The Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR) is one of the leading research institutions in the UK and provides a unique interface between clinical and basic biomedical science. Its major goal is to determine and understand the molecular mechanisms underlying human disease. The strength of the institute is that members work on a variety of diseases using a wide range of methodologies which makes it a superb place for graduate training in biological and medical sciences. CIMR has 30 group leaders working in a range of disease mechanisms, including misfolded proteins and disease, intracellular membrane trafficking and cell biology, immunity and haematopoietic biology.
The Cambridge Institute offers a one-year full-time MPhil programme of research under individual supervision of Principal Investigators based in CIMR. This course can also be taken as part-time option over two years. During their MPhil the students are based in a research group, supported by their primary supervisor and the CIMR Graduate Education Committee.
There is no taught and examined course work, but students are encouraged to attend research seminars at the Addenbrooke's Biomedical Research Campus and elsewhere in the University, as well as graduate student seminars dealing with generic skills such as intellectual property rights, writing a thesis or paper, and entrepreneurship. Students write a dissertation, which is examined via an oral examination.
Students are supervised by the PI and senior post docs. Discussions are provided on a daily basis at the bench and weekly during lab meetings and journal clubs. The supervisor on average will meet with the student every two weeks to discuss progress.
Regular lab meetings within the research group are required.
The supervisor on average will meet with the student on a one-to-one basis every two weeks to discuss progress with the student.
The MPhil in Medical Science is examined by dissertation and viva. The dissertation must be no longer than 20,000 words and must satisfy the examiners that the candidate can design and carry out an original investigation, assess and interpret the results obtained, and place the work in the wider perspective of the subject.
Continuation from MPhil to PhD is possible although it is not automatic. All cases are judged on their own merits based on a number of factors including: evidence of progress and research potential; a sound research proposal; the availability of a suitable supervisor and of resources required for the research; acceptance by the Head of Department and the Degree Committee.