Departmental Prize Studentship Competition - deadline has now passed for competition applications for 2021

The Department offers generous four-year studentships which cover full fees, pay an enhanced (tax-free) stipend of ~£17,285 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.

Successful applicants can start in their supervisor's laboratory immediately and so have a full four years to work on their main research project.

Individuals of all nationalities are eligible to apply. Support will be provided to international students to help meet the costs of their visa and the health surcharge. Under the new graduate immigration route, international students will be able apply to remain in the UK for 3 years after completing their DPhil.

Application Guidance - The deadline for application to the studentship competition has now passed.  Applications from students with their own funding will still be considered - please see information on "how to apply".

All applications will need to be made ONLINE. 

Applications for entry in October 2021 must be submitted before 12 noon, 8th January 2021. Applicants must be available for interview from 25-27 January 2021.  Interviews will be held remotely.

This year the university recommends getting your application in as early as possible to avoid any last-minute problems (before Christmas if possible for the January deadlines).  Make sure that you register your referees and give them plenty of time to respond to the request. This is especially important in 2020/2021 due to the ongoing pandemic which could cause delays.

Applicants can obtain a fee waiver if they are from low income backgrounds or countries, or if they apply to certain related Oxford programmes.

Applicants may select up to two supervisors/projects from the list below. We advise students to make two choices if possible. Please put both projects/names in the appropriate text box on the application form. 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, including an explanation of your choices of project(s)/supervisor(s)
  • CV (including your final school year results - A level or equivalent)
  • 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 path21

Please make a college choice. You may choose any college that takes our students.  We have close links with Lincoln and Reuben Colleges.  If you want any advice please contact us. Do not submit an open college application

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.

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 & Jordan Raff  Molecular mechanisms of genome stability and cancer 

Ivan Ahel  Regulation of genome stability and human disease

Alberto Baena Lopez Matthew Freeman Biochemical and subcellular investigation of caspase functions

Pedro Carvalho  Mechanisms controlling organelle dynamics and quality control

Omer Dushek  Control of T cell activation by co-signalling receptors

Fumiko Esashi & Ulrike Gruneberg  Investigating the mechanism maintaining centromere integrity

Ervin Fodor  Molecular mechanisms of influenza virus replication

Matthew Freeman  Rhomboid-like proteins: from molecular principles to pathophysiological significance

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

Ulrike Gruneberg  Safe-guarding genome integrity during mammalian cell division

Monika Gullerova  The role of RNA-methyltransferase NSUN2 in tsRNA biogenesis and DNA repair

William James  Role of alveolar macrophages in Covid19 pathology

Nicholas Proudfoot  Defining the mechanism and biological role of R-loop promoter activity in mammalian gene expression

Jordan Raff  Organelle dynamics in health and disease

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

Quentin Sattentau  Adaptive immune modulation by aldehydic protein adducts 

Christoph Tang  Plasmid biology