THE Beatson Institute has been forced to apologise after a PhD student had her offer withdrawn 'because she is Russian'. 

A friend of the unknown student said it was "beyond my comprehension" that the student had her offer to complete her PhD at the research facility withdrawn "based on her nationality".

She shared a screenshot of the e-mail on Twitter which said the "talented young scientist" would not be able to complete her PhD at Glasgow's Beatson Institute for Cancer Research "because you are Russian".

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The email read: "I am afraid that I have to withdraw my offer. 

"I have just been told that very recently the Beatson has established a new policy upon which I am unable to appoint you because you are Russian.

"I am so deeply sorry for this... I find [it] so unfair that what is going on in Russia affects very talented young scientists like you... I really hope that you can find a place to do your PhD.

"Again, many apologies, and good luck."

However, the Beatson Institute has now confirmed this e-mail was sent after a misunderstanding and applications from international students are considered on a case-by-case basis and are reviewed against factors such as visa requirements. 

The PhD applicant affected has been offered a place and they apologised for any "distress" caused.

Owen Sansom, Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute director, said: "The Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute does not have a policy of declining any applications from Russian students on the basis of their nationality.

"Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis and offers are always reviewed against external checks, such as visa requirements or UK Government sanctions.

"In this case, there was an initial misunderstanding of these restrictions, which has been addressed.

"We have contacted the applicant involved to offer them a place and have apologised for any distress caused.

"We are reviewing our processes internally to prevent this issue from occurring again in future."