Life Sciences PhD application guidance

Points to consider before you make your application, examples of the types of questions you may be asked, and an outline of the data that we collect during the application process.

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Thank you for your interest in applying for a PhD in the School of Life Sciences. Below you will find some key things you should consider before you make your application, we have also included some examples of the types of questions you may be asked and outline the data that we collect during the application process.

  • Eligibility - Our PhD programmes and projects each have different eligibility criteria, please ensure that you meet the criteria for your chosen programme before you apply. Eligibility will be shown on each programme/project page. Any application received that does not meet the eligibility criteria will not be considered.
  • Academic Qualifications - candidates for studentships must hold qualifications equivalent to a first or upper second-class honours degree from a UK academic institution. Qualifications, or a combination of qualifications and experience, which demonstrate equivalent ability and attainment will also be considered. For example, a 2(ii) degree may be enhanced by the acquisition of a Masters degree.
  • Application Process – the application process is different across our programmes e.g. for EASTBIO you need to email your application form, for our Wellcome programme we have an online form. Please follow the instructions on each programme/project page to ensure that you follow the correct process.

What will I be asked?

All application processes aim to capture information about your academic qualifications, your previous experience and give you an opportunity to tell us more about why you want to study for a PhD. You’ll be asked to tell us why you have chosen the programme/project, which research areas excite you, you can also highlight extra-curricular activities and achievements you are proud of (academic or otherwise). Some example questions are shown below:

  • Why do you want to do a PhD? Please tell us more about your decision to apply, why you want to study in Dundee and which areas of research excite you.
  • Our programmes promote academic excellence, with diverse student cohorts working in an inclusive environment. What personal qualities and experience will you bring to your chosen PhD Programme and the lab(s) in which you would pursue your PhD? Here we are not simply looking for academic aptitude, rather the contribution you would make to our scientific community.

Your application will be reviewed by a panel of academic staff to determine your suitability, to allow us to assess your application to its full potential, you should:

  • Take time to think about your answers
  • Provide as much information as possible (within word limits!)
  • Relate your answers/personal statement to your chosen project/programme – we want to know what drives you

Data collection

When making your application, you will be asked to complete an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) questionnaire. We will ask you to provide information on your gender, sexuality and ethnic group, this forms part of our requirement to report on the diversity of our applicants to our PhD Programme funders as well our commitment to the University's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy (LINK) (you can opt out by selecting 'Prefer not to say' on the form).

We will also give you the chance to tell us about any challenges you have faced in your personal life which may have affected your route through education. This is to help us understand what support might be needed for our PhD interview candidates and successful students and we will take these circumstances into account if you are shortlisted.

Good luck!

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