The Training Programme

The Training Programme

Our training progresses through four phases, developing from core skills to the specialised skills needed for individual student projects, while encouraging students to develop the broad scientific awareness and interdisciplinary skills needed to foster a multi-disciplinary approach to research problems.


In the foundation phase, students undertake core training in quantitative, communication and computational skills, and gain an understanding of the challenges being addressed within the partnership, and the tools, technologies and expertise available to them. We encourage students to develop an ethos of lifelong learning and personal development, and in subsequent phases students continue to develop their skills and understanding through an individually-tailored, structured training programme and project-specific training.


In the exploration phase, students enrolled in our rotation programme undertake two 12-week rotation projects and are encouraged to practise and develop interdisciplinary skills. iCASE students, and students funded to undertake a specific research project join their research groups and begin to explore their research topic. All students continue to develop their skills through participation in optional advanced courses and practice-led training groups (PTGs). PTGs provide focused, problem-, project-and practice-led training for small groups of students in order to support the development of high-level skills. Cohort-based interdisciplinary training and the opportunity to explore two projects in the first year will encourage students to become confident, flexible researchers who can tackle new challenges and develop and adopt new technologies.


At the heart of our training programme is the research phase in which students undertake a three-year substantive doctoral research project. During this phase, students develop a deep knowledge and understanding of their specific subject area and of the skills required to work within it. Students are encouraged to develop an awareness of the wider context of their research and to engage with stakeholders and the public both through the DTP’s professional skills and career development programme and through their 12-week internship or industrial placement. Our training model allows for flexibility in the timing of the internship to enable students to make best use of the opportunity it provides to develop their skills, career and interests.


In their final year students are supported in completing the requirements for their degree and in securing further employment. The main form of assessment for a DTP DPhil/PhD is a written thesis describing the research students have undertaken and demonstrating their knowledge of their field of work. This is formally assessed in a viva. Students are provided with specific training relating to preparation of their thesis and for the viva. They are also able to access training and advice via the DTP and Oxford University Careers Service in CV writing, job application and interview skills to assist them in applying for jobs. Students with interests in enterprise and entrepreneurship will be able to access a wide range of support and advice in taking their ideas forward. Students are encouraged to remain active members of the DTP alumni network and to maintain contact with the DTP and their fellow students as they continue in their careers.

DTP Overview