Departmental Prize DPhil Studentship Competition

The Department offers generous four-year DPhil studentships which cover full fees, pay a tax-free, enhanced stipend of ~£17,609 pa, and provide £5,300 pa for research and travel costs.

The studentships are funded through various sources including the UK Medical Research Council, Oxford EPA Graduate Scholarships, the Clarendon Fund, and Oxford Colleges.

Student on this programme start research on their main projects immediately and so they have a full four years to work on their research project. If their work is delayed by the pandemic students will be given a fully funded extension.

Individuals of all nationalities are welcome to apply. After completed their D.Phil. international students are able to remain in the UK for a further 3 years on a flexible Graduate Visa.

Application Guidance

Detailed instructions can be found in How to Apply here.

All applications must be made ONLINE. 

Applications for entry in October 2022 must be submitted before 12 noon, 3rd December 2021. Applicants must be available for interview from 17-19th January 2022.  Interviews will be held remotely.

Applicants can obtain a fee waiver if they are from a low income country/background, or they have also applied to certain other linked Oxford programmes.

Applicants may select up to three supervisors/projects from the list below.  Please note that, because each supervisor can only take one student, applicants who name 3 supervisors are more likely to be successful than those who name only 1 or 2.  Please put all projects/names in the appropriate text boxes on the application form. If space is an issue put the first few words of the project/supervisor's last name.  It is not necessary to make contact with a supervisor before submitting an application, although you may do so if you wish.

The documents you will be asked to submit with your application include:

  • A personal statement of up to 500 words, which should include an explanation of your choices of project(s)/supervisor(s)
  • CV in a standardized format
  • Contact details of three academic referees
  • Transcripts detailing your university-level qualifications and marks to date
  • A research proposal is not required

The details required for completing the applications include: Course name DPhil in Molecular Cell Biology in Health and Disease; Course Code RD_PA2; Mode of Study Full time; Department Pathology; Studentship reference code path22

Applicants are encouraged to make a college choice.  We have close links with Lincoln College and Reuben College, but many colleges accept our students.  If you want any advice, please contact us.

Minimum academic standard required

See 'Entry requirements' here

Proficiency in English

If English is not your first language you will be required to supply test certificates stating that your proficiency in English achieves a minimum score. Full details of the test certificates accepted and the score level required can be found in the Application Guide. This Department requires the standard level score.

You do not need to have met this requirement in order to submit an application, but you will be required to meet it before you can be accepted for admission.

Candidates for whom English is not their first language but who are fluent in English, can request a waiver from this requirement at the time of application. Waivers may be granted if the candidate has been educated at an English-medium University for at least three years and shows clear evidence of fluency in submitted written work and at interview.


Dragana Ahel & Ivan Ahel  Molecular mechanisms of genome stability and cancer

Ivan Ahel  Regulation of genome stability and human disease

Alberto Baena Lopez Jordan Raff  Investigation of non-apoptotic caspase functions within tumour cells and their influence in the tumour microenvironment

Pedro Carvalho   Mechanisms controlling organelle dynamics and quality control

Marina Chekulaeva  RNA biology in neurons (joining dept in 2022)

Omer Dushek  Anton van der Merwe  Understanding and exploiting antigen discrimination by T cells

Fumiko Esashi & Jordan Raff  Investigating the mechanism maintaining centromere integrity

Ervin Fodor  Molecular mechanisms of influenza virus replication

Matthew Freeman  Rhomboid-like proteins: from molecular principles to their role in human disease

David Greaves  & Chris Tang  Regulation of macrophage phagocytosis and bacterial killing

Natalia Gromak  & Nicholas Proudfoot  Function of R-loops in health and disease

Ulrike Gruneberg Molecular mechanisms safe-guarding genome stability during mammalian mitosis

Monika Gullerova  The role of TIRR in DNA damage response

Georgia Isom Investigating proteins that build the outer membrane of antimicrobial resistant bacteria (joining dept in 2022)

Bass Hassan Discovery, selection and proof of concept evaluation of selective therapeutic targets in sarcoma.

William James & Sally Cowley Role of alveolar macrophages in Covid-19 pathology

Jordan Raff  Organelle dynamics in health and disease   

Sumana Sanyal   Viral manipulation of host cell biology for assembly, secretion and immune evasion

Quentin Sattentau & Omer Dushek  The role of mucins in controlling T cell antigen sensitivity and discrimination

Christoph Tang David Greaves The influence of type VI secretion systems in antagonistic interactions between bacteria in the human nasopharynx