PhD students

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

Applications are now closed

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2022 PhD student programme. If you submitted an application by the deadline, check our applicant information pages.

See applicant information
A PhD student writes on a wall


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


Vidya Chivukula presenting in a lab meeting.

Every day I get to learn something new in my PhD and that’s really exciting to me. The training I’ve received here makes me feel like I’m ready to take on anything in the future – I’ve matured from being a naïve student to a confident scientist. 

Vidya Chivukula, PhD student, Cherepanov 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


Carrying out a PhD is challenging. To ensure you have all the support and guidance you need, our PhD students have access to a comprehensive support network involving your supervisor and research group, a dedicated thesis committee, our Academic Training team and the PhD student community itself, represented by the PhD Student Committee.


Support quote

Deniz Pirincci Ercan

The real highlight of my PhD has been the people who work here. If you run into an issue, or even just need a few microliters of an essential chemical that’s run out, you’ll always find someone who can get you going again. It’s great to have such a nice culture and community at work.

Deniz Pirincci Ercan, PhD student, Uhlmann 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.

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

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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