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University of Oxford: Biomedical and Clinical Sciences

Institution University of Oxford
Department The Medical Sciences Doctoral Training Centre
Telephone +44 (0)1865 270059
Study type Research


The information provided on this page was correct at the time of publication (October 2020). For complete and up-to-date information about this course, please visit the relevant University of Oxford course page via

This three-year programme is tailored specifically to the needs of talented clinicians who aspire to a career in academic medicine or clinical psychology. The course is also known as the Doctoral Training Fellowship Scheme for Clinicians.

Successful applicants will work towards a DPhil within one of three streams which are in basic sciences, mental and cognitive health, and translational/experimental medicine.

You will be offered generic research training and required to meet standard University milestones for progress. All students are formally monitored via supervisor feedback forms submitted three times per year.

1. Basic sciences This stream aims to provide high-quality research training in basic and applied molecular science for clinical academics who aspire to a career in academic medicine. It is expected that you will carry out DPhil projects in one of the following broad areas: - metabolism

  • genomics

  • haematology

  • infection/immunity/inflammation

  • neurobiology

  • cardiovascular

  • rheumatology related disease, including the process of inflammation, damage and repair.

Training provision is tailored to your needs, in relation to your research project and determined in consultation with supervisors, mentor and programme directors.

It is expected that you will have both basic-scientist and clinician-scientist supervisors, to bridge the gap between basic and applied research.

2. Mental and cognitive health This stream aims to recruit clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and neurologists to the DPhil programme and place them into internationally-recognised research groups that have successfully developed new treatments, clinical assessments and rehabilitation procedures and/or novel experimental medicine approaches to psychopharmacology.

You should expect to receive core teaching in a range of skills important for clinical research in mental and cognitive health. These may include: experimental design, structured clinical interviews, cognitive testing, programming experiments MATLAB/using E-Prime/SuperLab etc, design and analysis of clinical trials, acquisition and analysis of fMRI and other imaging data.

In addition, Oxford has exceptional multimodal imaging facilities to which you should have access. If appropriate for your research, you will normally be able to join the FMRIB graduate training programme.

Throughout the DPhil course, students on this stream will have a weekly day-long placement in a unit that conducts clinical work closely related to your research programme.

You will be required to meet standard University milestones for progress and will be monitored formally via supervisor feedback forms submitted three times per year.

3. Translational/experimental medicine This is a new theme, introduced to take advantage of other strengths in biomedical science. These include projects in: - the Institute of Biomedical Engineering,

  • vaccinology through the Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group,

  • veterinary science in collaboration with the Pirbright Institute and the Royal Veterinary College

  • translational and applied neurosciences including advanced neuro-imaging available through the Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Building (fMRIB)

  • major non-communicable diseases through the Nuffield Department of Population Health, Clinical Trials Service Unit, and Epidemiologic Studies Unit, and the new Big Data Institute (BDI)

  • international health and tropical medicine, building on collaborations between Oxford investigators and its major overseas programmes with bases in Kenya, Thailand, and Vietnam.


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