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The Radcliffe Camera, Library in Oxford University

MRC DTP Partnership


Eight industrial CASE (iCASE) studentships are available for doctoral study at Oxford, to start in October 2022. They are open to both UK and non-UK nationals and will follow the UKRI student eligibility requirements. UKRI will normally limit the proportion of international students appointed each year through individual training grants to 30% of the total intake each year.

Each iCASE studentship is fully-funded for four years with a stipend of the UKRI stipend level + £2,500  p.a., all course fees paid, plus a research training support grant. Applications must be received by 12 noon (UK time) Friday 3 December 2021. Details on how to apply can be found below.

Designed to nurture the academic entrepreneurs of the future, the Enterprise studentship programme offers a stimulating educational experience as part of the Oxford-MRC DTP cohort, with the additional benefit of working closely with an industrial partner. This will provide entrepreneurial training opportunities and an insight into how commercial science is conducted alongside a superb academic base within the University. Students will work for at least 3 months in the associated company.


The projects available are:

1.    Characterisation and treatment of patient iPSC-derived retinal organoids as an in vitro model of inherited retinal disease

Lead supervisor: Prof Robert E MacLaren; commercial partner: Newcells Biotech


2.    Leveraging real world data to characterise the long term impact of COVID-19

Lead supervisor: Prof Daniel Prieto-Alhambra; commercial partner: Bayer


3.    Improving Rational Drug Design for Membrane Targets with AI and Advanced Simulation

Lead supervisor: Prof Philip Biggin; commercial partner: Vertex Pharmaceuticals


4.    Optimising Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for treatment of Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders

Lead supervisor: Prof Timothy Denison; commercial partner: Magstim Company Ltd


5.    Locating protein-bound metal ions to accelerate drug design and discovery 

Lead supervisor: Prof Peter McHugh; commercial partner: Johnson Matthey


6.    A clinically relevant musculoskeletal humanoid shoulder for biomedical applications

Lead supervisor: Prof Pierre-Alexis Mouthuy; commercial partner: Devanthro GmbH


7.    How does tumour metabolism affect the efficacy of DNA damage response inhibitors?

Lead supervisor: Prof Geoff Higgins; commercial partner: Artios Pharma Ltd


8.    Noise reduction using deep learning for quantitative SPECT reconstruction to personalise molecular radiotherapy treatments

Lead supervisor: Prof Geoff Higgins; commercial partner: Hermes Medical Solutions Ltd


9.    Development of a bioelectronic system for applying chronobiology to improve the treatment of neurological disorders

Lead supervisor: Prof Timothy Denison and Prof Colin Espie; commercial partner: Bioinduction Ltd 


10.    Building the next generation of health economic type 2 diabetes simulation models to evaluate new drugs and interventions to treatment diabetes

Lead supervisors: Prof Philip Clarke; commercial partner: Health Economics & Outcomes Research (HEOR) Ltd


11.    Digital solutions for social isolation: using user-centred co-design to extend uptake and use of communication technology in digitally excluded groups

Lead supervisor: Prof Trisha Greenhalgh; commercial partner: No Isolation Ltd 


12.    Inter-vendor standardisation and quality assurance of quantitative cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) T1-mapping for clinical practice and trials

Lead supervisor: Prof Stefan K. Piechnik; commercial partner: General Electric Healthcare (GEHC)


13.    Autonomous design of chemical probes by exploiting robotic chemistry, high throughput structural biology and sensor-based biophysics

Lead supervisor: Prof Frank von Delft; commercial partner: PostEra Ltd


14.    Targeting Fibroblast – Macrophage Cross Talk in Human Inflammatory and Tumour Pathology

Lead supervisor: Prof Mark Coles; commercial partner: Mestag Therapeutics Limited 


15.    The Retina as a Window to the Brain: Enabling High-resolution Retinal Imaging for Early Detection of Neurological Disease

Lead supervisor: Prof Hannah Smithson; commercial partner: Imagine Eyes


16.    Development and implementation of high-resolution imaging techniques and post-processing methods for hyperpolarised magnetic resonance imaging

Lead supervisor: Prof Fergus Gleeson; commercial partner: GE Healthcare


17.    Inhibiting the DNA damage response in mitosis to kill BRCA1/2-deficient cancer cells

Lead supervisor: Dr Andrew Blackford; commercial partner: AstraZeneca


18.     Development of a platform for the assessment of cardioactive compounds by quantitative and simultaneous analysis of subcellular cAMP signalling and cardiac myocyte electro-mechanical effects

Lead supervisor: Prof Manuela Zaccolo; commercial partner: InoCardia, Ltd


19.      Determining the relevance of metabolic pathways as a therapeutic target in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) cirrhosis

Lead supervisor: Prof Leanne Hodson; commercial partner: Ochre Bio


 20.     Non-invasive phenotyping of muscle function using multi-nuclear MR

Lead supervisor: Dr Ladislav Valkovič; commercial partner: RAPID Biomedical GmbH


21.      Immune Modulation by ITIM Receptor Targeting

Lead supervisor: Dr Ricardo A. Fernandes; commercial partner: MiroBio


22.     Sensory ganglia organoids to dissect chronic pain mechanisms

Lead supervisor: Dr Zameel Cader; commercial partner: Eli Lilly


23.     Mechanistic modelling of multitargeted therapeutics 

Lead supervisor: Prof Eric O’Neill; commercial partner:


24.     Machine learning and translational approaches to personalised care for women with gestational diabetes

Lead supervisor: Prof Jane Hirst; commercial partner: Sensyne Health


25.     Discrete choice experiment (DCE) to understand variation in uptake of respiratory disease vaccination in working age adults

Lead supervisor: Prof Stavros Petrou; commercial partner: EMIS Group PLC


26.     CARTOGRAPHY – The human transcription factor landscape at single cell resolution

Lead supervisor: Prof Holm Uhlig; commercial partner: Janssen R&D



Within equal opportunities principles and legislation, applications will be assessed in the light of an applicant’s ability to meet the following entry requirements:

1. Academic ability

Proven and potential academic achievements

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in a relevant discipline such as biology, biochemistry, or medicine. However, entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a first-class degree or the equivalent.

A previous master's degree is not required.

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

Other appropriate indicators will include: 

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application, including references and an official transcript. See 'How to apply' for instructions on the documents you will need.

Performance at interview

Interviews are normally held as part of the admissions process.  

Candidates who are shortlisted are interviewed as part of the admissions process. Shortlisting will be based on the criteria given above. There will be a minimum of three academics on the interview panel. Interviews will be conducted virtually this year. Normally the interview will consist of a five-minute presentation of previous project work by the applicant, followed by 15-25 minutes of questioning from the panel.


Prior publications are not required, but research experience and a demonstrable interest in the commercialisation of research may be an advantage.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

Evidence of a prior interest in the area of research proposed is likely to advantage your application.

2. English language requirement

Applicants whose first language is not English are usually required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the standard level required by the University.

3. Disability, health conditions and specific learning difficulties

Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background.

Decisions on admission are based solely on the individual academic merits of each candidate and the application of the entry requirements appropriate to the course.

Further information on how these matters are supported during the admissions process is available in our guidance for applicants with disabilities.

4. Assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgment of at least two members of academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and additionally must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent departmental persons or bodies).

Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

It would be expected that graduate applicants would be familiar with the recent published work of their proposed supervisor.


Applicants who are offered iCASE places will be provided with a funding package that will include fees at the Home rate for the duration of fee liability, and a stipend for four years. NB Overseas applicants are liable for fees at a different rate, therefore an additional source of funding will be required to cover the full cost of fees.

How To Apply

Before applying for these positions we recommend you contact the lead supervisors for informal discussions.

To make a formal application, please complete the University’s online application form for the DPhil course specific to the department hosting the iCASE project you are interested in. Please indicate the iCASE project clearly by inserting ‘iCASE’ before the project title and by using the reference code iCASE. You will need to provide a CV outlining your academic achievements and relevant experience, and a personal statement (500 words max) detailing your interest and fit for the studentship. Note that no project proposal is required for the iCASE studentship applications.

If you wish to apply for a combination of iCASE and other projects within the hosting department, this can be done on the same application form (max number of projects you can apply for on one application depends on the department you wish to apply to). If you wish to apply for iCASE projects within different departments, you will have to make separate applications directly through those departments.

If you have any specific queries about the iCASE application process, please email General advice on how to pick a graduate advisor (supervisor) and how to choose a scientific problem can be found in these two articles:

All applications must be received by the deadline of 12 noon (UK time) Friday 3 December 2021.

We expect to interview shortlisted applicants in January and to make funding offers by the end of February. 


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