Scientists in the unit have been principal supervisors of 14 PhDs, 3 MDs and 26 MSc qualifications awarded between 2009 and 2014 (listing in Supplement, section 3). Around 35% of the students have been clinical, with the remainder being non-clinicians from a diversity of backgrounds. Some of our students are staff members who have chosen to undertake a part-time higher degree alongside their contracted work. Staff currently supervise an additional 39 PhDs registered at the Universities of Southampton, Oxford or elsewhere.

Our postgraduate students are eligible to attend a range of organised courses covering research skills appropriate to their faculty. This ensures assimilation of our MRC PhD students with the larger cadre undergoing postgraduate training within the University as a whole. Most students fall within the Faculty of Medicine, which organises an annual postgraduate student conference providing an excellent forum for students to demonstrate their developing communication skills. External conference participation is also encouraged, and we provide funds for attendance at important national and international events. Further training opportunities include access to a full Continuing Professional Development programme provided by the University Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit. The University’s Department of Research and Innovation Services organises training on research governance, preservation of intellectual property and corporatisation.

Student progress is formally monitored at regular intervals by progress reports from both the supervisors and the student; milestones include a transfer thesis with viva examination at 18-24 months. Each student has at least two supervisors, carefully chosen to ensure a balance of knowledge, project and candidate fit. Additional supervisors are appointed as appropriate, to ensure that the relevant expertise is available for our students.   Supervisors, some of whom completed their own doctoral research at the unit, are trained by the university and guidance is available on all aspects of supervision.