Departmental Prize DPhil Studentship Competition 2023

The Department offers generous four-year DPhil studentships which cover full fees, pay a tax-free, enhanced stipend of ~£20,168 pa, and provide £5,300 pa for research and travel costs.

The studentships are funded through various sources including the EP Abraham Research and Clarendon Funds, the CIU Trust, and partnerships with colleges. The latter include the Sloane Robinson Foundation Scholarship (Lincoln College) and the Cyril and Phillis Long Scholarship (The Queen's College). 

Students on this programme start research on their main projects immediately and so they have a full four years to work on their research project. 

Individuals of all nationalities are welcome to apply. After completing their DPhil, 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 2023 must be submitted before 12 noon, 9th December 2022. Applicants must be available for interview from 16th-18th January 2023.  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 two supervisors/projects from the list below.  Please note that, because each supervisor can only take one student, applicants who name 2 supervisors are more likely to be successful than those who name only 1.  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 (statement of purpose) 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.

There is no need to provide a Studentship reference code.

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

Pedro Carvalho:  Mechanisms of protein quality control in health and disease 

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

Fumiko Esashi:  Homologous recombination at human centromeres – friend or foe?

Ervin Fodor:  Molecular mechanisms of influenza virus replication

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

Natalia Gromak:   Function of R-loops in health and disease  

Ulrike Gruneberg:  Molecular mechanisms safe-guarding genome stability during mammalian cell division

Bass Hassan  & Joey Riepsamme: Discovery and mechanism evaluation of synthetic lethality in cancers of mesenchyme

Georgia Isom:  Investigating proteins that build the outer membrane of antimicrobial resistant bacteria

Jordan Raff:  Probing the dynamics of protein machine assembly using advanced microscopy and image analysis 

Anthony Roberts*: Motor proteins: from structural biology to human disease

Sumana Sanyal:  Viral manipulation of host cell biology for biogenesis and immune evasion 

Emma Slack*:   Novel insights into bacterial sampling by the intestinal immune system

Mathew Stracy:  Characterising antibiotic-induced collateral damage in the gut microbiome


*supervisors will be joining the department in 2023