Pontecorvo Prize for best PhD thesis
IMPORTANT UPDATE - 2 April 2020
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, nominations for all our researcher prizes have been postponed until 2021.
Nominations for PhD students who would have been eligible for the 2020 round will be accepted for the next round in 2021 once open.
This prize is awarded annually to the CRUK-funded students who have produced the best PhD theses and made the most outstanding contribution to scientific knowledge in their field.
Cancer Research UK PhD students
Postponed until Spring 2021
Postponed until Spring 2021
In addition to the honorarium, winners will be expected to give a talk at the next CRUK student meeting after they are awarded the Prize.
Make a nomination
The competition is open to any Cancer Research UK funded graduate students, clinical research training fellows and scientific officers who submitted a doctoral thesis and/or who were awarded their degree of Doctor of Philosophy during the 2018 or 2019 calendar year.
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.
Cancer Research UK is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. We’re seeking nominations from a diverse range of backgrounds for this Prize.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Past winners of the Pontecorvo Prize for Best PhD Thesis
|Year||Winner||Affiliation during PhD||Nominated by|
|2018||Connie Yip||King’s College London||Vicky Goh|
|Evangelos Giampazolias||CRUK Beatson Institute||Stephen Tait|
|2017||Rafael di Marco Barros||University College London and the Francis Crick Institute||Adrian Hayday|
|2016||Nicholas McGranahan||UCL and the Francis Crick Institute||Charles Swanton|
|2015||Maria Maric||CRUK Manchester Institute||Karim Labib|
|Anca Farcas||University of Oxford||Rob Klose|
|2014||Marcus Wilson||Clare Hall*||Jesper Svejstrup|
|2013||Melda Tozluglu||Lincoln's Inn Fields*||Paul Bates|
|2012||Dominic Schmidt||CRUK Cambridge Research Institute||Duncan Odom and Jason Carrol|
|2011||Devanshi Jain||Lincoln's Inn Fields*||Julie Cooper|
|2010||Siim Pauklin||Clare Hall*||Svend Petersen-Mahrt|
|Ferdia Gallagher||CRUK Cambridge Research Institute||Kevin M Brindle|
|2009||Sophie Acton (nee Pinner)||Lincoln's Inn Fields*||Erik Sahai|
|Victoria Marsh||Cardiff University||Alan Clarke|
|2008||Andreas Pilchmair||Lincoln's Inn Fields*||Caetano Reis e Sousa|
|2007||Peter O'Donovan||Clare Hall*||Peter Karran|
|Agnieszka Gambus||CRUK Manchester Institute||Karim Labib|
|2006||Kyle Miller||Lincoln's Inn Fields*||Julie Cooper|
|Oliver Sieber||Lincoln's Inn Fields*||Ian Tomlinson|
|2005||Sarah Trewick||Clare Hall*||Tomas Lindahl|
|2004||Giovanna Lalli||Lincoln's Inn Fields*||Giampietro Schiavo|
|2003||Leah Vardy||Lincoln's Inn Fields*||Takashi Toda|
|2002||Sally Lowell||Lincoln's Inn Fields*||Fiona Watt|
|James Shorter||Lincoln's Inn Fields*||Graham Warren|
|2001||John Seery||Lincoln's Inn Fields*||Fiona Watt|
|2000||Charlie Swanton||Lincoln's Inn Fields*||Nic Jones|
|1999||Pablo Rodriguez Viciana||Lincoln's Inn Fields*||Julian Downward|
|1998||James Chong||Clare Hall*||Julian Blow|
*ICRF (until 2002), CRUK London Research Institute (until 2015). Now part of the Francis Crick Institute.
The funding for this prize exists through the generosity of Professor Peter Goodfellow FRS, formerly Head of the Human Molecular Genetics Laboratory at the Imperial Cancer Research (now part of the Francis Crick Institute). It is named after the geneticist Professor Guido Pontecorvo, who worked at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund from 1968-75.