Our big annual student recruitment drive has opened here at The Institute of Cancer Research, London. We're looking for the very best science students to take on our fully funded PhD projects in fields across the span of cancer research – in biology, chemistry, physics, computer science and mathematics. And we're also looking for clinicians who are looking to branch out into research to join our Clinical Fellowships. Students at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) will not only receive our unique training in cancer research and a University of London doctorate, but will also be contributing their own discoveries in the drive to defeat cancer.
If you're interested in starting a career in cancer research with one of our PhDs or Clinical Fellowships, you can read all about the project opportunities that we have available, and the teams you could be working with, on our PhD pages and on our Clinical Fellowships pages. But what about student life at the ICR more generally? We put three questions to a panel of current PhD students to find out what brought them here, and how their student experience has turned out.
Jin Li is in the third year of her project looking at non-invasive imaging of tissue elasticity in the Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging. Prior to joining the ICR she completed a master’s in Optical Engineering and gained lab experience in cell biology.
Colin Robinson is in the third year of his project looking for small-molecule probes for protein-protein interactions in the Division of Cancer Therapeutics. He has a medicinal chemistry master's from the University of Glasgow, with a year spent in industry at GlaxoSmithKline.
Charlotte Pawlyn is in the first year of her project looking for epigenetic therapies for myeloma in the Division of Molecular Pathology. She is a haematology clinician with two years of registrar training as an Academic Clinical Fellow at The Royal Marsden and St Helier Hospitals, including experience in the lab at the ICR.
Parisa Razaz is in the third year of her project using computational methods to identify novel druggable targets for cancers, and validating those targets in the lab, in the Cancer Therapeutics Unit. She has a Natural Sciences degree from Cambridge and an Imperial College London Molecular Medicine MSc.
Jacqueline Fok is in the third year of her project looking at targeted therapy for multiple myeloma in the Division of Molecular Pathology. She has a degree in biochemistry and an MRes in Cancer Biology, with time spent interning in industry.
Why did you choose the ICR?
Jin: When I chose to do a PhD, my number one consideration was where I could do the best scientific research. I knew the ICR is one of the world’s leading cancer research institutes, so I believed I would have great opportunities not only to be a part of cutting-edge cancer research, but also to work with brilliant researchers who will not just teach me but also inspire me. After the interview, when I met my supervisors and colleagues, I knew I had made the right choice.
Jacqueline: I was looking to do a PhD in translational cancer research and found that the ICR particularly appealed to me as the research output was very multi-disciplinary but with a heavy focus on patient-benefit at the same time.
Charlotte: Having worked at The Royal Marsden I was aware of the excellent links between the ICR and the hospital, and the opportunities this offers for translational research.
Colin: The ICR was recommended to me as one of the best places to do a medicinal chemistry PhD. During the interview process I was very impressed by what the ICR had to offer. Great facilities and funding, as well as the opportunity to work with some of the best scientists in the UK.