Project Call

Project Proposal Form

iCASE Project Call

This page is designed to guide investigators across the Health Faculties through the process of submitting a Project Proposal Form to the annual MRC DTP Project Call.

The MRC DTP offers a dual PhD structure offering both a 0+4 PhD pathway, and a 1+3 MRes/PhD pathway with laboratory rotations.  We recognise that applicants with the potential to become outstanding PhD students come from diverse backgrounds and have a range of interests and training needs.  Importantly, both pathways provide adequate time for training in both experimental and broader research skills, with a particular focus on quantitative skills and research methodologies.

We have guaranteed funding for 21 Core Studentships in the Health Faculties for 2022 entry and are now issuing a call to investigators across the Health Faculties for potential rotation/thesis projects for students joining the MRC DTP in September/October 2022.  All eligible projects will be advertised to prospective applicants and offered to our next incoming class.

Values and Expectations

By submitting a project to the DTP, you are committing to promoting and upholding the values and ethos of the programme set out in our programme Values and Expectations. Fundamental to these values is the understanding that PhD supervision is a privilege, and the supervisor’s responsibility is to prioritise the best experience for scientific training and development of the student. In return students will thrive and enhance the quality of your research and the environment of the group.

Diversity Monitoring of Supervisor Pool 2022 Entry

As part of the project call submission, we have introduced a Diversity Monitoring Form for completion. Filling in this form is mandatory alongside your Project Proposal Form, but you can choose to select “prefer not to say” for all questions if you wish.

Why are we collecting this data? As a DTP, we are expected to ensure that equality, diversity, and inclusion is considered and supported at all stages throughout the performance of the Training Grant, in alignment with UKRI and MRC policies and principles for equality, diversity and inclusion.

What will we do with this data? Driven by these policies and KCL EDI initiatives this form is designed to collect data on the diversity of our supervisor pool. We will then collect data from our current supervisors and compare our findings. Our aim is to ensure a diverse supervisor pool and if we find that we do not, we will take positive action to try and change it.

How will we store this data? The MRC DTP Administrative Team will coordinate the process of collecting data. All data submitted is completely anonymous; no name, no email, no way of knowing who submitted. Data will be stored on a SharePoint only accessible by the Administrative Team.

Projects must align to one of the three MRC DTP Themes and must be suitable for both the 1+3 & 0+4 pathways:

  • CM-HD – Cells, Molecules and the Basis of Health and Disease
  • NS-MH – Neuroscience and Mental Health
  • BE-MI – Biomedical Engineering and Medical Imaging

Project descriptions should be written so that third year undergraduate students can understand them and should outline the contribution of each supervisor.

Projects can emphasise discovery/basic or translational/applied research. Projects which are translational should involve supervisory input from a clinician/clinician scientist (EITHER the two supervisors can be a combination of a basic scientist and a clinician/clinician scientist OR two basic scientists with an associated clinician/clinician scientist).

College regulations indicate that a postdoc cannot be listed as a supervisor. However, the MRC DTP will consider a postdoc being listed as a 3rd supervisor, or Thesis Committee Expert for the postdoc to receive credit for their valuable input.

A co-supervisor can only submit one project proposal per project call. Co-supervisors can submit project proposals to both the MRC DTP Core and MRC DTP iCASE project calls as long as the projects are different.

To encourage breadth within the DTP, a maximum of two MRC DTP students can undertake their PhD thesis project at any one time with any single supervisor.

The complete portfolio of all eligible project options will be made available to applicants at the time of application, and they will be asked to identify three projects of interest. For the 0+4 pathway the students will decide which project they have selected for the PhD at offer stage. For the 1+3 pathway there is no commitment to any project at offer stage. The students will make the decision on which project to take as their first rotation when they arrive in September and have met with potential supervisors. Similarly, decisions of the second and third rotations will be made in December and March, respectively. Each student will complete their three laboratory rotation projects of ~12 weeks, and then select the PhD thesis project after completion of the third rotation. Students must receive approval from their Personal Tutor before commencing each project.

There will be opportunities for supervisors to meet applicants on or before the interviews.

  • The MRC DTP operates a co-supervision model. Both supervisors must be eligible to act as a first supervisor and are expected to make an equal contribution to supervision of the project. As per KCL PGR Regulations, at least one co-supervisor must have supervised a PGR student to completion, and one must hold a doctoral degree themselves.
  • Both supervisors must have undergone supervisory development or be enrolled onto this course. This will be verified when the project submission is reviewed.
  • Both supervisors must be primarily appointed at KCL/KHP (50% or higher) to be eligible to be a co-supervisor.
  • The co-supervisors must be able to demonstrate they have the resources to undertake the project. For lab-based work, this typically means that one co-supervisor must be a primary grant holder, and the grant must be specified on the application.
  • Only one project submission allowed per co-supervisor per project call.
  • Students following the 0+4 pathway will select their PhD project once they have accepted a position on the programme.
  • To encourage breadth within the DTP, a maximum of two MRC DTP students can undertake their PhD thesis project at any one time with any single supervisor.

Key Dates

Deadline for project proposal submission Sunday 5th September, 23:59
Studentship applications open Friday 8th October
Studentship applications close Thursday 18th November, 23:59
Shortlisting Monday 6th December – Friday 7th January
Interviews Wednesday 26th & Thursday 27th January

Instructions

All the sections of the Project Proposal Form must be complete, and all listed supervisors must have completed the Diversity Monitoring Form at the time of submission. Incomplete or late proposals will not be accepted.

The filename and email subject must be titled properly to help prepare your submission for review. Please use the family name followed by initials of both co-supervisors 1A & 1B. For example: JonesAB_SmithTS.

Submit your project proposal to mrc-dtp@kcl.ac.uk.

Deadline for project proposal submission is Sunday 5th September, 23:59.

Any enquiries should be directed to mrc-dtp@kcl.ac.uk.