DPhil in Biochemistry (OU/TSRI) | University of Oxford
Eppendorf tubes
Eppendorf tubes in an Oxford laboratory
(Image Credit: Rob Judges / Oxford University Images)

DPhil in Biochemistry (OU/TSRI)

About the course

The joint Skaggs-Oxford programme permits highly qualified students to gain a broader and deeper interdisciplinary research experience than is possible from a single institution's doctoral programme. It provides diversity in curriculum, scientific approaches and research training, with access to facilities and expertise at both Oxford and Scripps. It also offers the experience of the distinct cultures of the United States and Britain.

Applicants are strongly advised to visit the Medical Sciences Graduate School website to help them identify the most suitable course and supervisors.

The Skaggs-Oxford Programme is a joint five-year programme in biology or chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and biochemistry at the University of Oxford, leading to the award of a joint PhD/DPhil degree.

You will be admitted as a probationer research student and will be subject to both Oxford regulations and Scripps student guidelines. You will participate in the Oxford professional development course and must succeed in the oral qualifying examination. In consultation with your advisor, you will then decide when to relocate to either Scripps or Oxford. You will be required to carry out research for a minimum of two years at Oxford and have the option of beginning either at Oxford or at Scripps. The thesis and the research upon which it is based are expected to conform to both Scripps and Oxford criteria for the award of the degree.

Graduate destinations

The majority of alumni go on to pursue a career within academic or industrial research.

Other courses in this area

Changes to the course

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.

Entry requirements for entry in 2019-20

Information regarding the entry requirements for this course can be accessed at the following location:

DPhil in Biochemistry (OU/TSRI) entry requirements


You will have access to:

  • experimental facilities, as appropriate to their research
  • IT support from both the Department of Biochemistry and University IT Services
  • Library services such as the Radcliffe Science Library and the Cairns Library

The provision of project-specific resources will be agreed with the relevant supervisor during the planning stages for the research project.

The Department of Biochemistry has in-house research facilities, including DNA and protein sequencing, NMR, X-ray diffraction, crystallization, biophysical analysis, analytical ultracentrifugation, FACS analysis, imaging microscopes.

There is the possibility to use facilities in other departments across the division and to access remote facilities at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, DIAMOND Light Source and Harwell Science and Innovation Campus.

You will be able to use the cafeteria at the Department of Biochemistry,  where interaction between research groups in the department is encouraged. Departmental seminars and colloquia bring students together with academic and other research staff in the department to hear about on-going research, and provide an opportunity for networking and socialising.


There are over 1,000 full graduate scholarships available across the University, and these cover your course fees and provide a grant for living costs. If you apply by the relevant January deadline and fulfil the eligibility criteria you will be automatically considered. Over two thirds of Oxford scholarships require nothing more than the standard course application. Use the Fees, funding and scholarship search to find out which scholarships you are eligible for and if they require an additional application, full details of which are provided.

Full funding opportunities are available for all applicants to this course, whatever your nationality. The Medical Sciences Graduate School website provides further details, as well as information about external funding opportunities.


Annual fees for entry in 2019-20

Fee status

Annual Course fees

Home/EU (including Islands)£7,665

The fees shown above are the annual course fees for this course, for entry in the stated academic year.

Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below. You may have seen separate figures in the past for tuition fees and college fees. We have now combined these into a single figure.

Course fees are payable each year, for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.

Following the period of fee liability, you may also be required to pay a University continuation charge and a college continuation charge. The University and college continuation charges are shown on the Continuation charges page.

For more information about course fees and fee liability, please see the Fees section of this website. EU applicants should refer to our dedicated webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

Additional information

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees (or, after fee liability ends, continuation charges) and living costs. However, please note that, depending on your choice of research topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Living costs

In addition to your course fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2019-20 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,058 and £1,643 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our living costs page. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2019-20, you should allow for an estimated increase in living expenses of 3% each year.


The following colleges accept students on the DPhil in Biochemistry (OU/TSRI):

How to apply

Admission to the OU/TSI programme is administered by The Scripps Research Institute, USA. To apply and for further details about the course, its requirements and deadline(s), you are advised to contact The Scripps Research Institute

Apply via TSRI

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