Dr. Sanger (2nd) /Dr. Sulston (3rd)

Step three − sources of funding

  • The Applicant Portal allows you to apply for LMB-funded studentships, University-wide funding competitions and College studentships. We recommend that you find out more about these and other sources of funding before applying online.

Step four − check deadlines

  • Early application is recommended.  Deadline dates for applications for the PhD Programme starting October 2020 are as follows:
    • US Gates Scholarship (US applicants only) – 9th October 2019
    • General applications (UK, EU and overseas applicants) – 12.00 noon, 3rd December 2019
  • All supporting documents and references must be received by the above dates.

Step five - prepare supporting documents

  • Your application will only be complete once we have received your supporting documents, statement(s) of interest for each selected PhD project and references.
  • Please do not email supporting documents or project choices to us – follow the online instructions that will be available once you have submitted your application via the Applicant Portal.
  • Before filling in your application in the Applicant Portal, you should make sure that you have the required supporting documents ready to upload in .pdf format (Adobe Acrobat). The University application process can only accept .pdf documents – you should also ensure that your documents are not password protected. If you wish to be considered for Gates Cambridge Trust funding, please ensure that you follow their guidance.
  • Required supporting PDF documents which the applicant must upload:
    • An up-to-date CV with your statements of interest included – including names and addresses of two academic referees.
    • University transcripts – if available, or module/exam results to date if you are currently an undergraduate student.
    • Your language test certificate (application portal will prompt if required).
  • Required supporting documents which ARE NOT uploaded by the applicant:
    • References – i.e. letters of recommendation from two academic referees. At least one reference should be from someone who has supervised your practical research, and one referee must be able to comment on your academic performance.
    • If you wish to be considered for Gates Cambridge Trust funding, you will also need a personal (character) reference.
    • Applicants ARE NOT required to obtain the references: you must add your referee’s contact details during the application process in the Applicant Portal, both referees will then receive an automated email. The email will give each referee access to the University’s online Electronic Referencing System – they will be given 7 days to submit their reference.

Step six - prepare your Applicant Portal application

  • You will need to know the following information when completing your application:
    • Course description: Biological Science
    • Programme of Study: PhD in Biological Science (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology)
    • Duration: 3 years
    • Study mode: Full-time
    • Start date: October 2020
  • Access the Application Portal and further information on completing your online application.
  • If you would like more information on how your application will be processed a chart with an outline of the application process is available to download here under ‘What is the admissions process?’.
  • Here you can find information about the University of Cambridge Graduate application timescales

Contact us

If you would like more information or have any questions not answered on the website, please contact us:

Postgraduate Office,
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology,

Francis Crick Avenue,
Cambridge Biomedical Campus,
Cambridge, CB2 0QH,


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