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The MRC Biostatistics Unit is an internationally recognised research unit affiliated to the University of Cambridge specialising in statistical modelling with application to medical, biological or public health sciences.
Our PhD students are registered with the University of Cambridge. Students belong to one of the University's colleges and are trained at our Unit at the University Forvie Site on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus at Addenbrooke's Hospital.
We maintain strong links with the University of Cambridge Statistical Laboratory, Alan Turing Institute and other Mathematical departments (who are based in the Centre for Mathematical Sciences on the West Cambridge site).
PhD studies within the multi-disciplinary MRC Biostatistics Unit include diverse training opportunities for all aspects of research and encourage the development of both academic and generic research skills.
Your primary supervisor will be responsible for your work, and for overseeing the general training elements of the PhD degree. In addition, you will have a second supervisor and/or a small advisory team. These individuals may be from a collaborating group or a group that does different research but is otherwise related to the group. They will advise you more generally about your PhD degree and be an independent point of contact in case of individual difficulties. You will be expected to meet with your supervisory team at least once a term.
The aim of the academic part of the programme is to:
- gain experience in written and oral presentation of your work
- monitor the quality of your research project
- ensure that your PhD project is on track.
The presentations of your work also provide an opportunity to receive helpful feedback from members of the Unit and from scientists who are less closely involved with your research.
|One to one supervision||
The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.
|Seminars & classes||
BSU seminars are held, roughly monthly, on Tuesday afternoons during term time. Attendance is strongly encouraged.
The Institute of Public Health seminars are held on Friday lunchtimes during term time. Attendance at some of the more relevant of these is highly recommended.
Students are also encouraged to attend seminars, workshops and courses at the Stats Lab.
BSU students in their first year attend the UK-wide Academy for Postgraduate Training in Statistics which comprises four one-week residential courses.
The BSU run a number of short courses which are mainly free to BSU students.
Journal clubs and other discussion groups - based for example around research programmes, particular topics or software - are held occasionally. A student could expect to attend these for 1-3 hours per month.
Students present an introduction to their project in the second term, and make fuller presentations usually at the end of the first year and early in the third year. They are encouraged to make other presentations within the unit and at national and international conferences.
Students should expect regular feedback from supervisors during their regular one to one meetings. Additionally, students should meet with their supervisory team once a term and the feedback from this is fed back to the students via the termly online reports (Cambridge Graduate Supervision Reporting System (CGSRS).
For the PhD degree, the thesis should not exceed 60,000 words (or 80,000 by special permission of the Degree Committee). This limit excludes figures, photographs, tables, appendices and bibliography. Formatting should be be double or one-and-a-half spaced and pages to be double or single sided.
Submission of the final thesis will be followed by an oral examination.
All PhD students are required to undergo formal assessment (by written report and viva) at the end of their first year. If successful, the student moves from being 'probationary' to being registered for the PhD and can proceed with their project.
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