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Centre for Trophoblast Research


The Centre for Trophoblast Research (CTR) offers fully-funded 4-year PhD studentships at home or international rates.

The CTR provides a dynamic environment for PhD training in placental biology and reproductive science. Founded in 2007, it brings together over 30 Principal Investigators with a shared interest in the scientific study of the placenta, early development and maternal-fetal interactions during pregnancy. Our PIs are recognized international experts in their fields based across Cambridge in the Departments of Physiology, Development, and NeuroscienceObstetrics and GynaecologyPathology and Genetics, and allied institutes, including Metabolic Science, the BabrahamGurdon Institutes, Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, and the MRC Toxicology Unit and Epidemiology Unit. A CTR PhD Studensthip is held within the relevant Department or Institute, where an internal Departmental Postgraduate Educational Committee is responsible for administering the degree.

Our PhD students have access to unique training opportunities to prepare them for successful careers in research. Students will present their research by giving seminars at our annual CTR Away Days and Annual Meetings and attend a variety of seminars given by distinguished scientists with the CTR and affiliated Department or Institute. There are also opportunities to participate and present in interdisciplinary seminars hosted by Cambridge Reproduction Strategic Research Initiative of which the CTR is a founding member. Students will gain training in our Placental Biology Course and receive support from the to attend international meetings. CTR PhD students will also become members of the Postgraduate School of the Life Sciences, which organises and promotes many further training opportunities.

Prospective students should investigate CTR supervisors and research projects and are encouraged to contact potential supervisors in advance of applying. Initial enquiries to potential supervisors should be made as early as possible. 

We are pleased to consider applications for full-time study over four years, or part-time over five years. Studentships are open for applications in September of the year prior to the start of your studies. Candidates are expected to begin studies in October (Michaelmas term).


Projects   Study   Requirements   Selection Process   Finance


Life in Cambridge

All PhD students at the University of Cambridge are affiliated with a college, where they can find accomodation, community, and a range of facilities and services.  One CTR studentship is generously co-sponsored by King’s College Cambridge, where one of our PhD students will be based. To find out more about life in Cambridge and its 31 historic, we encourage students to take a virtual tour of prospective colleges and departments. 



For all general enquiries, please contact our postgraduate administrator:




Application Timeline

Stage Date
Application opens 26th Sep 2022
Application closes 7th Nov 2022

First round interviews: Zoom interview(s) with potential PhD supervisors

mid/late Nov 2022
Candidate shortlisting announced mid Dec 2022

Second round interviews: Zoom interview with CTR Board of Managers and Directors

Early Jan 2023
Funding decision Jan/Feb 2023