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 are able to 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 two DPhil (Doctor of Philosophy) degrees, which are the University of Oxford equivalent of a PhD. The DPhil in Medical Sciences covers all areas of RDM research. Complementing this, our DPhil in Cardiovascular Medicine covers the entire spectrum of cardiovascular research. In keeping with our focus on translational research, applications are welcomed from both basic scientists and clinicians for either programme.

A DPhil typically lasts 3-4 years, depending on the project and the student. 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

The majority of our applicants apply to undertake a project advertised on our DPhil Project List, which is refreshed in September 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.

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 acceptance does not constitute acceptance onto the programme.

Eligibility for funding is unaffected by which type of application you make.

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.


Most of our students, whether basic scientists or clinical fellows, are fully funded. The Department is able to offer full funding at a generous level for basic scientists and our PIs have considerable experience in supporting clinicians in their applications for Clinical Research Fellowships (CRF).

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.

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 will not constitute a guarantee that you will be offered a place in your first choice college.