DPhil (PhD) Opportunities
Details on how to apply for a DPhil (equivalent to a PhD) in the FMRIB Physics Group.
DPHIL RESEARCH PROJECTS
The FMRIB Physics Group usually admit several DPhil students each academic year. We typically have a few projects that senior members of the group are looking to supervise, but are also open to project suggestions from interested candidates. Interested candidates are encouraged to review the DPhil Projects currently on offer.
DPHIL PROGRAMS AT OXFORD
Most students pursue a 3-year, research-only degree (with requirement to finish the doctoral thesis within 4 years). There is no formal coursework as part of this degree. Interested students can apply directly to our host department, the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences (NDCN) (see below).
We also supervise students associated with Oxford's Doctoral Training Centres (DTCs), which offer a first year of taught courses and lab placements. The Oxford-Nottingham Biomedical Imaging program is particularly well-suited to students interested in receiving training on a range of imaging technologies (including MRI) and associated skills. DTC students can join our research group in their second year for a further three years of pure research.
All FMRIB students receive informal teaching in their first year, amounting to about 1/2 day per week of coursework via our Graduate Program, focused on MRI for neuroimaging. In addition, we run an informal training program in software development for Siemens MRI scanners within our group.
FINDING A SUPERVISOR
Students applying directly to NDCN for a DPhil should identify a proposed supervisor (DTC students will generally not do this prior to entry). You can identify supervisors and research topics by browsing our Research page. Generally, we recommend that you contact the Directors of the Physics Group, Profs Peter Jezzard (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Karla Miller (email@example.com). However, if you identify another preferred supervisor, please feel free to contact them directly. Please be aware that a given researcher may not be taking on students in a particular year. Researchers who have not previously supervised a student through to completion must be paired with a co-supervisor who has this experience.
APPLYING FOR DPHIL ADMISSION
For all DPhil streams, applications are taken in several "gathered fields" each year, although the primary gathered field deadline is in January and programmes may completely fill their admissions quota in this field. Applicants who do not speak English as their first language must meet language requirements, typically through a standardized test (details here).
For 3-year DPhils at FMRIB ("direct entry"), candidates would generally apply to the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences (NDCN). See details of the application process, admissions criteria and funding opportunities for our department on the study pages of our website. You are expected to propose a research project in your application. This will normally be put together following discussions with a candidate supervisor.
As described above, students may also enter FMRIB indirectly via a DTC programme. These programmes have different deadlines; the ONBI DTC has an additional early admission deadline in November. Note that admissions procedures will differ for these programmes, most notably with no need to identify a supervisor.
FUNDING A DPHIL
Acceptance to a DPhil program is only final once you secure funding. There are three primary expenses incurred during a DPhil: living expenses, tuition and college fees. Tuition varies with nationality, with a reduced rate for EU (including British) citizens.
Funding can come from a range of (and potentially multiple) sources, including external and internal studentships. Studentship funding within Oxford is competitive and typically awarded for applicants to the January gathered field. If you apply for a DPhil place, you will automatically be considered for any studentships being offered by our department (NDCN). Some studentships awarded by the University require that you indicate your interest on your application for admission. Acceptance into Doctoral Training Centre programs often comes with full funding. The FMRIB Physics Group occasionally has funded studentships to award, which would be advertised on our Opportunities page.
You can determine your costs and search for funding sources here (specify Clinical Neurology as Subject Area and Medical Sciences as Division).