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The application process

Formal applications for Postgraduate study in the Department must be made through the University GRADSAF system. These are scrutinised by the Departmental Graduate Student Co-ordinator [Professor Steve Russell] and passed to the appropriate project Supervisor, who decides whether or not they are willing to host you in their laboratories. You are strongly advised to make informal contact with Group Leaders you are interested in working with before making a formal application. Candidates who have completed the GRADSAF and have been accepted by a Supervisor, will be considered by the Graduate Education Committee who draw up a shortlist for interviews, which are usually conducted towards the end of January.

The interview panel usually consists of at least three members of the Departmental Graduate Education Committee, the potential Supervisor, and a current Graduate student. The interview generally lasts for half an hour. During this visit to the Department, the applicants also have an opportunity to talk to other potential Supervisors about projects, and to meet other members of the research groups they are interested in.

During the interview, the panel are looking for the following in applicants:

  • Ability to explain clearly and concisely a piece of science which is familiar to them, eg their final year research project
  • A good background knowledge of, and an interest in, their undergraduate course
  • A genuine motivation and commitment to further training in research
  • Evidence of ability to think through a problem and evidence of research potential
  • Possession of, or a high probability of achieving, an upper second or first class degree

Candidates who are currently based overseas, and who are not able to attend in person, may be interviewed by telephone.

Following the interviews, each project supervisor is asked to rank their applicants in order, and using this information the Graduate Education Committee then decide on an overall rank order for all the candidates. Our main objective in this is to identify the best candidates, based on the criteria set out above, and offers are made to these candidates as soon as possible after the interview.

>> Download 2014 Quick Guide to applying

If you need further clarification before applying, please contact :
email:
or write to: Postgraduate Admissions Coordinator, Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3EH