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The Programme

Close-up of cell samples with a student in a face mask looking down at the samples faintly reflected in the imageThe department is committed to training the next generation of scientists in biological and clinical sciences and encourages applications from students with diverse backgrounds. Previous experience in immunology is not a requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. A wide range of teaching is available to support students.

The strength and diversity of Oxford's research in immunology and infectious disease means that many projects cut across conventional disciplines, to include aspects of structural biology, protein biology, molecular & cell biology and genomics. Admission is competitive and decided on excellence.

Currently, about half of our students are from outside the UK.


oxford city

NDM Doctoral Prize Studentships are our fully funded 4 year scholarships open to outstanding students of any nationality, which are advertised each autumn for students who want to start the following October. The current application deadline is early January each year and offers made early February.

Other sources of full funding in this theme include, the Wellcome Trust 4 year PhD programme in Immunology and Infectious Disease, which includes a lab rotation in the first year. Partnership programmes including the NIH-Oxford Scholars Program, Scripps-Oxford and the A*STAR Research Institute in Singapore and various sources of funding for clinicians. The MRC Human Immunology Unit also runs a Doctoral Studentship Competition. A single application covers all funding sources.

Doctoral Projects

cellsProjects cover

  • lymphoid development
  • innate and adaptive immunity to pathogens and vaccines
  • mucosal immunity
  • hypersensitivity and autoimmunity
  • pathogenic organisms
  • vaccinology

Projects relating to Immunology and infectious disease

Training and Career Development

scientist in labDuring the first year, students attend compulsory and optional courses and lectures in basic immunology, infectious disease and laboratory techniques, as well as working at the bench. The aim is to tailor this training to individual needs and bring all students up to satisfactory level in background knowledge. Later training is focused on the skills required for a successful career in independent research.

NDM students are part of larger group studying Immunology and Infectious Diseases across Medical Sciences Division's Graduate School. The Oxford Immunology Group organises campus-wide events. Lectures and Seminars cut across departments and collaborations are widespread within the University.

How to apply