One of the Cancer Research UK Convergence Science Centre's strategic goals is to train the next generation of convergence scientists by building cross-institutional research teams with supervisors from distinct disciplines who will equip our PhD students with the skills to work across disciplinary boundaries


The Convergence Science PhD exposes trainees to research across both institutions through joint supervision from The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and Imperial College London academics.


What is available?


Funding is available for a number of highly competitive Convergence Science PhD Studentships, which provide a four-year research training programme under the guidance of a supervisory team of world-class researchers across the two institutions. Successful candidates will receive a fixed, tax-free annual stipend of £21,000 per annum, and project costs including tuition fees will be underwritten for the four-year duration. 

Students enrolled on the programme will be provided with bespoke training to develop the skills required to work across the boundaries of different disciplines. We asked a selection of our current students what attracted them to this field, their experience of the programme so far, and what their aspirations are for the future. We asked a selection of our supervisors their thoughts on convergence science, their philosophy to mentoring, what attributes they are looking for in a convergence science student, and what key factors prospective students should consider when choosing a PhD.


Click here to read perspectives from our current students and supervisors.



Are you the right candidate?


We invite applications from talented UK graduates or final year undergraduates from a life science, chemistry, engineering, or physics background. Convergence Science PhDs cover tuition fees for UK students only (except where otherwise stated in the project specification); however, international students are also invited to apply subject to outlining how they will meet the difference in tuition fees. We look forward to receiving applications from all candidates and will select those who display the potential to become world leading researchers of the future based on their application and performance at an interview. We are encouraging applications from candidates of Black and ethnic minority backgrounds as they are underrepresented at PhD level within our programme.


Candidates should hold, or expect to gain, either


  • A first, or upper-second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject
  • A master’s degree in a relevant subject

The available PhD projects are listed below. You can find details of the eligibility criteria for each project, instructions on how to apply, and the important dates at the end of the project list. 


Research projects

Below are examples of cross-institutional PhD projects that have been offered by the Centre. All are jointly supervised by the ICR and Imperial supervisors.


All projects are:

  • cancer led (addresses a challenge in cancer) within one or more of our research themes
  • novel (high quality and original)
  • feasible (suitable for a postgraduate studentship)
  • take on a convergence approach (provide student training in multiple disciplines with the integration of novel approaches to address cancer)


Application menu title: Development of novel dual-target agents to treat neuroblastoma that combine selective protein degradation with synergistic inhibition.


Project discipline(s): Life Science, Chemistry


The student will be registered at Imperial (Department of Chemistry) with affiliate status at The Institute of Cancer Research, leading to the award of a PhD from Imperial College London.


View project proposal

Project 1 Keun, Chesler and Fuchter



Application menu title: An explant-in-chip platform to study immune-cancer cell interactions and enhance tumour immunogenicity ex vivo: A focus on radiotherapy

Project discipline(s): Life Science, Physics or Engineering


The student will be registered at the Institute of Cancer Research with affiliate status at Imperial, leading to the award of a PhD from the University of London.


View project proposal

Project 2 Melcher and Overby



Application menu title: Unravelling the role of cancer associated fibroblasts in cancer evolution and drug resistance using microfluidics


  • Imperial supervisor: Dr Sam Au
  • Project discipline(s): Life Sciences, Physics or Engineering

The student will be registered at the ICR with affiliate status at Imperial College London, leading to the award of a PhD from the University of London.


View project proposal

Project 3 Banerji and Au


The application and recruitment process

Stage 1



Stage 2


Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held in February 2023


Candidates will be assessed on merit at our bespoke Recruitment Event where they will be exposed to research undertaken at the ICR and Imperial, meet current convergence science students and discover the ground-breaking work of the Convergence Science Centre.  


Stage 3


Funding for studentships will commence in the following autumn - October 2023.


Further information


For further detail please visit the ICR How to apply for PhD studentships webpage.


For more information on this opportunity send an email to Dr Garrick Wilson (