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University of Oxford Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :06 Jan 
International :06 Jan 
EU :06 Jan 

DPhil Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Programme in Neuroscience

 Course Level
PhD
 Type
Full Time

 Duration
4 Years
 Start month
October

 Tuition fee

International
18080 GBP
National
4250 GBP
EU
4250 GBP

Application fee

International 75 GBP
National 75 GBP
EU 75 GBP
Department
Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
2

World University Ranking

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About this course

The four-year Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Programme in Neuroscience has an outstanding record of achievement in terms of the publications and future careers of the students who have graduated to date. The programme is highly regarded internationally and many of its alumni are now leading neuroscientists.

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria

Academic Requirements

Proven and potential academic excellence

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in any scientific discipline. The department encourages applicants with a physical sciences background, as well as those who have studied a biological subject, such as psychology, biochemistry or neuroscience, at undergraduate level. 

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.5 out of 4.0.

 

If you hold non-UK qualifications and wish to check how your qualifications match these requirements, you can contact the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC).
 

If in doubt about the eligibility of your qualifications, please contact the department.

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

Other appropriate indicators will include:

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application, including references and an official transcript. See 'How to apply' for instructions on the documents you will need and how these will be assessed.

Performance at interview(s)

Interviews are normally held as part of the admissions process.  

A shortlist is drawn up based on the academic excellence, potential and motivation for research of the applicants. Approximately 30 candidates will be shortlisted. Interviews usually take place three weeks after the application deadline. All shortlisted applicants will be asked to attend an interview in Oxford or, if overseas, to participate in an interview.

The interview panel will typically comprise 5-7 members of the Organising Committee, with a range of expertise in neuroscience, and candidates will be required to give a ten-minute presentation on a research project in which they have been involved. The panel will then question the candidates about their presentation and also ask more general questions that explore their motivation for and interest in carrying out neuroscience research.

Publications

Although it is often the case that applicants for this programme have one or more publications, this is not a requirement.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

Previous research experience as a vacation student or intern can provide an advantage.

 

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

You must supply suitable evidence that you meet the English language requirement for your course (or, if eligible, you can request a waiver of the requirement), if:

  • your first language is not English, or 
  • your first language is English, but you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country recognised by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

Score requirements
The University applies either a standard or a higher level of required ability in English depending on the course. The level you will need is shown on each course page.

The University only accepts certain standardised tests, with results at or above the following scores:

IELTS Academic 
Institution code: 0713

  • Standard level scores 7.0 Minimum,6.5 per component 
  • Higher level scores 7.5 Minimum,7.0 per component 

TOEFL iBT 
Institution code: 0490

  • Standard level scores - 100 Minimum component scores Listening: 22,Reading: 24,Speaking: 25,Writing: 24
  • Higher level scores - 110 Minimum component scores Listening: 22,Reading: 24,Speaking: 25,Writing: 24

 

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

  • Standard level scores - 185 Minimum 176 per component
  • Higher level scores - 191 Minimum 185 per component

 

Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE)

  • Standard level scores - 185 Minimum 176 per component
  • Higher level scores - 191 Minimum 185 per component

All of these tests are accepted for both admissions and visa purposes; you will not be required to provide additional evidence of your English language ability in your visa application. Whilst UKVI may accept lower minimum scores for visa purposes, the University still requires you to meet these minimum scores.

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course.

You do not need to submit an English language test result at the same time as your application if you have not yet taken a test or received your results; your application will still be considered by the academic department, provided that all other required documents have been submitted. Any offer of a place will be conditional on you submitting English language test results at the required level by a deadline set by the department in their offer letter. 

The University will verify all IELTS and TOEFL results directly with the test provider. If you have uploaded a CPE or CAE, you will be asked to supply the original document if you are admitted to the course. 

Asking for a waiver of the requirement
At the discretion of the academic department, the requirement to provide English language scores may be waived if you have completed, or are currently completing, a degree-level course that is:

  • full-time
  • at least nine months long
  • undertaken at a recognised institution where the medium of instruction and assessment throughout the course is entirely in English.

To request a waiver, you need to write a letter or statement giving the reasons for your request and upload it to your application. If successful, you will not be required to supply English language test results as a condition of any offer made.

If you are still completing your course and you are offered a place and a waiver of the requirement, you will usually need to provide evidence that you have successfully completed your course as a condition of your offer by a date set by your department in your offer letter (no later than 31 August and generally earlier). If you are due to complete your course after this deadline, you will usually be expected to submit results of an English language test meeting the University's usual requirements.

Check further details on University website

Course Modules

Applicants are strongly advised to visit the Medical Sciences Graduate School website to help them identify the most suitable course and supervisors.
 

The programme takes an integrated approach to neuroscience and provides a wide range of skills training in experimental and theoretical methods that is intended to enable you to ask questions and tackle problems that transcend the traditional disciplines from which this field has evolved.

The first year follows the taught MSc in Neuroscience course, during which you will undertake two extended research projects from a choice of over one hundred offered annually by the extensive neuroscience research community in Oxford. You will also attend the graduate programme lecture series, which provides a broad education covering molecular, cellular, systems, computational and cognitive neuroscience.

After successful completion of the MSc, Wellcome Trust-funded students continue with a three-year doctoral research project (DPhil). Toward the end of the MSc year, you will decide which laboratories and supervisor(s) you wish to work with and prepare a proposal for your three-year doctoral research project. This project can take place in any area of neuroscience within the Oxford network of laboratories and approved supervisors.

Year one
During your first year, as a Wellcome Trust-funded student you will join those students taking the stand-alone MSc in Neuroscience. Having a larger cohort of students enhances and expands the training opportunities available, helping you to make a more informed decision about the topic and design of your doctoral research project.

The MSc year begins in late September and is divided into three terms. The first term provides an introduction to neuroscience and research methods, while the second and third terms combine advanced taught courses, essay writing and two laboratory rotations (research projects). The course concludes the following September with an oral examination.

Each of the MSc research projects lasts for about 16 weeks and is selected from a very extensive list of approved abstracts. These are written up as 10,000-word dissertations. With over 100 abstracts submitted each year, there is always plenty of choice, but ifyou are interested in a particular lab or research topic then you are welcome to discuss a potential project independently with an appropriate supervisor. Many of these projects lead to publications.

Years two to four
Early in May of the first year, you will meet with the course director and course lecturer to discuss the process for selecting your DPhil project. It is recommended that you talk to several potential supervisors and, in many cases, collaborative projects are proposed.

You may opt to continue one of the MSc lab rotations as your DPhil project, or combine the subject areas or methods encountered during both MSc lab rotations as a collaborative DPhil project, whereas others choose a research area that they have not previously tried out during the MSc year.

You will begin the DPhil in October of the second year. At this point, you will become integrated within your chosen department(s) and follow the same progression as other research students who work there. You are initially accepted as Probationary Research Students (PRS) and transfer to full DPhil status by the end of the fourth term. This involves the preparation of a transfer report and an interview to discuss the research you have carried out so far and your future plans with two independent scientists who have relevant expertise.

Check further details on University website

How to Apply

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

The following documents are compulsory for all applications:

  • three references (letters of recommendation)
  • official transcript(s) of previous university-level degrees
  • CV/résumé
  • statement of purpose and/or research proposal (upto 2 pages)

You may also need to submit one or more of the following, depending on the course:

  • academic written work
  • portfolio (eg of artwork, performance recordings)
  • GRE results
  • mathematics admissions exercise
  • evidence of proficiency in a language essential to the course, eg Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)

The set of documents you should send with your application to this course comprises the following:

  • Official transcript(s)
  • CV/résumé
  • Statement of purpose/personal statement:Up to 1,000 words
  • References/letters of recommendation:Three overall, academic and/or professional

All your documents must be in PDF, JPG or PNG format

  • Files must not be sent as Word documents. If you are not sure how to convert your files to PDF format no larger than 4MB (for upload to your application form)
  • Documents larger than 4MB are acceptable, but they are larger than the capacity of the upload facility in the application form itself. Instead, create a PDF with the following statement and upload it to the relevant document slot in your application:"My document is over 4MB and will be sent separately."
  • After you submit your application, send the document via ouroversize document form by the deadline you are applying to.in English (unless otherwise permitted by the department)
  • Documents you have written yourself, such as a personal statement, research proposal or written work, must be written in English unless otherwise permitted by the department. An English translation by a third party is not acceptable unless explicitly permitted by the department. These documents must be entirely your own work, except where clearly indicated, and may be checked using plagiarism detection software as part of the admissions process. Further information on this requirement is available in our guidance on plagiarism.
  • Official transcripts which are not issued in English should be translated by either a professional translator, the relevant issuing body of the original document, or an authorised notary. 
  • accessible, clear and legible
  • easily identifiable
  • Please clearly indicate your name as well as the type of document, eg research proposal, on the document.
  • You should not upload documents which are not required for your course, eg degree certificates.
  • Please do not send original and/or paper documents unless specifically requested. If you are offered a place, you will later be asked to send the original(s) of any official documents sent as a digital file in your initial application.

Check further details on University website

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