As a MultiSci student, you will undertake two phases of training: a 1-year MRes programme, followed by a 3.5-year PhD project. Throughout, you will participate in MultiSci-specific training, intended to help you develop your professional and transferable skills. All students who start MultiSci at the same time do this training together – allowing you to build a peer network for learning and support.
MultiSci Year 1 – the MRes Year
The format of the first year of your MultiSci journey depends on what higher education degree(s) you hold at the time of enrolment.
1. If your highest level of qualification is from an undergraduate programme of study (e.g., BSc, MSci), you will be required to register for, and pass, the MRes Biomedical Research programme, resulting in being awarded this degree from Imperial. This well-established programme will provide you with broad, foundational training in generic research activities such as poster presentations and grant writing. In addition, you will undertake lab rotations to help inform selection of PhD topics and supervisors.
2. If your highest level of qualification is from a relevant postgraduate programme of study (e.g., MSc, MRes) you have two options
a. Register for, and pass, the MRes Biomedical Research, resulting in being awarded this degree from Imperial. MultiSci recommends this option for all students*
b. Follow the MRes Biomedical Research curriculum – which involves completion of lab rotations, a grant writing exercise, and all assessed activities – but without receiving academic credit or being awarded this degree from Imperial.
*If you have already completed, and passed, the MRes Biomedical Research programme, then you will need to take option b, as you cannot be awarded the same degree twice. If you are a current student/graduate of this specific MRes and want to apply to MultiSci, we strongly recommend you contact our Senior Teaching Fellow (Elaina Maginn) before you do so, to discuss MultiSci’s suitability for you.
During year 1, you will be required to complete the following assessments:
- 2 project write-ups (1 per rotation)
- Poster presentation
- Oral presentation
- Mock grant application
- Viva voce
Regardless of what format your first MultiSci year takes, you will:
- be required to attend all MultiSci-specific training, both in year 1 and during your subsequent PhD years.
- receive 1:1 support and guidance to help you develop your PhD project.
MultiSci Years 2 - 4.5: the PhD Years
MultiSci PhD project development is driven by students. Towards the end of your first year, you will submit a PhD project proposal, which you will have developed in collaboration with your prospective supervisors. Projects must align with one or more of the MultiSci’s research themes, and we encourage those that are multi-disciplinary.
As you undertake your independent research project, you have access to a wide variety of training and support opportunities, provided by the faculty you are registered in, Imperial’s award winning Graduate School, as well as MultiSci. You will also have access to the Imperial MRC supplement scheme, which can provide support for internships/placements, high-cost training, exceptional training opportunities, strategic skill development, industry training, outreach, and postdoctoral transition.
Regular MultiSci-cohort training and activities will continue throughout your PhD years, and you will be expected to balance the time-commitment needed to attend these with your research projects.
All MultiSci students will be required to complete, and pass, the following PhD milestone assessments:
- Early-stage review – typically submitted within 9 months of starting your PhD project
- Late-stage review – typically submitted between 18-24 months after starting your PhD project
- PhD thesis and viva voce
- Reflective outcomes statement
MultiSci Cohort Training
MultiSci’s cohort training programme is intended to provide you with training and development opportunities across a breadth of skills and topics. These will complement the academic and scientific training you engage in during your research projects. Topics will vary from year-to-year, and there is flexibility to tailor these to the interests and priorities of each cohort. Examples of previous or upcoming MultiSci training session topics are:
- Research integrity
- Journey of a paper
- How to peer review
- Working with industry
- Podcast design and production
Other Training Opportunities
MultiSci training also aims to empower you with knowledge and tools to build a positive research culture and working environment. To this end, you will receive training and guidance in important topics such as unconscious bias, and being an active bystander.
Where relevant, you will also be required to take part in training designed and/or provided by others at Imperial. Examples of these that are already integrated into MultiSci’s programme are:
AA is an interactive, practical, flexible online short course that supports you in planning your professional future. It will guide you in developing key skills that you’ll be able to use throughout your PhD, and beyond.
This innovative experience teaches laboratory skills and the scientific method through the parallel discipline of gastronomy and its transformation into a home-based program, using planning, creativity, safe working, precision, dexterity, making and recording observations, and the application of knowledge.
ATP is an online, non-credit bearing short course designed to support you in your transition to Master’s study at Imperial College London.