Information for Applicants

The Radcliffe Department of Medicine (RDM) is a large multi-disciplinary department with research interests that span the translational spectrum, from basic biological research through to clinical application. We offer research degrees in a broad range of sciences related to medicine, ranging from cardiovascular, diabetes, endocrinology, and stroke research, to molecular medicine, immunology, haematology and pathology, including programmes in stem cell & regenerative medicine.

We offer a DPhil (Doctor of Philosophy) degree, the DPhil in Medical Sciences, which covers all areas of RDM research. In keeping with our focus on translational research, applications are welcomed from both basic scientists and clinicians.

A DPhil typically lasts 3-4 years. We have considerable experience supervising clinicians who hold 3-year fellowships and tailor research projects for such students accordingly. Students are admitted to work on a specified research project in a single laboratory, with close supervision from one or more of our PIs and their team.

DPhil Projects

Applicants can apply to undertake a project advertised on our DPhil Project List, which is published in early October each year. The projects listed span the research that is being done in RDM. Please be aware that it is usual for projects to be modified during the early stages of research. We actively encourage DPhil students' input in refining the parameters of their research project.

A small number of applicants have their own plans for a research project or develop a research project in collaboration with a proposed supervisor which is not on the DPhil project list. (This is sometimes called a 'direct application'.) In such cases, you must contact your proposed supervisor in advance of application in order to discuss whether the project is viable within their laboratory and whether available funding will be sufficient to cover research costs. Your initial email should contain your curriculum vitae and names and addresses of referees. If your prospective supervisor indicates that he/she is able to supervise your project then you should apply online in the usual way. Your application will go through the standard Departmental selection process; your supervisor's agreement does not constitute acceptance onto the programme.


RDM students receive funding from a wide-range of different sources and the majority of RDM students have full funding from either Oxford-based or external sources. The Department's competitive RDM Scholars Programme is able to offer full funding at a generous level for outstanding basic science students, while our PIs have considerable experience in supporting clinicians in their applications for Clinical Research Fellowships (CRF). Please see our funding overview page for full details.

In order to be considered for Departmental funding schemes your application must be received by the January deadline each year. We are able to consider applications from applicants with external funding at other times of the year.

MRC Industrial CASE Studentships

Students on Industrial CASE Studentships carry out their research with co-supervision from RDM and an industrial partner. This gives students the opportunity to experience both an academic and an industrial research environment during their DPhil. Students will spend a minimum of three months working at the premises of the industrial partner during their four year project.

Fees and Living Costs

Before being admitted to the University, students must demonstrate their ability to cover their fees and living costs. You will be asked to complete a financial declaration to show that you understand the costs involved and that you have plans in place to finance yourself through your studies.

EU Referendum Result (Brexit)

On Thursday 23rd June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union. The future relationship between the UK and the EU is currently uncertain, although the UK is at present still a full member of the EU. The University of Oxford has announced that all EU students beginning their studies in the 2017/18 academic year will pay the home rate of fees for the duration of their course and any University of Oxford funding arrangements will be honoured for the duration of the award. Please see the University web pages for the latest information on how the EU referendum result will affect students.

Making an Application

You must submit your application online using the University's application form. If you are applying for a funded place you must submit your application, including all supporting materials and references, by the deadline in early January. You can find more information on making an application on our how to apply page.

If you are an international student, you may need to provide evidence of your English language abilities in order to secure a place.

All students are also members of a college. You do not need to specify a college preference, but you are welcome to do so. Please be aware that an offer of a place on the DPhil programme does not constitute a guarantee that you will be offered a place in your first choice college.