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Prospective Students

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

General

How is the OxCam program different from other US PhD programs?
Do I have to be a US citizen or permanent resident to apply?
Where will I live?
How much does the program cost?
How long does it take to complete the program?
Are standardized test scores required for the application?
What classes do I have to take?
How does the interview process work?
How do I select my mentors?
How do I choose my project?

NIH

Am I getting my PhD from NIH?
          What’s a DPhil?
Can I live on campus?

UK

Am I going to both Oxford and Cambridge?
          How do I pick one?
Do I have to apply even if I get accepted in to the OxCam program?
How much time do I spend in the UK?
          Can I spend my entire time there?
What kind of visa do I need?
How do I get a visa?
What if I’m already enrolled at Oxford or Cambridge?

MD/PhD

What if I’m already in medical school?
Can I pick the track that I’m on?
What if my school doesn’t have MSTP funding?
What if I’m in an MD program, not MD/PhD?


General

How is the OxCam program any different than any other PhD program?
The OxCam program is an accelerate PhD program, which allows scholars to complete an individualized, research-based PhD in approximately 4 years, which is significantly less than the average PhD program. The program also has a more student-driven structure with no designated course-work outside of that agreed on by student and mentor. For more information, visit the About section of our page.

Do I have to be a US citizen or permanent resident to apply?
Yes. For students who are not United States citizens or permanent residents, please visit the Wellcome Trust Program website, this page offers some options for individuals who are UK or EU citizens.

Where will I live?
There are several housing options while you are in the US, including On-Campus Housing at the NIH in Bethesda, and you can learn more about other options here. When you are at your university you will live in the college you join or you can explore other off-campus options.

How much does the program cost?
Your tuition and fees will be paid for by the program, while your stipend, medical benefits, and travel allowance for all four years of the program are funded by your NIH mentor. There are also scholarships available and you can find more details here.

How long does it take to complete the program?
On average, our students complete their PhD in a little over 4 years.

Are standardized test scores required for the application?
The general GRE test and/or MCAT scores are required.

What classes do I have to take?
The OxCam program doesn’t have a defined curriculum. Outside of administrative and safety trainings for your NIH lab, the only classes you will take will be by your choice (or your mentor’s suggestion) for the development of your research and scientific skills.

How does the interview process work?
Students who are invited to interview will attend a three-day event in February at the NIH in Bethesda, MD. The interview is a 30-minute panel with NIH investigators and faculty representatives from Oxford and Cambridge. You will also be able to use this time to meet with potential NIH mentors

How do I select my mentors?
Please visit the Training Plan, where we have information about Mentor and Project Selection.

How do I choose my project?
Please visit the Training Plan, where we have information about Mentor and Project Selection.

NIH

Am I getting my PhD from NIH?
No. Your degree will be issued from the UK university that you select; your degree will be a PhD from the University of Cambridge, or a DPhil from the University of Oxford.

What’s a DPhil?
A DPhil is a Doctor of Philosophy and is the term used for the doctoral degree earned at the University of Oxford.

Can I live on campus?
There is limited on-campus housing available for OxCam students, however, it is on a first-come-first-served basis and other housing resources are available here.

UK

Am I going to both Oxford and Cambridge?
No. You will select one school based on your project/mentor and acceptance to that institute.

How do I pick one?
Your NIH mentor and project will be instrumental in selecting your UK institute. See the Mentor and Project Selection page for more information.

Do I have to apply even if I get accepted into the OxCam program?
Yes. You will be required to apply for both the OxCam program and the individual university that you wish to attend. You do have the option of applying to both the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge and then making a final decision based on mentor and project selection.

How much time do I spend in the UK?
The OxCam program is designed to be a 50:50 split. You should, ideally, spend two years at the NIH intramural campus in Bethesda and two years at either Oxford or Cambridge. This time is divided based on the development of your project.

Can I spend my entire time there?
No. Per the requirements of the OxCam program, you will be spending two years in the lab of your NIH mentor.

What kind of visa do I need?
A general student visa is all that is required, but you can read more about the details on our page about Student Visas.

How do I get a visa?
Please visit our page about Student Visas.

What if I’m already enrolled at Oxford or Cambridge?
If you are in a Master’s program, at either Oxford or Cambridge, speak to the Graduate Studies Office to enquire about your application for the university doctoral program.You may not be actively working on your PhD at either university and be accepted to the OxCam program. For more specific situations, please contact the OxCam Office.

MD/PhD

What if I’m already in medical school?
It is for this reason, that we have different MD/PhD tracks. If you are enrolled in an MD/PhD program at your medical school, you will want to apply to the OxCam program at the beginning of your second year of medical school. You can see our MD/PhD page for a more descriptive explanation.

Can I pick the track that I’m on?
Your track is determined by your current status. If you are applying to medical school and the OxCam program simultaneously, you are considered a Track 1 applicant. If you are currently in medical school and are applying to the OxCam program, you are considered a Track 2. If you are a current OxCam PhD student interested in pursuing a medical degree, there are limited slots to apply for Track 3.

What if my school doesn’t have MSTP funding?
 You may apply for individual fellowships for both the MD and PhD phases of your training. See our MD/PhD page and the primary NIH MD/PhD Partnership Training website for more information.

What if I’m in an MD program, not MD/PhD?
Speak to your medical school about options for dual degree training and you can find more information at our primary NIH MD/PhD Partnership Training website.

This Page Last Reviewed on October 1, 2014