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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, applications for October 2021 entry have now closed.


What happens next?

Selection is a two stage process, after the closing date (27th January 2021, 5pm) 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) and your educational background (section G/H) ONLY in the shortlisting process. 

In stage two, successfully shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview. We aim to contact all candidates the week commencing 22nd February with outcomes from the shortlisting process. If you are invited to interview, you are expected to arrange an informal, online meeting with your preferred primary supervisors before the interview takes place. Supervisors will then provide the panel with feedback regarding your suitability to their project. 

Interviews will be online on the 15th and 17th March 2021

Please note, project supervisors will not be on the central panel for this interview and you will be asked to give a presentation.

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 listed upon application, during previous rounds a number of students have been offered their second or third choices, which maximises the chances of gaining a PhD position within the DTP.


Any queries, please contact the DiMeN DTP team:


What you will need to apply

We operate a blinded and centralised recruitment process, the only aspects of your application available to our shortlisting panel will be your "Details of Previous Education" and "Course specific questions". Please ensure all the information you wish the academic panel to see is within the two statements requested.

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.  EU and international students are required to meet a minimum English language requirement, please see HERE for more details.            

Sections G/H: Details of previous education           

Section I: Employment History (not necessary for you to complete this section, all relevant research experience should be noted in your supporting statements)      

Section J: We require two academic or relevance work experience (eg, research placement supervisors, research/industry line managers) 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.’  Please note, references will not be viewed unless you are shortlisted to interview.

Sections K/L: Equal opportunities and any additional information

Section M: Personal supporting documents e.g. CV

Section D: Course Specific Questions

This is the most 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 be asked to provide two short statements in support of your application.

1) A 200 word statement outlining your academic achievements AND motivation for undertaking a PhD. You should highlight any academic prizes, scholarships or awards, including excellent module results or practical projects you are particularly proud of.  If you have not yet completed your UG or PG degree, please make predicted grades clear.  Also include details of why you wish to pursue a research degree, your suitability to the research areas selected and, if applicable, your interest in interdisciplinary/collaborative research or iCASE projects with industry partners. This is a difficult statement to write, let your passion shine through.  Our panel are looking to see you have really understood what PhD study involves, have a mature attitude, a proactive approach and are motivated to succeed. The panel will not see which projects you have selected at this shortlisting stage to eliminate bias. You may also wish to include career aspirations and how a PhD with the DiMeN DTP specifically will help you achieve your goals.

2) A 200 word statement detailing any research experience, research training or research skills you have gained from your previous education or employment which are relevant to the  research you wish to pursue. It is advisable to do some background reading into the supervisory team's research to gain an understanding of the specific skills that may be required and show  suitability to the chosen research areas.  We welcome applications from students with physical sciences, machine learning and/or mathematical backgrounds who are interested in using their skills to address the challenges of 21st century bioscience research. Please note, the section J "Employment history" will not be extracted from your application and given to the review panel for shortlisting, so if you have relevant employment experience relating to research it must be stated here, in this statement.

Additional notes

Section G: Please ensure you provide details of all University education here, including qualifications that are ongoing (such as an MSc).  If not yet awarded, it is important to state your predicted grade in statement requested in section D.

Section I: You do not need to complete this section as it will not be seen by our panel at the shortlisting stage. Please outline relevant employment in the Research experience statement in section D.

Section J: References will only be viewed after the shortlisting process (see below) and will be taken into account by potential supervisors, who will be given access to this information after invitation to interview. 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, this will only be viewed after the shortlisting process to help prepare the panel for interview. Anything you wish the panel to take into account when shortlisting must be stated in the two statements requested in section D.


For full details on eligibility, including residence requirements, please see the MRC website and our eligibility page here.

Any queries, please contact the DiMeN DTP team:


Programme benefits

  • A breadth of bespoke training opportunities from single molecules to the patient
  • Join a community of over 140 PhD students across the North of England for peer support throughout your PhD
  • Cutting edge technologies and state-of the-art facilities to deliver world-class results
  • Access to additional MRC funding and internship opportunities via our Flexible Supplement Award scheme