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The Programme

cell structureThe Division of Structural Biology (STRUBI) and the Centre for Medicine Discovery (CMD) are research centres of excellence for the study of the molecular and structural basis of biology and its clinical translation. Students in STRUBI and the CMD study a wide range of clinically-relevant questions from a structural and mechanistic perspective using a range of structural biology methods including X-ray Crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, NMR, mass spectrometry & proteomics and other biophysical and biochemical methods.

Students benefit from our multidisciplinary application of these techniques and from access to state of the art research facilities and equipment. We have a strong history of collaboration where students take advantage of expertise from multiple laboratories to explore novel biological problems.

Admission to STRUBI and CMD is solely based on excellence: doctoral students have joined both departmental units after undergraduate studies in subjects ranging from clinical medicine to biochemistry, chemistry and physics. Currently, more than half of our students are from outside the UK, creating a truly international atmosphere.


molecules to cellsPostgraduate studies within the Division of Structural Biology is possible as part of several different programmes of research. NDM Doctoral Prize Studentships are the NDM's flagship programme for fully-funded 4-year scholarships that are open to outstanding students of any nationality without restriction. The studentships are advertised each autumn for students who want to start the following October. The current application deadline is the early January each year and offers made early February.

Other sources of funding include The Wellcome Trust 4-year DPhil Programmes, and principally the Structural Biology: from Molecules to Cells programme. These programmes are open to students from any country, and their first year consists of laboratory rotations with some taught courses, after which students choose a research project for a further 3 years of independent research.

Further funding is provided by partnership programmes, including the NIH-Oxford Scholars Programme, the NIH-Wellcome Trust 4 year PHD studentships, Skaggs Scholarship for Scripps-Oxford Joint DPhil/PhD and the A*STAR - Singapore - Oxford Partnership DPhil Programme. A single application through the Nuffield Department of Medicine graduate studies admission covers all funding sources.

Doctoral Projects

Graduate studies in STRUBI and the CMD are intended to provide training in structural biology and related biochemical, cell biological, biophysical and proteomics based approaches to understand molecular and cellular function. Our research spans a broad swath of modern biology, including the molecular basis of transcription and translation, chromatin structure, cell surface signalling, cancer cell biology, membrane and pore-forming protein structure and function, viral structural biology, the nature of host-pathogen interaction and structural immunology.

Projects relating to Protein science and structural biology

protein science chart

Training and Career Development

research scientistGraduate studies in STRUBI and the CMD are based on supportive supervision in outstanding research environments where every student benefits from the opportunity to acquire a broad and individualised range of personal and transferable skills that are of great value in a variety of future careers. Designed to nurture independent and creative scientists, STRUBI and the CMD offer a stimulating educational environment.

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How to apply