Provision for Graduate Research Students
The MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM) hosts Graduate Students from a number of different University Departments. Support for these students will be provided through their Home Department, the Medical Sciences Division and also by direct provision within the Institute. The Institute has an active studies programme led by Prof Marella de Bruijn, Chair of the WIMM Graduate Studies Committee and co-ordinated by Mrs Liz Cloke. Details of support within the Institute are provided below:-
1. Supervision of Graduate's work
You will have a named supervisor or supervisors, normally as indicated in your offer letter, who will have overall responsibility for the direction of your work on behalf of your department. You will also have a Thesis Committee consisting of your supervisor and at least 2 other academics.
A supervisor's report is submitted at the end of each term. You should expect to have a one to one formal meeting with your supervisor at least once a term where your research and progress will be reviewed and the contents of each report are discussed and agreed. You would normally meet at least once a week with your supervisor or another senior member of the laboratory for immediate help with your project.
Supervisors will make suitable arrangements for supervision of their students when they are away.
For further information regarding research supervision please see http://www.learning.ox.ac.uk/supervision
2. Induction Arrangements
For students starting in October, the main induction to the Institute is held at the end of October or early November. A further Induction session is held in April for students starting in the spring or summer terms. On starting at the Institute you will be given induction information and an Institute Handbook by the WIMM reception and your departmental administrator. Your supervisor will also arrange a more specific induction to the lab and general research environment. Your supervisor will also give you advice on experimental design, how to present and write up data and how to critically review papers in the field. They should give you a clear indication of the standard expected and to ensure that you work within a planned and agreed framework.
The Institute will provide a safe working environment in which to study and a reasonable workspace in which to pursue your research
4. IT support / Library facilities / Experimental facilities
The Institute will provide appropriate library & computing facilities. You will also have access to the University Library & Computing Services. The WIMM has a number of excellent central research facilities; your research group and supervisor will be able to advise you as to which facilities you will need to use and how to gain access to them. Training is available, as appropriate, for the use of these services. The provision of other resources specific to your project should be agreed with your supervisor as part of the planning stages of your agreed project.
5. Research Seminars
The WIMM provides a programme of Monday Seminars covering a wide range of topics; you will be expected to attend at least 50% of these seminars. The Institute also holds an annual WIMM day where you will have the opportunity to learn about other research in the Institute and present your work in poster form to the full WIMM audience. Third year students will also be asked to present their work to a group of senior scientists and students in the annual Student Presentation Day
You will have access to seminars and journal clubs that individual research groups or groups with common areas of interest organise for their own members and others. You will also have access to the other departmental seminars and colloquia within the University. Seminars are advertised in advance by email and details of the Monday Seminars can be found on the website. Students will be encouraged to attend conferences on areas related to their research
6. Access to Research Funds
The main source of funding for your research will be your research group and your supervisor is responsible for providing these funds. The WIMM website provides details of funding for attendances at conferences, meetings and other training opportunities; the WIMM Administration will give support where possible in applying for these funds
7. Graduate Skills Training
You will have the opportunity, and are strongly advised, to attend a variety of skills training sessions offered by the Institute, your home department, the Medical Sciences Division and the University as appropriate to different stages of your graduate career.
Students hosted in either of the two MRC Units within the Institute will also have access to MRC training skills programmes.
Details of courses organised via the Division are emailed to students via the Institute. Information about transferable skills training is provided in the Divison’s skills portal. Information about Divisional Training and other courses offered across the University is also available through Weblearn. This site provides information about transferable skills for research students and research staff at Oxford University and includes a searchable database of skills training opportunities, links to articles on subjects such as project management, teaching and career planning and message boards for asking questions and discussing issues with other researchers. An online Personal Development Planning System is being launched by the University and will be made available through the skills portal.
The Institute also provides a Methods and Techniques Course for all first year students and other research skills workshops e.g. in bioinformatics
Supervisors will encourage students to attend courses and will review student’s portfolio of training on a regular basis
8. Opportunities for Developing and Practising Teaching Skills (for Second and Third Year Graduates)
The University has established a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) which will support the development of research students who wish to follow an academic career, including training in teaching skills. Information about the Division’s CETL activities can be found on the website.
9. Arrangements for accommodation, meals and social facilities
Research students have access to the Institute’s Coffee Lounge, where a range of food is provided at reasonable cost and interaction between research groups within the Institute is actively encouraged. The Institute is based on the John Radcliffe Hospital site so you are also able to access hospital facilities.
The Institute Administration works with students to find appropriate accommodation within the local area.
Many colleges will be able to provide you with at least one year’s accommodation. Generally speaking your college will provide meals throughout the year, but provision will vary from college to college, especially during vacations, and you will need to familiarise yourself with your college’s detailed arrangements. In addition there are usually self-catering facilities available in graduate accommodation. You will be a member of the Middle Common Room, or equivalent, of your college, which is the main social centre for graduates. The MCR provides a common room and usually organises a programme of social events throughout the year. The college will also provide a bar, some computing facilities and a library, and may often have dedicated funds for research (conference and field grants). It also represents the interests of its members to the college through an elected Committee or through elected representatives to College Committees. Again, details will vary from college to college. Graduates are also welcome to participate in all other social and sporting activities of the college. Please see individual college websites for further details about all aspects of college provision.
Graduate Research Students may become members of the University Club in Mansfield Road, and participate in the range of sporting activities provided by the University.
10. Arrangements for Pastoral & Welfare Support
Within the Institute your supervisor, Chair of Graduate Studies Committee (Prof Marella de Bruin) and the WIMM Student Co-ordinator (Mrs Liz Cloke) are all available to offer support. Student views and concerns can be communicated to the Institute Graduate Studies Committee via any of the committee members. In addition you may report your views or concerns to the Divisional Graduate Joint Consultative Committee via the Institute Student Representative.
There is an extensive framework of support for graduates within each college. Your college will allocate to you a College Advisor from among its Senior Members, usually in a cognate subject, who will arrange to see you from time to time and whom you may contact for additional advice and support on academic and other matters. In college you may also approach the Tutor for Graduates and/or the Senior Tutor for advice. The Tutor for Graduates is a fellow of the college with particular responsibility for the interests and welfare of graduate students. In some colleges, the Senior Tutor will also have the role of Tutor for Graduates. Each college will also have other named individuals who can offer individual advice.
The University also has a professionally staffed confidential Student Counselling Service which offers assistance with personal, emotional, social and academic problems (http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/shw/counserv.shtml) and a Careers Service (http://www.careers.ox.ac.uk/).