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© John Cairns

The deadline for applications has now passed for entry in October 2023.

Applications for entry in October 2024 will be accepted from 1 September 2023. 

Research opportunities available in this programme will be advertised in DPhil Research Opportunities 2024 from 1 September.

You can find full details on the application process in the University’s application guide.



  • September 2023 – Applications open
  • 1 December 2023, 12 noon (UK time) – applications for funded studentships close
  • Applications for the DPhil in Medical Sciences received by 1 December will automatically be considered for funding if the applicant meets the eligibility criteria. 
  • Week commencing 18 December 2023 - Shortlisted candidates start to be invited for interview 
  • Week commencing 8 January 2024 – Interviews to be held remotely
  • Offers start to be made from the beginning of February
  • 21 June 2024 - course closes for all applications.  
  • If you have your own funding in place, eg funding from your home government or a clinical fellowship, and do not need to consider funding from the departmental or Oxford scholarships, you should apply after the December deadline up to 21 June 2024
  • October 2024 – DPhil studies start date 



All applications must be made using the University's online application formYou are advised to submit your application form and all your supporting documents at least a week before the deadline to avoid any last-minute problems with the submission process. At least two references will need to be submitted by this deadline in order for the application to be considered complete.

Before starting your application, please read the University of Oxford Graduate application guide

BEFORE you apply, you should identify an academic member of staff who is willing to supervise you and has the resources to support the proposed research project. Contact with the prospective supervisor is a key part of the admissions process to ensure there is a good fit between the student and the lab. Please download this form, complete, and send to your preferred supervisors with a cover email. Some supervisors receive many enquiries from prospective students, so please contact them as soon as possible, allow time for a response and keep your message brief and to the point. Supervisor contact details can be found through clicking on their picture on the right-hand side of the profile page or by searching for them using the people tab at the top. A supervisor will either let you know that they cannot support your application or contact you to discuss the project further. After this discussion a supervisor will let you know whether they can support your application. Please note that conversations with potential supervisors are not part of the final selection process. 


Specific details required in the application form:

  • Programme description - DPhil in Medical Sciences
  • Course Code - RD_MD1 (full-time option), RD_MD9P1 (part-time option)
  • Proposed Field and Title of Research:  Insert "Not applicable"
  • Supervisor:  List up to 3 supervisors from DPhil Research Opportunities 
    • Please note that Professor Simon Davis is offering both a standard studentship and an MRC Enterprise Studentship. You may apply for either or both his standard and Enterprise studentships but you must indicate which projects you applying by citing naming the supervisor as Davis (standard) or Davis (enterprise).
  • CV: Please follow the instructions concerning the submission of your CV in the Medical Sciences Division website.  
  • Research Proposal:   A research proposal is not required.  
  • Statement of Purpose: All applicants are to submit a personal statement with their application (500 words max; any statements exceeding this limit will not be considered). You should head the Statement of Purpose with the names of the supervisors to whom you are applying. The statement should explain your motivation for doctoral study, how your background, experience and research interests relate to the proposed programme of study. The focus should be on academic or research-related achievements and interests rather than personal achievements and interests.


The Statement of Purpose (Personal Statement) will be assessed for:

·         your reasons for applying
·         evidence of motivation for and understanding of the proposed area of study
·         the ability to present a reasoned case in English
·         capacity for sustained and focused work
·         understanding of problems in the area and ability to construct and defend an argument.
It will be normal for students’ ideas and goals to change in some ways as they undertake their DPhil, but your Statement of Purpose will enable you to demonstrate your current interests and aspirations.

You are only required to provide one Statement of Purpose for the DPhil in Medical Sciences. This will be considered by both the RDM Scholars Programme and the WIMM Prize Studentship if you meet the eligibility criteria. 



RDM Scholars Programme - if you are also applying for the WIMM Prize Studentship you need only make one application. Do not make a separate application for each scholarship /studentship.


  • Studentships are fully funded for 4 years, including a stipend and fees. 
  • Part-time option – if you wish to study part-time you MUST contact your potential supervisor to ask if they are able to accommodate part-time study
  • There is no rotation
  • You will need to ensure that your referees are willing and able to write a reference for you. References must be submitted no later than the application deadline. It is your responsibility to ensure that your references are submitted on time. 
  • Your references should generally be academic though you may use up to one relevant professional reference – for example, a reference froman industrial placement. If you have completed or are currently undertaking a Masters you should include a reference from this course as well as your undergraduate degree.
  • You will need to pay the application fee unless you are eligible for a fee waiver.  The fee is currently £75 and can be paid by credit/debit card through the University's online shop.  If you do not have access to a bank account and are unable to pay by card, you should contact Graduate Admissions and Funding for guidance as soon as you have decided to apply.
  • If you do not manage to contact your prospective supervisor you can still submit an application and, if shortlisted, you will be able to make contact with them prior to the interview.
  • You are advised to look at the Frequently Asked Questions page for further information.




Information on eligibility can be found at the DPhil in Medical Science information page.



Please contact Dr Jill Walker, RDM Graduate Studies Manager:

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