The intercalated PhD (iPhD) Programme, an integral component of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Academic Training Programme, is a collaborative effort between Imperial College London and the Institute of Cancer Research, London. As a supervisor, you'll find the iPhD Programme to be an exceptional opportunity. This initiative is tailored to nurture clinical academics who excel in multidisciplinary environments, seamlessly integrating cancer research with the engineering and physical sciences.


Designed for outstanding undergraduate students pursuing the MBBS/BSc degree course, this programme offers a unique proposition – the chance to incorporate a PhD into their educational journey. The PhD phase spans three immersive years of research, following the successful completion of the intercalated BSc (iBSc) in the fourth year of the MBBS degree. Once this research-intensive phase is completed, students seamlessly reintegrate into their undergraduate medical education during the fifth year, enriched with profound insights and innovative skills garnered from their research endeavours. From a supervisor's perspective, the iPhD Programme offers distinct advantages. The collaboration between clinical academics and research experts infuses research projects with diversity and depth. This fusion of medical expertise and research acumen encourages innovative problem-solving and cultivates a comprehensive understanding of complex medical challenges.




Timeline showing where phd fits in medical degree


What is available?

The iPhD is fully funded for UK medical undergraduate students who have undertaken an intercalated BSc at the Imperial medical school - which is typically around 340 students each year. Funding supports a tax-free stipend, home fees and consumables costs. Overseas students are also eligible; however, before offers can be made, you must secure support for the difference in international fees.

The application and recruitment process


Stage 1: Expression of interest

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please email to indicate your interest by Monday 5th August 2024. A supervisor connection meeting might be organised to build supervisory teams and to showcase the breath of engineering and physical science expertise if felt necessary. Supervisors attending this meeting will be given the opportunity to present their research to help connect and integrate approaches in the creation of a preliminary iPhD proposal.


Stage 2: Preliminary PhD proposals

The preliminary application stage is to showcase the types of research projects available to prospective students. The deadline is Monday 2nd September 2024. Prior to showcasing, the proposals will be reviewed by the Clinical Academic Training Subcommittee to ascertain whether they meet the remit (cancer-lead and taking a convergence science approach) of this programme. Proposals in remit will advertised on the website by late September.


Stage 3: Establishing student-supervisor teams

The medical undergraduates will review the preliminary proposals and select up to three projects that they would like to undertake if interested to do a PhD. The supervisor will be notified, and meeting will be arranged to discuss the opportunity informally. After meeting with the supervisor, students will submit their preferred choices of project/supervisor. Subject to agreement by the supervisor - both parties will work as partners to develop and submit a comprehensive PhD proposal.


Stage 4: Interviews

An interview with the Clinical Academic Training Subcommittee will be arranged for the candidate, which will include the student and supervisor team to explore the quality, suitability, feasibility, support provided by the supervisory team, and the motivation of the candidate student. Decisions are usually made in May with the commencement of the iPhD in July.


Further information

For more information on this exciting opportunity send an email to


Convergence Science Centre - Supervisor code of practice

Training the next generation of convergence scientists

Training the next generation of convergence scientists