The Centre for Trophoblast Research (CTR) was founded in 2007 as a Centre of excellence to promote scientific study of the placenta, early development and maternal-fetal interactions during pregnancy. It brings together over 30 Principal Investigators, many of whom are recognized international experts in their fields. The CTR was one of the University of Cambridge’s first inter-school initiatives.
The CTR offers excellent opportunities for training in research, leading to the degree of PhD (Doctor of Philosophy). The CTR PhD studentships may be held in the Departments of Physiology, Development, and Neuroscience, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Pathology and allied institutes, including Metabolic Science, as well as the Babraham and Gurdon Institutes.
A PhD in the CTR is achieved by supervised research and is under the jurisdiction of the Degree Committee for the Faculty of Biology at the University of Cambridge. The Postgraduate School of Life Science also helps, by providing additional transferable skills training. The registered student will be affiliated with one of the University of Cambridge Colleges. Within the relevant Department or Institute that the student is affiliated with there is an internal Departmental Postgraduate Educational Committee who is responsible for all aspects of running of the degree. A suitable project falling within the interests of the CTR-affiliated supervisor, is agreed by both student and supervisor, and endorsed by the Postgraduate Committee at the point of admission.
Students attend a variety of CTR hosted seminars given by distinguished scientists along with seminars in the affiliated Department or Institute. Students are encouraged to present their research by giving seminars at our annual CTR Away Days and Annual Meetings. There are opportunities to participate and present in seminars hosted by the Cambridge Reproduction SRI. Students will have an opportunity to take part in our Placental Biology Course and will have support to attend international meetings.
Key experience and competenciesApplicants for this course should have achieved a UK Good II.i Honours Degree.
We welcome applications from highly qualified students of all nationalities. All applications need to be supported by academic reference letters.
We are looking for strong candidates that will contribute to the science in the CTR and have potential as researchers. During the admissions process we will consider the academic record and the comments from referees as well as the research experience and achievements of the applicants. We are mindful that the extent of research opportunity can vary a lot depending on background and undergraduate training, for example some countries have longer undergraduate courses, different master requirements, offer short courses and practical research, etc, and all these are put into context when evaluating potential.
You can refer to for further information regarding the University Entry Requirements
Studentships are awarded for up to 3 to 4 years and include a stipend and consumables.
All applicants are to make initial informal inquiries regarding projects available and listed on our website. Once applicants have identified a potential supervisor(s) and project(s) they should make a formal application.
All relevant information regarding the studentship and application requirements can be found on the CTR web site The application deadline is 7th December 2021, and we aim to hold Zoom interviews for shortlisted candidates early in 2022.
The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.
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