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In the first year students follow a training programme that provides the necessary theoretical foundations, laboratory and practical skills for cross-disciplinary research at the Biomedical Interface. Six tailor-made taught modules and two mini-projects are combined with training in communication skills, public understanding of science and knowledge transfer. This training is an integral part of the PhD programme and is key preparation for the PhD thesis project. Students additionally receive an MSc for the year 1 studies.
Second, third and fourth years; PhD thesis research project
On attainment of a MSc award the students engage in their individual three-year PhD research projects. Each project involves three elements: a biological system, one or more imaging technologies, and advanced analysis of the system or image data generated. Each project has three supervisors, one for each of the three areas. One supervisor is the lead supervisor. The DTC provides both study and pastoral support, through dedicated staff and the peer network. The research and team coherence, actively developed in year one through a variety of group activities, continue to be nurtured in the subsequent years through regular pairings, seminars and other Centre-wide activities.
Integration between disciplines
On successful completion of year 1 the students engage in their individual PhD thesis research projects. Each project involves three elements: physical science and computer science applied to a biomedical challenge. Each project has three supervisors, a physical scientist, a computer scientist and a biomedic, one for each of the three areas. One supervisor is the lead supervisor. The CDT provides both study and pastoral support, through dedicated staff and the peer network. The research and team coherence, actively developed in year one through a variety of group activities, continue to be nurtured in the subsequent years through regular pairings, seminars and other Centre-wide activities.
First year: taught modules
In the first year students follow a training programme that provides the necessary theoretical foundations, laboratory and practical skills for cross-disciplinary research at the Biomedical Interface. Core material is taught by dedicated CDT staff while detailed applications in various areas are presented as seminars by the relevant specialists including other academic staff and our industrial partners. Our ethos throughout the programme is of individual support starting from year one.
First year: mini-projects
Each student undertakes two different mini-projects within the first year to practice core experimental and research skills. All projects involve three elements: physical science and computer/data analysis and is applied to a biomedical challenge.
PhD Thesis project
On completion of year 1 students engage in their individual PhD Thesis research projects (often chosen as a development of one of the mini-projects). In the same way as for mini-projects, each project involves a biological system, one or more physical sciences and significant computer analysis of data generated.
To ensure the students continue to develop a broad base of expertise, a Buddy Scheme pairs each student with another student from different background and on a different project. The students also participate in CDT wide imaging workshops, and additional training courses (1 module per year) specific to their chosen research area.
The stimulation of novel research is an important part of CDT activity. Seminars and workshops with internal and external academic and industrial speakers allow students to learn about new technologies and concepts at the interface of physical science, imaging and biomedicine. Sci-Phy students automatically become members of the University Graduate School which provides a variety of generic courses such as IT skills and presentation skills
Applicants must have a 2:1 (Hons) degree in a related subject (Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, Natural Sciences, Computer Science, Engineering or Mathematics).
Please be aware that entry to our programmes is highly competitive: consequently we also consider the skills, attributes, motivation and potential for success of an individual when deciding to make an offer.
Fully funded PhD places available
Each year the DTC will be able to provide between 10-15 fully funded EPSRC studentships (stipends, fees & bench fees) to UK students and possibly EU students. All candidates are advised to refer to the EPSRC website to check their status and eligibility for EPSRC studentships.
Non-EU Students are not eligible for EPSRC studentships but may secure their own finance or seek competitive scholarships from the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University. Up to ten elite scholarships are offered each year across all engineering and physical science disciplines. More information about postgraduate elite scholarship opportunities across the University of Birmingham is available from the Student Funding Office.