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Project call

The Course Directors for Pre-clinical Medicine and Biomedical Sciences are seeking around 180 research projects for candidates of the Final Honour Schools of Medical Sciences, Cell & Systems Biology and Neuroscience.

Typically research projects begin in May and data gathering and/or data analysis should occupy the student for a total of approximately 8 full weeks, or an equivalent period (e.g. 16 half-time weeks). Timing can be agreed between supervisors and students, and students have a complete academic year to complete and write-up their projects, but students will be fairly heavily occupied with lectures, seminars and tutorial teaching from October onwards. A small amount of Advanced Option lectures and seminars will be delivered in May and June 2018, but students will still have the large majority of their time free to work on their research projects during this period.

For each student supervised, the supervisor’s department will be allocated a proportion of the T-JRAM associated with Year 2 of the student’s course (usually a figure of c.£2000). In 2017, the Medical Sciences Board agreed that, for each student supervised, a minimum of £1,000 should be passed on by departments to the host supervisor/lab. Supervisors will also be able to claim for the equivalent of 8 hours of tutorial teaching (£213.02 for 2017-18) from the student’s college.

Supervisors can advertise a project in the central allocations process or make a private arrangement with a student.

In order to help you advertise your project in the central allocation scheme we would need to receive your project offer by Monday 8 January 2018 (0th week, Hilary Term).

Briefing Session

There will be an informal briefing session on Thursday 11 January at 1-2pm in the Medical Sciences Teaching Centre for anyone who would like to find out more about supervising an FHS research project (for new and existing supervisors). This will be given by Dr Helen Christian (Chair of the Course & Exam Policy Committee for FHS Medical Sciences and FHS Part II Cell & Systems Biology / Neuroscience).

Lunch will be provided. Please e-mail and let him know if you would like to attend, so that we have some idea of numbers.


> Full details about the scheme are available from the FHS weblearn page.

Download: Programme deadlines

further information

The FHS for undergraduate students runs in years 2 and 3 and aims to teach the method of critical scientific enquiry and so facilitate thinking and adaptable doctors or research scientists. Students are required to complete an option module, a research project and an essay at various time points over the two-year period.

Research project

Projects can be ‘laboratory-based’ (involving original experiments/field work or analysis of original data) or library-based.  Timing will be decided by supervisors in discussion with the student(s). Work can be full time over a single ~8 week period, or can be part time over a longer period. Work can start as early as week 1, Trinity Term for Biomedical Sciences students and week 3, Trinity Term for Medical students.

Who can apply?

Anyone who is already involved at supervision level (e.g. MSc/DPhil supervision, line management and above) within the department can apply.

Graduate students should not act as supervisors in their own right, i.e. they should be co-supervisors with their PI. In addition, unless specifically agreed by the FHS committee, no PI should supervise or co-supervise more than three students.

What’s expected of the student?

Student are required to discuss projects for which they are interested with the supervisor(s) and submit their preferences by week 5 of Hilary term (year 2).

Students working on an experimental project are required to produce a concise write-up of 10 pages. Students taking on a library-based project are required to write a dissertation of up to 10,000 words. Final write up is submitted at week 8 of Hilary term (year 3), with a progress of research report required at week 8 of Michaelmas term (year 3).

Students are also required to undergo a viva voce examination of their projects in week 1 of Trinity term (year 3).

What’s expected of the supervisor(s)?

Supervisors are required to submit their project form(s) in week 0 of Hilary term (year 2), meet with student(s) who express interest in their project(s) and submit their preference(s) by week 5 of Hilary term (year 2).

Supervisors will also be asked if projects offered in the previous year and not selected can be offered again the next year. These will be automatically offered unless the supervisor informs otherwise.

Please note - supervisors must not directly offer projects that have been put into the central allocations process to students.

Supervisors are asked to advise students on at least one draft of their written work on the provision that students hand in such a draft at least two weeks before the submission deadline. The individual identified as the head of lab or PI will be asked to submit a brief confidential report to advise the examiners of any special difficulties that arose during the project

Why submit a project?

There are always some excellent students who are considering doing a research degree, and a research project affords them an especially valuable experience; approximately 10% of FHS students in the past five years have contributed to work which has resulted in publication. Previous projects within the have resulted in conference presentations and/or publication.

Supervisors will be able to claim the equivalent of 8 hours of tutorial teaching at the standard rate for the entire project (currently £213.02) by completing an OxCort report form. The students’ college administrator processes this form and payment is made one of two ways:

  1. If you are registered as self-employed then this payment can be made direct to you;
  2. If you are not registered self-employed and do not wish to be, there is the option to have payments made to the department when you submit your report. (You will need to ensure you check the preferred option in the OxCort system when submitting). Payment is then processed by the department and paid as part of your monthly payroll.

The department will be credited with approximately £2000 towards hosting the project. This fund is available for research activity (e.g. equipment, conference attendance, open access publication costs) but not IT resources etc.

How do I submit a project title?

We will announce the official call for projects sometime in November via email and on the relevant weekly bulletin. This will include a link to the relevant forms required. We are asking all supervisors of potential projects to inform David Nunan of the title of their project and to confirm when they submit.

The medical sciences student administration team will handle all correspondence with supervisors after submission and will ask you to confirm your student allocation should your project be selected by a student. Official confirmation of your student allocation is then made via email.

We are asking all project supervisors to forward the confirmation email to David Nunan so we have an idea of the number of projects within the department that have been selected.

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