As a result of the experience gained during the first 6-9 months (exact timing depends on whether an extended “mini-project” is carried out), students are able to make an informed choice of which laboratory to choose for their main project.
Once the main project has been selected, students prepare a written PhD project proposal, which is reviewed by supervisors and the mentoring committee who often provide suggestions and feedback. Students are also assigned a thesis committee. This consists of 2 group leaders other than the two supervisors who meet the student every 6 months. Typically, this involves preparation of a short 2-3 page written report, a short presentation and discussions. A benefit of these is that it requires you to take a step-back and explain your progress to researchers less familiar with their project.
Throughout the main project there are additional opportunities for training in new skills beyond those provided in the host lab. Included within this is the opportunity for a “Career Enhancement Placement”.
Around nine months after starting your main PhD project, you will prepare a short written report describing your research project, and make a presentation to appropriate division(s). This is assessed as a part of a formal transition to registration for a PhD degree by a committee that comprises the thesis committee, plus an additional expert whose expertise is relevant to the project.
Students are required to submit their thesis for examination within four years of starting. Our previous Wellcome funded programmes have a track record of providing a strong platform for the development of diverse career choices including research, with many of our students having a record of high quality publications.
All students, once the thesis has been submitted, will have access to flexible transition support funds. These funds will support up to 9 months of salary costs to enable students to further their career choices. Unique to this programme is our ability to offer students 6-9 months’ experience of industry style team based projects within our Drug Discovery Unit. This may suit those who aspire to transition to a career within Industry. Use of funds is flexible and driven by individuals’ interests – students may consolidate their main research project supporting additional peer reviewed publications, or alternatively may seek to carry out a short project in another laboratory to widen skills base prior to seeking a postdoctoral position. Information on how to apply for these funds will be added in due course.