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MRC Enterprise Studentship Programme 2019 (industrial CASE awards)

University of Oxford

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Oxford
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £20,000 p.a., all tuition fees paid, plus a research training support grant.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 6th December 2018
Closes: 11th January 2019

iCASE 2019 — University of Oxford, Medical Sciences Division

Five industrial CASE (iCASE) studentships are available for doctoral study at Oxford, to start in October 2019. Each iCASE studentship is fully-funded for four years with a stipend of £20,000 p.a., all tuition fees paid, plus a research training support grant. Applications must be received by 12 noon (UK time) Friday 11 January 2019.

Designed to nurture the academic entrepreneurs of the future, the Enterprise studentship programme offers a stimulating educational experience as part of the Oxford-MRC DTP cohort, with the additional benefit of working closely with an industrial partner. This will provide entrepreneurial training opportunities and an insight into how commercial science is conducted alongside a superb academic base within the University. Students will work for at least 3 months in the associated company.

The five projects are:

1. Using AI to Drive Drug Discovery for Membrane Protein Targets (Lead supervisor Prof Phil Biggin, commercial partner Vertex Pharmaceuticals)

2. Development of in vitro 3D white adipose cell culture models for investigating white adipose cell biology and genetics of fat distribution (Lead supervisor Prof Roger Cox, commercial partner OxSyBio Ltd)

3. An Enhanced Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator for Advancing Clinical Neuroscience and Minimally-Invasive Brain Therapies (Lead supervisor Prof Tim Denison, commercial partner Magstim)

4. Optimisation of co-registered functional near-infrared spectroscopy and electroencephalogram measurement of early childhood neurocognitive development (Lead supervisor Prof Gaia Scerif, Co-supervisor Dr Karla Holmboe, commercial partner Gowerlabs Ltd)

5. Targeting TFEB to correct autophagy/lysosomal deficits in Parkinson’s disease (Lead supervisor Prof Richard Wade-Martins, commercial partner Biogen)

Entry Requirements

Within equal opportunities principles and legislation, applications will be assessed in the light of an applicant’s ability to meet the following entry requirements:

1. Academic ability

Proven and potential academic achievements

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in a relevant discipline such as biology, biochemistry, or medicine. However, entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a first-class degree or the equivalent.

A previous master's degree is not required.

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

Other appropriate indicators will include: 

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application, including references and an official transcript. See 'How to apply' for instructions on the documents you will need.

Performance at interview

Interviews are normally held as part of the admissions process.  

Candidates who are shortlisted are interviewed as part of the admissions process. Shortlisting will be based on the criteria given above. There will be a minimum of three academics on the interview panel. By preference, interviews will be conducted in person, but when this is not possible we will use telephone or Skype (with video) and ensure that applicants are not disadvantaged by using these forms of communication. Normally the interview will consist of a five-minute presentation of previous project work by the applicant, followed by 15-25 minutes of questioning from the panel.

Publications

Prior publications are not required, but research experience and a demonstrable interest in the commercialisation of research may be an advantage.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

Evidence of a prior interest in the area of research proposed is likely to advantage your application.

2. English language requirement

Applicants whose first language is not English are usually required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the standard level required by the University.

3. Disability, health conditions and specific learning difficulties

Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background.

Decisions on admission are based solely on the individual academic merits of each candidate and the application of the entry requirements appropriate to the course.

Further information on how these matters are supported during the admissions process is available in our guidance for applicants with disabilities.

4. Assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgment of at least two members of academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and additionally must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent departmental persons or bodies).

Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

It would be expected that graduate applicants would be familiar with the recent published work of their proposed supervisor.

 Eligibility

To be eligible for a full award, applicants must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and must have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship. Further details about residence requirements may be obtained here.

How To Apply

Before applying for these positions we recommend you contact the lead supervisors for informal discussions. To make a formal application, please complete the University’s online application form for the DPhil in Biochemistry (course code RD_BC1). In your application, you must indicate that you are applying for an advertised studentship competition, using the reference code iCASE. Please indicate clearly which project(s) you are applying for, in order of preference. It is possible to apply for up to 3 MRC iCASE projects on your application. You will need to provide a CV outlining your academic achievements and relevant experience, and a personal statement (500 words max) detailing your interest and fit for the studentship. Note that no project proposal is required for the iCASE studentship applications.

If you wish to apply for a combination of iCASE and other projects within the administering department (the Department of Biochemistry), this can be done on the same application form (3 projects max). If you wish to apply for both the iCASE projects and other projects within other departments, you will have to make separate applications directly through those departments in addition to your iCASE application.

If you have any specific queries about the iCASE application process, please email mrc@medsci.ox.ac.uk. General advice on how to pick a graduate advisor and how to choose a scientific problem can be found in these two articles:

All applications must be received by the deadline of 12 noon (UK time) Friday 11 January 2019.

We expect to interview shortlisted applicants in February and to make offers by the end of February. Successful applicants will be rerouted onto the appropriate DPhil course for their chosen project.  

   
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