As a result of the experience gained during rotations, students are able to make an informed choice of which laboratory to choose for their main project. Rotation projects also provide experience of complimentary experimental techniques that enable new interdisciplinary approaches to be taken.
Once the main project has been selected, students prepare a written PhD project proposal, which is reviewed by supervisors and the mentoring committee who often provide suggestions and feedback. Students are also assigned a thesis committee. This consists of 2 group leaders other than the primary supervisor, and meets the student every 6 months. Typically this involves preparation of a short 2-3 page written report, a short presentation and discussions. It requires students to take a step back and explain their progress to researchers less familiar with their project.
Throughout the main project there are additional opportunities for training in new skills beyond those provided in the host lab.
During the spring of year two students prepare a short written report describing their research project, and make a presentation to their division. This is assessed as a part of a formal transition to registration for a PhD degree by a committee that comprises the thesis committee, plus an additional expert whose expertise is relevant to the project.
Students are required to submit their thesis for examination within four years of starting. Our programme has a track record of providing a strong platform for the development of research careers. Students particpating in this training programme have a record of high quality publications and most pursue successful research careers with several now managing independent research programmes