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The following is a brief outline of the Final Honours Scheme (FHS) programme and research project requirements as it applies to the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences.

> Full details about the scheme are available on Weblearn.

General info on Final Honours Scheme

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

Research projects are a compulsory component of the course for Medical Students and Biomedical Students. Projects should consist of original experiments and/or data analysis carried out by the candidate alone or in collaboration with others (where such collaborations is, for instance, needed to produce results in the time available).

Research projects are to be written up concisely as synopses (10 pages including all tables and figures, but excluding bibliography and appendices."

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.

Proposed FHS research projects that are likely to have intellectual property or related sensitivity should not be offered to or undertaken by students, as this may lead to difficulty in release of data to the examiners

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 2).

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 department have resulted in conference presentations and/or publication.

Payment for project supervision will be paid to the individual who claims the supervision fee from the student’s College. The rate of payment is as for 8 single tutorials at the standard rate as set by the Senior Tutors Committee of the Conference of Colleges (£217.28 for 2018-19). Supervisors submit a report and claim this payment from the student’s college using OxCORT (further details will be sent to you at the appropriate time).

You can log in to OxCORT ( using your Oxford University Single Sign-On username and password. If you have not claimed for payment using OxCORT before, you will need to contact the student’s college to arrange for your authorisation as a tutor. You will need to claim the fee by selecting the “self-employed” option and entering your bank details to be paid directly – instructions can be found here.

Please note: there is important information regarding the tax implications of this on the right hand side of the OxCORT homepage.

If there are unmet costs arising from hosting a student, the department may be able to help with these. Please contact Tim Jones in the first instance.

How do I submit a project title?

Before submitting a project, please familiarise yourself with the following documents:

There are two options for submitting projects:

  1. a central allocation scheme to match students to projects.
  2. Alternatively supervisors can make a private arrangement with a student

NOTE: supervisors cannot offer a project in both schemes: i.e. once a project has been entered in the central allocation scheme it cannot be offered privately to a student.

Central allocation scheme

If you would like to offer a project in the central allocation scheme, please complete the online Project Offer form here by Wednesday 15 January 2020 (0th week, Hilary Term). Project offers will then be advertised to students on WebLearn.

Private arrangement

If you wish to make a private arrangement with a student (e.g. if a suitable student has already approached you, and you do not wish to advertise your project to all students), the student will provide a Request to Seek Approval of a Research Project Form, which they will need to submit by Friday 8 March (8th week, Hilary Term).

All supervisors of potential projects are asked to inform Tim Jones via email 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.

All project supervisors are asked to forward confirmation of student allocation(s) via email to Tim Jones so we have an idea of the number of projects within the department that have been selected and can plan appropriately for student placements.

If you have a question about the scheme, please contact the department's FHS Academic Lead, David Nunan.

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