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Oxford-MRC DTP iCASE 2024 Projects

MRC DTP Partnership


Eight industrial CASE (iCASE) studentships are available for doctoral study at Oxford, to start in October 2024. 

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.


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 - it includes four years of stipend at the UKRI stipend level + £2,500 p.a., course fees, and a generous research training support grant.



Applications must be received by 12 noon (UK time) Friday 1 December 2023. Details on entry requirements and  how to apply can be found below.



The projects available are:


1. Subgroup effects in antihypertensive and type 2 diabetes drug classes: a comparative effectiveness and safety study integrating real-world and genetic data

Lead supervisor: Prof. Daniel Prieto-Alhambra; commercial partner: Janssen: Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson


2. A Novel K+ Channel Target (KCNK13/THIK1) for Neurodegenerative Disorders:  Understanding its mechanism of inhibition by small molecule drugs and biological therapeutics

Lead supervisor: Prof. Stephen Tucker; commercial partner: Cerevance


3. Imaging-based analysis of signalling pathways triggered by immune checkpoint receptors

Lead supervisor: Prof. Simon Davis ; commercial partner: Gilead Sciences (Oxford)


4. Cross-tissue and cross-disease immunometabolic landscape characterisation at single-cell resolution

Lead supervisor: Dr Calliope Dendrou; commercial partner: Janssen Biotech, Inc.


5. Utilising administrative data to inform FIT-guided suspected colorectal cancer referrals of symptomatic patients

Lead supervisor: Prof. Stavros Petrou; commercial partner: Alpha Laboratories Ltd


6. Unravelling the effects of mitochondrial replacement therapy on mtDNA transmission

Lead supervisor: Prof. Joanna Poulton; commercial partner: Juno Genetics


7. Ageing Beyond Earth - new drug targets

Lead supervisor: Dr Ghada Alsaleh; commercial partner: Metavisionaries and Space Application Services (MSA)


8. Neutrophil subset behaviour in vascular and tissue microenvironment: organ-on-a-chip

Lead supervisor: Prof. Irina Udalova; commercial partner:  DJS Antibodies


9. Single Particle Liquid Biopsy Analysis for Acute Myocardial Infarction 

Lead supervisor: Prof. Molly Stevens; commercial partner: SPARTA Biodiscovery Ltd.


10. Technological Advancements In Radiotherapy Leading To Dose Delivery via FLASH

Lead supervisor: Dr Kristoffer Petersson; commercial partner: Teledyne e2v (Teledyne UK Limited)


11. Target enrichment of transposable elements for direct RNA sequencing

Lead supervisors: Prof. Georg Hollaender and Dr Rebecca Berrens; commercial partner: Oxford Nanopore Technologies


12. An integrative mathematical approach to understand how intraplaque angiogenesis and vascular structure impact atherosclerosis and their potential as novel therapeutic targets

Lead supervisor: Prof. Helen Byrne; commercial partner: Novo Nordisk


13. Understanding the molecular reach of therapeutic CD3-targeting bi-specific antibodies to optimise efficacy

Lead supervisor: Prof. Omer Dushek; commercial partner: GSK


14. High-throughput characterisation of the functional antibody epitope landscape of surface   protein targets to guide vaccine and biologic design

Lead supervisor: Prof. Simon Draper; commercial partner: DJS Antibodies


15. Developing translatable TetraVecta-enabled allogeneic regulatory T cell therapy

Lead supervisor: Prof. Fadi Issa; commercial partner: Oxford Biomedica (UK) Ltd (OXB)


16. Development of bioactive ultrasound-responsive coatings for the prevention and treatment of orthopaedic implant-related infections

Lead supervisor: Dr Dario Carugo ; commercial partner: Adler Ortho®


17. Development of a semi-automated CT-brain analysis tool for application to real world clinical cohorts

Lead supervisor: Prof. Sarah Pendlebury; commercial partner: Brainomix



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 (other disciplines might also be relevant for projects hosted by MPLS departments). 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/funding allocation 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 interviews will run for 25 minutes in a question and answer format.


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.


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 iCASEYou will need to provide a personal statement (500 words max if applying for a project hosted by one of Medical Sciences departments - please note that this limit might be different if a project is hosted by one of MPLS departments in which case follow their requirement) 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 1 December 2023.

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

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