The King’s College London MRC Flexible Supplement Fund is available to all students at King’s College London who are funded by the MRC. This scheme has been established using block funding by the MRC and can help fund a wide range of research and training activities.
All current MRC-funded students at King’s College London are eligible to apply for the Flexible Supplement Fund. These include: –
- Core MRC DTP students
- MRC Unit, Institute, Centre of Partnership students
- MRC Industrial CASE students
- MRC Clinical Research Training Fellows
How to Apply
News & Events
King’s College London MRC-funded students may apply to one or more of the funding areas below by completing a MRC Flexible Supplement Application Form and submitting to email@example.com (multiple requests can be made on one application form). The next round of applications open on Monday 5th March 2018 and close on Sunday 8th April 2018. Application deadlines will be advertised in advance; consult the FAQ’s below for future openings. We may ask for additional information after receiving an application and require all successful applicants to provide a brief report acknowledging MRC support.
All applicants are strongly encouraged to read the FAQ (below) ‘What makes a good application to the Flexible Supplement Fund’ before starting their application.
Areas of Funding
|Area of Funding||Description|
|Internships and Placements||Application to be made prior to applying for an internship or placement; 3-month placement, suspension of studies in principle required.|
|High cost training||Applications in areas of strategic need (in line with MRC strategic priorities), such as bioinformatics, interdisciplinary skills and imaging.|
|Exceptional training opportunities||Such as overseas fieldwork, complementary and beneficial placement, or training in new advanced research skills.|
|In vivo strategic skills*||To support research training in advanced integrative mammalian biology.|
|Industry Training||Opportunities for training with industry or at the interdisciplinary interface.|
|Outreach||To enable participation in outreach activities, such as public engagement.|
|PhD to postdoctoral transition fund||Increase the competitiveness of outstanding candidates to secure prestigious postdoctoral appointments – e.g. fixed short term funding Post-PhD to exceptional candidates to support completion of research work and publication.|
* For an in vivo strategic skills award to be granted, verification of the appropriate Home Office project and personal licenses, and a detailed justification for the proposed study, including power calculations will be required.
*Please note that the Flexible Supplement cannot be used to support the extension of existing studentships unless there is specific justification for outstanding candidates to secure prestigious post-doctoral appointments.
View our Flexible Supplement Fund Recent Awardees to see examples of successful applications.
Frequently Asked Questions
Students are encouraged to submit application which fully explain how a funding request will support their PhD.
The Flexible Supplement Review Panel have recently shared the following feedback:
- An application is not assessed on the supervisor’s supporting statement and so students must provide a good statement to be funded. If the student justification is not satisfactory, the request will not be funded.
- All request justification should be a minimum of 300 words and a maximum of 500 words.
- The Flexible Supplement Fund will not will not fund equipment/ experiments for projects or other elements of the project which should clearly be covered by the student’s consumables budget.
- The members of the Flexible Supplement Panel are non-experts, therefore applicants need to clearly detail what their PhD project is about and how the request will benefit/advance their training and PhD. Applicants are advised to detail how the request is relevant to their PhD.
- The maximum number of training courses a student can apply to is two. Applicants applying for more than two training courses within one application need to provide a timeline of their PhD over the next 12 months and to evidence why it is imperative to complete additional training courses in line with the 12-month timeline.
Our Flexible Supplement Review Panel have provided more useful Flexible Supplement Feedback on how to submit a good application. We recommend reading this information before starting an application.
To be eligible you must be currently funded by the MRC for studies leading to a PhD. All MRC-funded students registered at King’s College London may apply to the scheme. Please contact the MRC DTP Team if you require further advice.
If you meet the eligibility criteria, there is no limit on the number of applications you can make to the fund. Applications in more than one category can also be made simultaneously in one application form.
For the purposes of the Internship or Placement category, this scheme is intended to provide stipend support at your current rate of no more than 3 months in duration. For all other categories, the maximum level is £5,000, and awards up to 100% of this sum can be made. Applications requesting more than £5,000 will be considered on a case by case basis.
Each application will be considered by an academic panel. The panel will consider how an application aligns with the funding categories and how the opportunity will benefit to your PhD.
Please be reminded that the Flexible Supplement Panel are non-experts, applicants are strongly advised to summarise their PhD project as part of their application and to clearly explain how the funding request relates to the applicant’s training and research project.
This scheme is intended to provide stipend support at your current rate, for the purposes of Internships and Placements, of no more than 3 months in duration. Ideally this is best suited for students who are within writing-up status but prior to submission. Students who want to take an Internship or Placement within the first 36 months of their PhD studies, are advised to speak with their suprvisors prior to making an application. This fund will make awards on the assumption that the faculty supports this request and will extend/approve interruption of studies.
The next Flexible Supplement Application round will open on Monday 5th March 2018
Download the MRC Flexible Supplement Application Form, complete and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday 8th April 2018 for consideration. An academic panel will review all applications in the week commencing 30th April 2018.
The Flexible Supplement will open two application rounds in 2017 2018.
The first will open on Monday 2nd October and close on Sunday 29th October. An academic panel will review all applications to this round in the week commencing 20th November 2017.
The second will open on Monday 5th March 2018 and close on Sunday 8th April 2018. An academic panel will review all applications to this round in the week commencing 30th April 2018.
‘I would not be able to lead coordination of these efforts if it wasn’t for the training I received.’
‘I used the funding to take up a unique opportunity to visit Professor Catherine Lord and her team at the Centre for Autism and the Developing Brain in New York. The purpose of the visit was to spend two weeks being trained in two observational measures of autism that the team have developed; the Brief Observation of Social and Communication Change (BOSCC) and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS).
The BOSCC and ADOS are central to my PhD and as a result of receiving training of such a high quality, along with learning from the developing team’s insight, I have been allocated the role of lead BOSCC coder in the PACT-G study…I would not be able to lead coordination of these efforts if it wasn’t for the training I received.’
‘A unique set of research skills not often available to PhD students.’
‘These funds contributed towards me attending an extensive 3-day course using Mplus Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) for cross-sectional data and purchasing a copy of the Mplus Student Software. Since attending the course, I have used Mplus extensively for data analysis with both cross-sectional and longitudinal data, and the results of this work have recently been submitted for publication.
The MRC Flexible Student Award also provided me with the funds to attend the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule 2nd edition (ADOS-2) training and purchase an ADOS-2 Hand-scored Kit. This was an extensive training course, which equipped me with the necessary skills to perform diagnostic assessments both during and beyond my PhD. I am very grateful for having the opportunity to attend a variety of training courses, which have enabled me to acquire a unique set of research skills not often available to PhD students.’
‘I have increased my professional network and opened avenues for future collaborations.’
‘The MRC flexible supplement award funding allowed me to complete a placement at the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Brunel University. During this placement, I was involved in the design, piloting and analysis of two EEG studies. I also worked on creating analysis pipelines and reviewing manuscripts from previous studies.
One of the reasons I applied for placement was to learn functional connectivity analysis, in order to analyse and publish data collected in my PhD study. After completing this placement, I am now confident in analysing this data. I also learnt additional analysis techniques such as event-related desynchronization analysis and time-frequency analysis. In addition to these impacts on my training, this placement has helped develop my study design skills, analysis pipeline skills and team work skills. It also gave me an opportunity to apply my skills to a new field of study (i.e, sport and brain injury).
My contribution to the lab has resulted in me being including on the authorship of two peer-reviewed papers (in review). I have increased my professional network and opened avenues for future collaborations.’
‘This funding has significantly benefited both my PhD and my personal development, helping me to expand my analytical repertoire’
‘I attended a two day training course on “High dimensional data analysis for mass and flow-cytometry” run by the BRC flow-cytometry facility at Guy’s. The course was designed for mass and fluorescent cytometry users, statisticians and bioinformaticians with an interest in data analysis methods for high-dimensionality mass cytometry experiments. The course aimed to provide participants with a full understanding of high dimensionality data analysis concepts and a knowledge of the current ‘R Software’ based tools, including hands on experience in using these. The course was both engaging and practical, emphasising the relevance of the concepts and techniques for clinical applications.
I would strongly recommend this course to other MRC DTP students who are involved in mass cytometry or multi-colour flow cytometry with a large number of fluorochromes. This MRC flexible supplement funding opportunity has significantly benefitted both my PhD and my personal development, helping me to expand my analytical repertoire.
I went on to apply analysis techniques learnt on this course in my PhD project, where they informed the design and analysis of a multi-colour flow-cytometry study to phenotype populations of tumour infiltrating macrophages in a spontaneous mouse model of breast cancer. Additionally, I applied concepts learnt on the course to a collaborative project in the Arnold lab, which analysed publically available single-cell RNA-seq data, the results of which are included in a publication from the Arnold lab. (Muliaditan, Opzoomer, Caron . . . Arnold, Clinical Cancer Research, Accepted Dec 2017).’
‘Having this ADOS-2 training has allowed me to be highly independent and to test hypotheses that are integral to my PhD project’
‘Receiving the MRC Flexible Supplement Award has had a great impact on my PhD training. The £950 I was awarded covered the costs of an expensive 4-day training course for the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2 (ADOS-2) assessment, which is a research tool used to measure the severity of autistic behaviours in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I have since used the skills gained in this course to quantify autistic behaviours in participants with ASD in my research studies. Having this ADOS-2 training has allowed me to be highly independent and to test hypotheses that are integral to my PhD project (e.g., one main hypothesis is that observable autistic behaviours in the ADOS-2 assessment will be greater when participants are fatigued). Having data collected from the ADOS-2 in my PhD studies will also permit me to submit my work to high impact journals, as the ADOS-2 assessment is deemed to be more reliable than self- and parent-reported measures, as it is standardised norms from large datasets. More broadly, this training will serve me well in achieving research goals beyond my PhD, as I hope to pursue a career as an autism researcher. Not all autism researchers get the opportunity to receive ADOS-2 training, given its expense, therefore I am very grateful to the MRC for funding this training, which will put me in a unique position in future research environments.’
‘through the technical experience that I gained, I will be able to establish new techniques in my lab and answer complex questions of my PhD project.’
‘In September 2017, I participated in the Ion Channel Cajal Advanced Neuroscience Training Programme, hosted by the University of Bordeaux. The duration of the course was 20 days and two projects were assigned to all participants. The students worked under the guidance of an academic or an industrial instructor. Upon the completion of each study, the results were presented to the participants and instructors. Participating in an intense ion channel training programme, was a great opportunity for me to be introduced to state-of-the-art electrophysiological techniques, by experts of the field.
During my first project assignment, I had the opportunity to be trained in automated single channel recordings on lipid bilayers. Through this project, I gained experience in biophysical studies and electrophysiological recordings of ion channels that are localized in artificial lipid bilayers, which resemble the cell membrane structure. The obtained knowledge will be applied in the electrophysiological experiments that will be initiated for my PhD thesis. My second project focused on the consequences of optogenetic manipulation of serotonergic neurons in the raphe magnus, on the spinal descending pathway. I was trained in mouse intracranial injections of Adeno-associated viral vectors, behavioural tests and in vivo electrophysiological recordings of spinal wide range neurons, while stimulating the raphe magnus neurons optogenetically. The experience in mice handling and in vivo electrophysiological recordings is of major importance to my PhD thesis because my future experiments will be based on animal behaviour and imaging of calcium signals in vivo in DRG neurons.
To conclude, I would like to thank the MRC for supporting my participation in such a rewarding training programme because through the technical experience that I gained, I will be able to establish new techniques in my lab and answer complex questions of my PhD project.’
Students and instructors following the project presentations, in the Bordeaux Neurocampus, September 2017.