Wellcome 4-Year PhD Programme in Integrated Molecular, Cellular and Translational Biology: Main PhD project

Learn about the process for completing your main PhD project as part of the Wellcome 4 year programme.

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As a result of the experience gained during the first six-nine months (exact timing depends on whether an extended “mini-project” is carried out), you are able to make an informed choice of which laboratory to choose for your main project.

Once you have selected your main project, you prepare a written PhD project proposal, which is reviewed by supervisors and the mentoring committee who often provide suggestions and feedback. You will also be assigned a thesis committee. This consists of two group leaders other than the two supervisors who meet the student every six months. Typically, this involves preparation of a short two-three 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 your 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.

Upgrade process

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.

Thesis submission

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.

Transition support

All students, once the thesis has been submitted, will have access to flexible transition support funds. These funds will support up to nine months of salary costs to enable you to further your career choices. Unique to this programme is our ability to offer students six-nine 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 – you may consolidate your main research project supporting additional peer reviewed publications, or alternatively may seek to carry out a short project in another laboratory to widen your skills base prior to seeking a postdoctoral position. Information on how to apply for these funds will be added in due course.