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View Vacancy -- MGU 729 - 4 Year PhD Programme at the MRC Harwell Institute

Open Date
07/12/2017 16:00
Close Date
04/02/2018 23:55
MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit
MRC Harwell Institute is an international research centre at the forefront of mouse genetics. Located on the Harwell Campus, just south of Oxford, it is nestled amongst a vibrant community of leading science organisations. We aim to advance medicine through cutting-edge research into the genetic basis of disease. Our research programs span an entire lifetime, from embryonic development to diseases of ageing. They cover many areas, investigating the underlying genetics in disorders of sex development, the relationship between disrupted circadian rhythms and psychiatric disease, the role of cilia in development and disease, age-related deafness and otitis media, neurodegenerative disease and type 2 diabetes.
MRC - Stipend
Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire
Annual Student Stipend £15,240
University Fees
Fixed Term
Full Time
4 years

Unit name: Mammalian Genetics Unit

Job title: PhD Student

Salary range: £15,240

Band (Grade): PhD Student Stipend

Contract type (e.g. Open/Fixed term): Fixed term for 4 years starting October 2018

Hours (e.g. full or part time): 36 Hours a week (full time)

Detailed job description

The MRC Harwell Institute are offering 3 PhD studentships to study human disease using mouse genetics and mouse functional genomics. We have a variety of research areas that PhD students can select to complete their PhD. The training starts with a 3 month induction with training and laboratory rotations after which students decide which research area they want to complete their PhD in.

The MRC Harwell Institute is an International Centre for Mouse Genetics at the forefront of studies in mouse functional genomics and mouse models of human disease. We are engaged in lifetime studies, from developmental abnormalities through to diseases of ageing. The projects available incorporate a whole range of skills from genome editing, phenotyping, anatomy, histopathology, imaging, genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, molecular biology, cell biology and cell culture. The research themes offering PhD projects at the MRC Harwell Institute for 2018 are:

  • Genetic basis of type 2 diabetes
  • Genetics of circadian rhythms and sleep in health and disease
  • Molecular genetics of sensorineural hearing loss
  • Mouse models of otitis media and otopathogen infection
  • The role of cilia in development and disease
  • Disorders of sex development
  • Bioinformatics of mouse models of disease
  • Investigating novel stress response pathways in neurological disease
  • Novel and bespoke mouse models for dissecting neurodegenerative disease

Students are registered with the University of Oxford and the relevant department who will award the PhD. The studentship includes an annual stipend of £15,240 and University fees for students meeting the UK residence requirements detailed on our website. Currently we have 27 doctoral training students. Together with the postdoctoral fellows and other members of the Institute, our students contribute to a vibrant atmosphere providing a supportive environment for the development of future leaders in mouse genetics and the life sciences.




Candidates for an MRC-funded studentship must hold qualifications at the level of, or equivalent to a first-class or 2:1 honours’ degree in a biological science or related discipline.

To apply please complete the on-line application details and upload the following documents.

(1) One-page covering letter outlining your interest in doing a PhD in the MRC Harwell Institute

(2) CV with the names and contact details of two referees

Applications will only be eligible for consideration if all details are complete and both documents are uploaded.

More information:

Information about potential supervisors and research interests can be found on the research section of the MRC Harwell Institute website

Informal inquiries can be made to the Director of Graduate Studies Professor Roger Cox by emailing

Residence requirements

The MRC studentships, provides students with a stipend and also pay PhD/DPhil registration fees at the University of Oxford. This funding is only available to candidates that meet the UK residence criteria as detailed in the Research Council UK (RCUK) conditions of research council training grants.

To be eligible for a full award (stipend and university fees) a student must have:

  • Settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay.
  • Been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for three years prior to the start of the studentship. This means they must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences).
  • Not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. (This does not apply to UK or EU nationals).

Equality & Diversity

The MRC values the diverse skills and experience of its employees and is committed to achieving equality of treatment for all.  Our objectives are that all individuals shall have equal opportunities for employment and advancement on the basis of their skills, aptitudes and abilities.  The MRC is committed to the engagement and retention of the best possible talent and to creating an environment that encourages excellence in scientific research through good equalities and diversity leadership and management. 

Corporate/Local responsibilities & requirements

The job holder must at all times carry out their responsibilities with due regard to the MRC’s:

  • Code of Conduct
  • Equality and Diversity policy
  • Health and Safety policy
  • Data Protection and Security policy

The above lists are not exhaustive and the job holder is required to undertake such duties as may reasonably be requested within the scope of the post.  All employees are required to act professionally, co-operatively and flexibly in line with the requirements of the post and the MRC. 

The MRC is a great place to work and progress your career, be it in scientific research or the support functions.

The MRC is a unique working environment where our researchers are rewarded by world class innovation and collaboration opportunities that the MRC name brings. The MRC is an excellent place to develop yourself further and a range of training & development opportunities will be available to you, including professional registration with the Science Council.

Choosing to come to work at the MRC means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a final salary pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme and childcare vouchers, as well as the chance to put the MRC on your CV in the future.


Our success is dependent upon our ability to embrace diversity and draw on the skills, understanding and experience of all our people. We welcome applications from all sections of the community irrespective of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. As "Disability Confident" employers, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.


Final appointments will be subject to pre-employment screening.