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The programme trains you in a range of multidisciplinary approaches and embraces all aspects of ion channel and membrane transport research from protein structure, genetics and cell physiology to animal behaviour and human disease. The first year is devoted to taught courses and two rotation-projects. This is followed by a three-year research project involving two different OXION groups.
In the first year, you will be introduced to a wide range of scientific disciplines and techniques involving two extended laboratory rotations. During the first three months you will attend a series of specialist lectures and demonstrations that will provide an introduction to a range of multidisciplinary skills in integrative physiology.
A unique aspect of the programme is the provision of extensive ‘hands-on’ practical experience in a wide range of experimental techniques. These include whole animal in vivo physiology, animal behaviour, immunohistochemistry, and electrophysiological recording techniques, as well as cutting-edge biochemical, biophysical, structural and computational methods for studying ion channels and membrane proteins. You will also be required to pass the PILB and PILC (formerly known as modules one to four) of the Home Office Personal Licence.
From the second to fourth years, you will focus on your doctoral research project. A key feature of the OXION programme is that this must be a multidisciplinary project that involves more than one research group. Such joint projects not only help you develop independence and a wider range of skills, but also facilitate important collaborations between groups. The primary supervisor will be drawn from a list of those working directly on ion channels or transporters but the choice of co-supervisor may depend on the nature of the project and techniques required. The final choice of both project and host research groups will be made by you in conjunction with the Organising Committee.
Your progress is monitored by the Programme Directors and you will be required to meet standard University milestones for progress involving formal monitoring via supervisor feedback forms submitted three times per year.
Where appropriate, you will also have the opportunity to take additional graduate modules to equip yourself with new skills that might be required for your project, or to update your knowledge of major new developments in your own (or related) research field. Training will also be provided in other relevant transferable skills such as writing research papers, planning/writing a thesis and presentation skills.
Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in a relevant biological science subject.
For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.5 out of 4.0.
However, entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a first-class degree or the equivalent.
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).
No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.
Other appropriate indicators will include:
- Official transcript(s)
- Statement of purpose/personal statement:500 words
- References/letters of recommendation:Three overall, of which at least two must be academic
- Global Education
- Hill Foundation Scholarships