ACED has the bold ambition to accelerate and revolutionise research in the early detection of cancers by uniting world leading researchers to bring together the best early detection science across the UK and US.
We are seeking candidates with an outstanding academic record with a minimum upper second class or Master’s degree or equivalent in a discipline relevant to early detection research, including but not limited to: biochemistry/molecular biology, biophysics, computer science, engineering, epidemiology, public health, physics, mathematics, medicine.
Applications for the ACED Non-Clinical PhD Studentships have now closed. Future opportunities will be published here, so please keep checking this page.
ACED PhD Programme
ACED is committed to training the next generation of early detection cancer scientists and leaders of tomorrow within a supportive and flexible training environment. As such, the ACED PhD Programme provides unique support by offering a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional approach to training by offering a number of funded non-clinical four-year PhD studentships available to be recruited via a central ACED selection process across the UK ACED Centres in Manchester, Cambridge and UCL.
Projects will be published on the CRUK Manchester Centre Research Opportunities webpage and linked below.
Hear from current ACED students who are at various stages of study on the ACED-Funded PhD Students webpage.
Recruitment and Selection Process
Non-clinical four-year PhD studentships are to be recruited via a central ACED selection process. One studentship is available at each of the three UK ACED Centres to commence in the Autumn term following recruitment. Studentships are to be awarded through a competitive application process following agreement between the applicant and approved ACED PhD supervisors to co-create and develop a research project as part of the first year of the studentship. First year students are encouraged to undertake at least two rotations in different research groups either at their host or different ACED Centres to expand their exposure to different scientific disciplines relevant to early detection.
The ACED Skills Exchange and Development Travel Award scheme is available to apply for funding for rotations at other ACED Centres where these costs cannot be covered by the studentship funding.
Mon 25th September – Mon 6th November – Call for applicants
Fri 10th November – Mon 4th December – Shortlisting for interviews
Mon 11th December – Interview invitations sent to shortlisted candidates
w/c 8th January 2024 – Interviews
Before 1st March 2024 – Offer of studentship and GALs issued
Advertised across ACED Centre Members modified to each Centre. Interested supervisors should apply using a single online form capturing:
- Contact details
- Brief outline of research interests relevant to early detection (50 words max) plus relevant URL for further information.
- Research question to form the basis of a research project for the successful candidate.
- Eligibility to act as PhD Supervisor according to Centre specific institutional regulations (formatted to accommodate all Centres)
- Confirmation for contact details to be made available to shortlisted applicants.
Applications for the ACED Non-Clinical PhD Studentships are now open. Please follow this link to find out more about the opportunity. Deadline 6th November 2023.
Adverts of projects will be posted on individual Centre webpages with Centre specific information on prospective projects including:
- Background information
- Details of the studentship
- Supervisor arrangements
- Funding – specifying requirement for eligibility for “home fee” status
- Eligibility – include Centre specific text/links where appropriate
- Details for application
- Key dates
Applicants must state in their application which Centre they are applying to and can only submit one application to the ACED PhD Programme. Candidates will be expected to apply using a single MS Forms application for all three Centres, including the following details:
- Candidate Details
- ACED Centre being applied to
- Work Experience
- Educational Distinctions, Scholarships or Awards
- Research outputs
- Technical skills
- Other relevant skills and information on why applying
- Chosen supervisor from relevant ACED Centre – include links to individual Centre supervisors
- Research question intend to address as part of PhD research project – as posed by chosen supervisor
- Reserve choice of supervisor
- Brief outline of research project to address this question (max 500 words)
- Statement on funding eligibility – include links to requirements for each Centre
Interview/selection panel composed of 5 members, selected to give a broad range of clinical and non-clinical expertise and matched where possible with disease/technology specific experts relevant to the applications being interviewed.
Each interview comprises 35 minutes with candidates asked to give a 5 minute presentation focussing on “What aspect of early detection research you would like to address during your studentship based on the research question from your preferred principal supervisor” considering why they have chosen their preferred supervisor and area of research, how they would approach addressing the research question, what methodologies they would use and why this research is important for cancer early detection.
Questions from the panel
Follow up questions from the presentation, explore in more detail what area of early detection research they want to work on and why. Example questions to expect during the interview will include:
- What made you want to do a PhD? What is your perception of life as a PhD student? What do you aim to get from doing a PhD?
- Why this PhD programme in particular? What are your future research plans immediately after completing your PhD?
- Explain what technical skills you have that make you suitable for a PhD. The first year of this programme involves a training element; what particular skills would you hope to acquire?
- What are the main challenges in detecting cancers earlier? What type of research could overcome these challenges?
- Imagine you had realised you had made an error processing data for your project that was being used by another group as part of a collaboration, what would you do? – or other to assess their approach to collaborative research.
Training and Development
A core goal at ACED Manchester is to enable the next-generation of early detection research scientists to become future leaders.
ACED Manchester's research is prioritised across three key research themes and several disease sites.