Pontecorvo Prize for best PhD thesis

This prize is awarded to the CRUK-funded students who have produced the best PhD theses and made the most outstanding contribution to scientific knowledge in their field.

Key information

Awarded to

Cancer Research UK PhD students

Prize value

Free entry to the NCRI National Cancer Conference.

Nominations open

1 January 2016

Nominations close

25 March 2016

In addition to the honorarium and a free place at the NCRI conference, winners will be expected to give a talk at the next CRUK student meeting after they are awarded the Prize.

Remarkable student awarded prize

This year’s Pontecorvo Prize has been awarded to Dr Nicholas McGranahan, an outstanding young scientist at UCL and the Crick.

The competition is open to any Cancer Research UK funded graduate students, clinical research training fellows and scientific officers who submitted a doctoral thesis during each calendar year and who have been awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

The judges will award the prize to the student who has produced the best PhD thesis and made the most outstanding contribution to scientific knowledge in his/her field of research leading to publication(s) in major peer reviewed journals. The student should also have given evidence of a strong original contribution to the direction of the research.

Nominations should come from the student’s academic supervisor. The following materials must be submitted in a nomination:

1. A letter from the supervisor putting the scientific contribution made by the student's thesis into the context of the research programme of the lab and of the field of research as a whole. It should also make clear the student's intellectual and technical contribution to the work described in the thesis and include comments on the following:

  • the level of independence shown by the candidate
  • the candidate’s input into the development of the project
  • the candidate’s initiative and/or creativity
  • the candidate’s intellectual ability and/or experimental expertise
  • comparison with the student’s peers, the supervisor's past and present students, others known to the supervisor (e.g. in the top 1, 2, 5%, best ever etc); i.e. is he/she truly outstanding and, if so, why?

2. The candidate’s CV (short), including education and research experience and a list of publications, with publications arising from their thesis research highlighted.

3. The names of two senior scientific staff from whom informed opinions, addressing the above criteria, may be sought (for the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute students, one should be a member of their Thesis Committee).

4. Confirmation of the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

5. The thesis abstract.

6. The examiners’ reports from the student's PhD viva.

7. A copy of the thesis will be requested prior to the meeting of the judging panel.

Nominations must be submitted electronically to prizes@cancer.org.uk

Genevieve Horne
Grants Manager
Tel: 0203 469 5373​

The funding for this prize exists through the generosity of Professor Peter Goodfellow FRS, formerly Head of the Human Molecular Genetics Laboratory at the Lincoln's Inn Fields laboratories (now part of the Francis Crick Institute). It is named after the geneticist Professor Guido Pontecorvo, who worked at the Lincoln's Inn Fields laboratories from 1968-75.

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