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Leeds Liverpool Newcastle Sheffield

MRC DiMeN Doctoral Training Partnership

Discovery Medicine North

Application overview

Thank you for your interest in DiMeN DTP PhD studentships.

Please find the information you need to apply below and a general guide to applying for PhD positions here:

How to apply

You are given the option to apply for up to three PhD projects available across the DiMeN DTP network, a full list of available projects is available here:

From the experience of previous recruitment rounds, we actively encourage you fill in all three project choices and contact the lead supervisor for any project you wish to apply.   Please discuss the project and ask any questions, before filling in your online application.

Closing date for 2018 entry is Monday 14th May 2018. To apply please complete an application form available via this link:  

The application system is administered by The University of Sheffield, 3-7 studentships will be awarded for October 2018 entry.

Please read these guidance notes carefully to maximise your chances of success.


What you will need to apply

Our application system asks for:

Sections B/C: Personal and contact details

Section D: Course specific questions (see below)

Sections E/F: Nationality, Residency and English Language qualifications              

Sections G/H: Details of previous education           

Section I: Employment History      

Section J: We require two academic references. You will be asked to provide contact details for your referees who will be contacted automatically for references when you apply. In this section of the application, please select ‘email my referee a link to upload my reference.’

Sections K/L: Equal opportunities and any additional information

Section M: Personal supporting documents e.g. CV

Section D: Course Specific Questions

This is a very important part of the DiMeN application process.  Here you will be asked to select the three projects, in order of preference, that you would like to apply for. These will be used for the shortlisting process.

You will also be asked to provide two short statements in support of your application.

1) A 250 word statement detailing your motivation for undertaking a PhD. You should include details of why you wish to pursue these particular areas of research, your suitability to the specific research projects selected and, if applicable, your interest in collaborative research with a non-academic partner. Do not be afraid to let your passion shine through and mention any prior contact your have had with the supervisory team in preparing your application.  Our panel are looking to see you have understood what PhD study involves, have a mature attitude, a proactive approach and are motivated to succeed.

2) A 250 word statement detailing any research experience, research training or research skills you may have gained from your previous education or employment which are relevant to the research projects you wish to pursue. For this call in particular we are seeking students with a background in Artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science. Please contact the lead supervisor to gain an understanding of the specific project skills requirements and show that you are suitability matched to the chosen projects.

Additional notes

Section G: Please ensure you provide details of all University education here, including qualifications that are ongoing (such as and MSC).  If not yet awarded, upload your latest transcript and state your predicted grade in the section D statements.

Section I: Use this section to highlight relevant employment only: research placements, work experience, internships, industry experience.  Please leave details of other types of employment (retail, catering, etc) within your CV.

Section J: For your information, references will only be viewed after the shortlisting process (see below) and will be taken into account by the interview panel. Please make sure named references are aware that they will be contacted to support your application.

Section M: Please upload an up to date CV.


What happens next?

Selection is a two stage process, after the closing date (14th May 2018) academic members of the DiMeN Management Board will review your application and shortlist candidates for interview. They will use the two supporting statements (section D), your educational background and relevant work experience ONLY in the shortlisting process. It is therefore vital these sections contain all the information you would like our panel to consider in making their decision.

In stage two, successfully shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview. You are expected to arrange a meeting with your preferred primary supervisor before the interview takes place and they will provide the panel with feedback regarding your suitability to their project at this point. Please note, project supervisors will not be on the central panel for this interview and you will be asked to give a presentation on a a ‘scientific project’ of your choice, e.g. your undergraduate project, MSc project etc.

If successful at the interview stage, you will be recommended for a PhD position.  Those who rank highest after the interviews will be offered their first choice of project, during previous rounds a large number of students have been offered their second or third choices, which .


You must hold (or be about to obtain) a First or an Upper Second Class UK undergraduate degree or an equivalent degree from a recognised EU institution, in the biosciences or a related area. Qualifications (or a combination of qualifications and experience) which demonstrate equivalent ability and attainment will also be considered. For example, a less than sufficient first degree may be enhanced to meet the requirements by the acquisition of a distinction at Masters level).

These studentships are available to UK and other EU nationals. For full details on eligibility, including residence requirements, please see the MRC website.

For any queries please contact the DiMeN DTP manager Dr Emily Goodall (

Programme benefits

  • A breadth of training opportunities from single molecules to the patient
  • 24 fully funded studentships each year
  • Cutting edge technologies and state-of the-art facilities to deliver world-class results