Your supervisory team includes your primary supervisor, who is responsible for overseeing your work and general training, and one or more named advisers or second supervisors, who may be from a collaborating research group.
PhD studies within the multi-disciplinary MRC Epidemiology Unit include diverse training opportunities for all aspects of research and encourage the development of academic and generic research skills, as well as exposure to the translational interface with policy and practice.
The aim of the academic part of the programme is to:
- gain experience in written and oral presentation of your work
- monitor the quality of your research project
- ensure that your PhD project is on track
Great emphasis is placed on core transferable skills training by the Research Councils and the University. Your MRC Studentship provides funding for this training. The University of Cambridge’s Postgraduate School of Life Sciences runs excellent courses including courses in presentation skills and scientific writing.
- Personal Skills e.g. Leadership and Resilience
- Professional Skills e.g. Presentation Skills and Time management
- Career-related Skills e.g. Writing CVs and Interview Technique
- Academic Skills e.g. Paper writing and Teaching
- Entrepreneurial Skills e.g. Commercial Awareness and Innovation
The actual training you choose to take will depend on your needs, which will be assessed by your supervisor and an online Skills Analysis Survey. Additional funding for high-cost training, policy internships and other exceptional training opportunities is available through the MRC Flexible Supplement.
First year assessment
At the University of Cambridge (as in most other UK Universities), the first year of your PhD is a probationary year. PhD students are assessed at the end of this first year before formally registering for a PhD. This process involves assessment of your First Year Report, of approximately 5000 words, and a viva examination.