MRC DTA Studentships Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions in regards to the MRC DTA Studentships award and application process.
Please note: this information relates to the standard MRC DTA studentships, and other types of MRC studentships (such as those offered by the MRC Centres) have a different recruitment process and may have different award details.
Application and conditions
How do I apply for the MRC DTA Studentships, and what should I include in my personal statement?
- Please see the How to Apply page for information about the application process.
When will I know if my application has been successful?
- Due to the volume of applications we receive, unfortunately we cannot advise applicants individually regarding the outcome of their application. Successful applicants are generally invited to interview at the beginning of February, with interviews taking place in January and studentships awarded immediately after interviews.
How do I know whether to apply for a 3.5 or 4.5 studentship?
- If you do not already hold a masters degree then you must apply for the 4.5 year program, which includes a masters course in the first year. If you already hold a masters degree in a subject relevant to your proposed research area then you should apply for the 3.5 year program as you will not be eligible for the 4.5 year studentship.
I would like to apply for a 4.5 year MRC studentship. Do I need to be accepted onto a Master's course before I submit an application for the studentship?
- No, applicants are not expected to apply for a specific Master's course until after the studentships have been awarded. If you know which Master's course you intend to apply for, you can mention this in the personal statement you include with your application, and a clear idea of your future direction may be beneficial for your application.
I would like to pursue a Master's course at Imperial College even if my MRC studentship application is unsuccessful. Can I submit an application for a Master's course before I know the outcome of the studentship?
- Yes, you are free to apply for a specific Master's course independently from the studentship. If you are awarded one of the studentships, the course team and our Registry department would then need to be made aware so that your Master's application can be updated.
Does the 4 year studentship involve direct progression from Master's to PhD?
- Funding for 4.5 year studentships includes a one year Master's course and a 3 year PhD, so in that way there is a progression from one to the other. However, in the year before your PhD commences you must still submit a full online PhD application to the college once your supervisor has been confirmed, in order to be officially accepted onto a PhD by the relevent department. Guidance will be given to studentship recipients to assist them in this process.
Can I take on teaching/clinical work or other paid work during the studentship?
- Students may undertake teaching, demonstrating and other paid work, provided that the total demand made on their time, including time spent in preparation, does not normally exceed six hours a week. Any work that a student undertakes must be formalised with a proper contract of employment covering the work the student is expected to do and would need to conform to Home Office regulations regarding employment.
Am I eligible to apply for the MRC DTA Studentships?
- Please refer to the Eligibility Criteria. Exceptions cannot be made to these criteria, so please check carefully that you are eligible to apply before submitting an application.
I am an EU student but I have not lived in the UK for 3 years prior to application - can I still apply?
- You are still able to apply but you will only be eligible for a fees-only studentship. This means that your main course fees are covered by the studentship, but you will not receive the monthly stipend or the travel and conference fund.
I am an International student. How do I know if my research criteria meets the 'scarce skills' eligibility criteria?
- Before applying for the studentship, you must approach researchers within your area of interest to confirm that there are research opportunities available which would meet the 'scarce skills' criteria. These criteria are only met under certain circumstances so you must confirm that there are relevant research opportunities available.
Do I need to send my references along with my application?
- No, you should include the name and contact details of two academic referees. If you are working, we will accept one academic referee and one work referee.
Supervisors and research projects
Do I need to have a supervisor and research project confirmed before I apply for the MRC DTA studentship?
- No, applicants are not expected to confirm their supervisor and research project until after the studentships have been awarded, but in general a clear idea of the area you intend to pursue may be beneficial for your application.
- However, if there is a very specific area which an applicant wishes to pursue they are strongly encouraged to get in touch with key research contacts in that area before making an application to ensure that there are research opportunities available which they wish to pursue.
Which research projects are available and who can I choose as a supervisor?
- There is not a prescribed list of research projects associated with the MRC DTA but there are the following restrictions:
- Your supervisor and research project cannot be within the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, as this is an MRC unit within Imperial College London. The MRC CSC runs an MRC supported PhD program, details of which can be found at http://www.csc.mrc.ac.uk/Jobs/PhDStudentship/CSCPhD/.
- Your chosen supervisor must not be supervising any other MRC DTA Studentship recipients.
- Your choice of supervisor must be approved by the Programme Director before you can proceed with an official PhD application.
Research Projects within the College's research themes, as listed below, will be given priority for the 2013 intake.
- Genomic Medicine
- Infection Immunity and Immunology
- Stratified Medicine
- Population Health
Recipients of the studentships will be given guidance in the process of choosing a supervisor.