The Course

The program provides students with a broad foundation in structural biology as well as a fantastic chance to engage in original research and to learn while making exciting discoveries!

The course starts with an introductory year, in which our students gain a broad background in structural biology through a program of courses, while engaging in two six-month long research projects. This allows them to opportunity to develop a D. Phil. project, for years two, three and four.

In the first week of the first year, our students have the chance to meet current students and the research team leaders who they will have the chance to work with. This allows them to discuss possible projects, visit laboratories, and make decisions about where they will work for their first research project.

They will take two research rotations, one from October-March and one from April-September. These original research projects should be in different laboratories and involve learning different structural biology skills. However, it is possible for them to be linked around a single project, or to be separate and distinct. 

The students write brief rotation reports on each of these projects, and have the chance to meet with a group leader from the program to discuss these. 

The students also take courses in x-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, molecular simulation, synchrotron radiation, biophysical methods and small angle x-ray scattering. These courses involve theory lectures as well as hands-on sessions. These are complemented by courses in research integrity and research skills.

At the end of the first year, the students develop a D. Phil. project in conjunction with their chosen supervisory team. For much of years 2-4 they will be engaged in this project, while attending relevant courses and conferences. The majority of our students publish work from their project during these years.