Doctoral Scholarship Opportunity

A National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) scholarship will be awarded for a student starting the DPhil in Statistics in the Department of Statistics, University of Oxford, on 5 October 2020.  This is a 3 ½ year scholarship, including a stipend of at least £15,285 per annum (pro-rata for year 4), Course fees at the Home/EU rate and travel costs for attending conferences and training.

This project will combine statistical epidemiological analysis with experience of the interface between science and disease control policy of the viruses responsible for COVID-19 and MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome).  New statistical methods will be developed and applied to gain insight into transmission, disease progression and opportunities for control.  Supervision will be joint between Prof Christl Donnelly (Department of Statistics, University of Oxford and Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London), Dr Maria Van Kerkhove (WHO COVID-19 Technical Lead) and colleagues in the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections (HPRU-EZI).  The overarching aim of the HPRU is to support and strengthen PHE in its role of protecting England from emerging and zoonotic infections.

The research will be will be highly collaborative in nature and will involve interactions with clinicians, biostatisticians and basic scientists from a range of disciplines.  The project also benefits from extensive collaborative links both with other Oxford and Liverpool researchers and departments and internationally.  Students will be expected to publish their work, present findings at international meetings, attend local and external training courses, and attend weekly group meetings, journal clubs and departmental seminars.

As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the equivalent of the following UK qualifications: a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in an appropriate subject.  You will need a strong background in mathematics or statistics.  However, entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a first-class degree or the equivalent.  In particular for this project it is a requirement for applicants to have an interest in the epidemiology of infectious diseases.  it is also desirable to have experience in the epidemiology of infectious diseases and experience in the analysis or modelling of biological phenomena.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to

Only Home/EU applicants are eligible for this funding.  Applications should be made online at for the DPhil in Statistics quoting reference OUHPRECD2020 in the application.  Applications should include a CV, covering letter, three references and a transcript of your undergraduate degree and subsequent graduate degrees. Applications must arrive by 12 noon 23 July 2020.

The University is committed to equality and valuing diversity.

Please also see the University’s Fees, funding and scholarship search for details of other scholarships that may be available.

Posted on: 07/07/2020