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UCL Division of Biosciences

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PhDs

The Department of Cell and Developmental Biology (CDB) has a very active MPhil/PhD programme.

We currently have fifty-two research students from all over the world including the UK, Europe, Egypt, Jordan, Thailand, Singapore, China, Chile, Saudi Arabia, India, Taiwan, Mexico and Australia.  Students are regularly monitored by a small committee appointed among experts in the field, which stimulates interactions between laboratories, and excellent courses are offered on generic research and other skills (speaking, writing, imaging, etc.).

  • Cell and Developmental Biology PhD Programme: available for three years in a single laboratory (or five years part-time) - see 'Applicants with Independent Funding' section below.  There is currently no Departmental funding available for these, but you may apply for a UCL Scholarship (deadlines are usually early January each year).
  • Developmental and Stem Cell Biology PhD Programme: available for three or four years - see headings below for further information on September 2021 entry. Applications from self-funded candidates are welcome.  Please note that there is no funding attached to this programme, but you may apply for a UCL Scholarship. Application deadline for September 2021 entry: Friday 11 December 2020 (candidates applying for a UCL Scholarship).  Applications from self-funded candidates will be accepted until 31 May 2021.      

For Scholarship information and a list of Funded Programmes through which you could join our Department, please see the second box below

  • First year: 3 rotations of 3 months each in different laboratories and journal clubs overseen by all supervisors on the programme (4 year programme only).
  • Second year: thesis work starts in August/September of the first year. In the second year, an advanced modern microscopy course and an intensive workshop to develop writing and reviewing skills take place in parallel, with a small group of students.
  • Third year: continue thesis research work, complemented with experimental design workshops.
  • Fourth year: complete research project, write up thesis. Workshops on funding, career planning and other skills tailored to each student.

    The 3 year version of the programme starts from the "second year" above.
Requirements for all PhD Programmes

To register for a PhD you will require one of the following:

- a first or upper second class UK Bachelor's degree in an appropriate subject, or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard from a recognised higher education institution
- a recognised Master's degree
If you are an overseas applicant you will also require evidence of proficiency in English. The standard of English expected is the 'good level'.
UCL Scholarships and Funded Programmes

There are a number of scholarships awarded through the College - please follow the instructions for the Graduate Research, Overseas Research or China scholarships as appropriate.  Candidates applying for positions in this Department should e-mail their documents to: Debbie Bartram

4 Year Funded Programmes - with rotations in several different laboratories during the first year before deciding on your PhD lab and project:

Cell and Developmental Biology PhD Programme - Applicants with Independent Funding

You are welcome to apply and commence studies throughout the year. Please follow steps 1-3:
Step 1: View the list of academic staff and study their research interests by visiting their web page and looking at some of their publications to decide whether you are interested in the research topics in that laboratory.
Step 2: E-mail your chosen supervisor(s) to discuss possible projects. This will also ensure that they have space for you in their laboratory and that they will guide you in your application.
Step 3: Complete an application form.  Select "Division of Biosciences" for the UCL Department you are applying to and "Research Degree: Cell and Developmental Biology" for Programme Title.

Additional Information - fees, prospectus, accommodation
  • Fees and costs - the Research Department of Cell and Developmental Biology is in the Division of Biosciences, Faculty of Life Sciences
  • Graduate Prospectus entry - includes sections on networking, career destinations of our students and why study this degree
  • Accommodation
Developmental and Stem Cell Biology PhD Programme - Outline

This programme offers a unique environment with one of the largest and strongest concentrations of high quality developmental and stem cell biologists anywhere in the world.

The programme provides training at the interface between developmental and stem cell biology. It is available either as a 3 or 4 year programme. The 4 year version includes a first year with a taught component and rotations in 3 laboratories providing the basis for an informed choice and an excellent platform for progression in the research project in years 2-4. Both include active, small group training in key skills including good writing, experimental design, reviewing papers and many modern techniques as appropriate to the project

  • First year: 3 rotations of 3 months each in different laboratories and journal clubs overseen by all supervisors on the programme (4 year programme only).

  • Second year: thesis work starts in August/September of the first year. In the second year, an advanced modern microscopy course and an intensive workshop to develop writing and reviewing skills take place in parallel, with a small group of students.

  • Third year: continue thesis research work, complemented with experimental design workshops.

  • Fourth year: complete research project, write up thesis. Workshops on funding, career planning and other skills tailored to each student.

The 3 year version of the programme starts from the "second year" above.

Developmental and Stem Cell Biology PhD Programme - Supervisors and Research Areas
For the latest information please e-mail Debbie Bartram, Graduate Research Administrator 
Developmental and Stem Cell Biology PhD Programme - How to Apply

Please complete a UCL Graduate Student application form

Select "Division of Biosciences" for the UCL Department you are applying to, then for Programme Title:

  • 4 year programme "RRDDSCS4YR01 Research Degree: Developmental and Stem Cell Biology (4 years)"
  • 3 year programme "RRDDSCSING01 Research Degree: Developmental and Stem Cell Biology"

Please note re the application process:

  • For the 3 year programme, you can contact prospective supervisors and discuss a project before making your application.  For the 4 year programme, this isn't necessary.
  • When you submit your application, an e-mail request will automatically be sent to your referees providing them with a link to a secure website to upload a reference - please ensure that your referees add their references by the deadline. 
  • You will be required to upload your transcripts - if you are a current student and do not yet have a final transcript, please upload those from the years you have completed to date.  If you don't have a transcript, please upload a list of your marks in this space and forward the transcript to Admissions as soon as available.
  • If you are applying for a UCL Scholarship, please see the 'UCL Scholarships and Funded Programmes' box above as there are additional steps to complete.  For the 4 year programme, as this begins with lab rotations, the lay summary can be a brief outline of your research interests and there is no need to obtain a supervisor's reference as this will be added by the programme director if you are shortlisted. 

    If you have any queries on the PhD Programmes or problems with this website please e-mail Debbie Bartram, Graduate Research Administrator