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Research programmes

DPhil in Biochemistry

Course Code | 001380

This programme aims to train students in research, leading to high quality publications. The programme is supported by University, College and Departmental scholarships and studentships.

Some studentships require completion of 1-2 laboratory rotations. Postgraduates reading for a DPhil in the area of Molecular Biochemistry & Chemical Biology and the Wellcome Trust Programmes in Structural Biology and in Chromosome & Developmental Biology offer interdisciplinary training through two 6-month Lab rotations, and supporting non-examined courses, followed by selection of an area for DPhil study. All postgraduates are supported with mentoring and departmental and university transferable skills courses.

DPhil in Biochemistry (Joint Oxford/TSRI)

Course Code | 001390

This five-year Degree programme aims to train researchers in Biochemistry and Chemistry at Oxford and The Scripps Research Institute, USA, with two to three years at each institution leading to high quality publications in each place.  Applications for admission to this course must be made to The Scripps Research Institute, USA.

MSc by Research in Biochemistry

Course Code | 001400

The MSc by Research in Biochemistry is normally a 2-year programme aiming to train students in research leading to high quality publications.

Research areas for the DPhil and MSc by Research currently include:

  • Molecular Biochemistry & Chemical Biology
  • Structural Biology of cell surface and nuclear signal transduction processes, cell adhesion, cell cycle, membrane proteins, receptors and ion channels, drug design, protein folding and dynamics
  • Modelling and Simulation of Biological Membrane Systems
  • Bionanotechnology and its Application to Cancer
  • Targetting viral morphogenesis in antiviral strategies
  • Integrative Systems Biology (dynamics of molecular regulatory networks, multidimensional optical proteomics)
  • Bacterial and parasite respiratory proteins
  • Bacterial cell biology, protein transport
  • Control of eukaryotic gene expression
  • Kinase signalling to gene induction
  • mRNA Localisation in Drosophila
  • Epigenetic Control of Chromatin & Gene expression
  • Developmental Epigenetics
  • DNA Recombination and Repair
  • Bacterial chromosome dynamics
  • Sister chromatid cohesion
  • Genetic modelling of human disease
  • Genetics of nematode immunity and development
  • Cell biology of innate immunity in Drosophila
  • Genetic defects of mitochondrial energy metabolism
  • Cell proliferation and cell fate determination during C. elegans development

How to Apply

The deadline for the DPhil and MSc (R) in Biochemistry is 10 January 2014. After this date, please contact the department directly to find out if applications are still being accepted.

Deadlines and other admissions requirements for the 5-year DPhil in Biochemistry offered jointly with The Scripps Institute are available from the Biochemistry website.

The standard set of materials you should send with any application to a research course comprises:

However, applicants to the DPhil and MSc (R) in Biochemistry should submit a statement of study plans instead of a research proposal.

The statement, of 1,000 words or less, should include:

  • List of up to three (3) research areas of potential supervisors in order of preference; details of available projects are published via the Biochemistry webpages on graduate research and studentships
  • Brief background to the research, methods of interest, expected results and contribution to the field of learning
  • Explanation of how your academic/research background relates to your proposed study and career plans 
Please follow the detailed instructions in the Application Guide, and consult the Biochemistry website for any additional guidance.

Academic resources

  • Research laboratories in the new Biochemistry building collaborative environment
  • Radcliffe Science Library
  • Structural Bioinformatics Databases
  • Facilities for the preparation and characterisation of macromolecules
  • Imaging Microscopy
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Electron Microscopy
  • NMR and X-ray Crystallography
  • Aaccess to the Diamond Light Source Ltd
  • Solid-state NMR (Rutherford Appleton Lab)

Graduate destinations

Mostly research in biomedical and in biophysical sciences in academic and industrial centres, medicine, law, teaching.

Related programmes

Medical Sciences Doctoral Training Centre

  • Structural Biology
  • Chromosome and Developmental Biology
  • Infection Immunology and Translational Medicine
  • Neuroscience

MPLS Doctoral Training Programmes

In applying for this programme, you may submit further applications for up to two of the following associated programmes without paying an additional application fee:

  • Interdisciplinary Bioscience (BBSRC DTP)
  • Life Sciences Interface (EPSRC CDT)
  • Systems Approaches to Biomedical Science (EPSRC & MRC CDT)
  • Systems Biology (EPSRC CDT)

For instructions, see Multiple applications in the Application Guide.


Director of Graduate Studies
+44 (0) 1865 613210





Main areas of research interests

Research interests on the Biochemistry website External linkExternal link


Selection criteria

Selection criteria on the Biochemistry website External link


English language requirements

Standard level

  • BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC studentships
  • Skaggs scholarships (five-year DPhil only)
  • Oxford University and Colleges Student Funding.

The Department is a collaborative DPhil training centre for Wellcome Trust funded Programmes and for the Life Sciences Interface, Systems Biology and Systems Approaches to Biomedical Sciences Doctoral Training Centres


Number of applicants


Number of places available



Statement of Provision

Biochemistry - Research External link