Programme overview

The Crick offers a stimulating and supportive training environment for students to carry our their PhD research project, which is agreed between the student and supervisor, usually in the first three months of study. Although students spend most of their time within their research group working on their PhD project, the four year PhD programme contains plenty of other important activities too:

  • Induction week
    The PhD programme starts with an induction week, to give the new students a head start in getting to know each other, their university, the Crick and the PhD programme. Interactive sessions cover various topics, including organising and recording your research, keeping on top of the literature, designing experiments and research integrity. Students are also introduced to the institute's Science Technology Platforms, through which they can access state-of-the-art equipment and expertise.
  • Student progression points
    Throughout the PhD programme, there are a number of scheduled progression points to review academic progress. The progression points allow the student to discuss how their project is progressing and receive guidance on their research from their supervisory team (primary supervisor and thesis committee, see Support and guidance).
  • Student talks
    Students develop their skills in oral presentation by presenting their research to their research group and supervisory team in each year of their PhD. In addition, all students give a 10 minute talk to the student community about their research project 3 months into their PhD, give an internal seminar during their third year, and present a research seminar at the end of their PhD.
  • Student reports
    In each year of their PhD, students submit written reports on their research, developing their writing skills before finally writing up their PhD thesis in their final year. Constructive feedback is provided on each report by their supervisory team. 
  • Seminars, workshops and lectures
    The Crick hosts an extensive range of both internal and external seminars, workshops and lectures that students benefit from. Students have the opportunity to meet with visiting speakers to discuss their work.
  • Conferences
    Attending scientific conferences provides valuable exposure to the wider scientific community, and is an exciting and important learning experience. Students have access to funding to allow them to present their work at national and international conferences. Students also participate in an International Student Conference, which is organised 'by students and for students' in conjunction with PhD students from other top institutes in Europe.
  • Career development
    Students are encouraged to plan ahead and think about what they would like to do next. To help with this, they have access to various internal and external careers talks and workshops and the opportunity to carry out work placements. External speakers, working inside and outside of academia, chat openly and informally about their own careers and offer advice to those interested in pursuing a similar career. In addition to the talks and workshops the Crick offers, students are also able to access the careers services within the university they are registered at, for example:
  • Thesis writing and submission
    Towards the end of their PhD, students write up the results and conclusions of their research for their thesis and research publications, and plan the next steps in their careers. Once their thesis is completed and submitted, students have the opportunity to give an 'exit seminar' to the institute on their findings before their PhD viva examination with two external examiners.