Research Resources and Training for Students
Facilities and Equipment
TRIG researchers have access to fully equipped and well-stocked laboratory space, office space, seminar rooms and other equipment. In addition to the practical skills they can develop, the researchers also have the opportunity to develop other transferrable skills through access to courses offered by the Medical Sciences Division and the wider University.
Laboratory facilities include tissue culture, FACS sorting and analysis, equipment for molecular biology, cell biology, immunohistochemistry and image analysis. Researchers can access a dedicated PCR room, two tissue culture laboratories . There is on-site access to biomedical research facilities. Facilities also include office space for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with computer access and two seminar rooms.
Teaching and Training
All graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are given one to one training in cell culture techniques and handling radioisotopes by the departmental laboratory manager. TRIG also provides one to one training on using the FACS, cryostat and histological techniques. Experienced researchers in Professor Wood’s team will provide full training in other techniques as specifically required for the various projects such as specialist training in transplantation immunology and cell replacement therapy
TRIG has a weekly programme of lab meeting to present data and research findings and discuss the ongoing projects. Researchers also attend a journal club once a week where recently published papers are critiqued.
The Department runs a basic and clinical research seminar programme and an assessment scheme whereby graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are offered a regular opportunity to have their progress assessed by senior members of the department - this provides experience in both written and oral presentation, skills that are essential for career development. The assessment also allows senior members of the Department to discuss scientific aspects of the student or postdoctoral fellow’s project with the fellow and the project mentor to allow exchange of ideas. The Department also runs a seminar programme with invited speakers from the UK, Europe and the USA thus providing an opportunity for members of TRIG to interact with thought leaders in transplantation.
Opportunities are available to attend training courses in Scientific Methods, Techniques and Experimental Design – a course for research fellows run by the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. This provides training in methodology, experimental design and data analysis. The Statistics Bioscience Course is run by The University of Oxford and provides excellent training in essential statistical analysis and methods. The Oxford Computing Centre runs a series of courses to train research fellows to use software packages that they need for their work.
Transferable skills Training
The University of Oxford and the Medical Sciences division provide a rich environment of transferable skills suitable for both researchers and graduate students through the Medical Sciences Division Skills Portal and other resources. The courses include:
Research and Study Skills - Research Techniques; Data Analysis and Statistics; Ethics; Research Project Management
Communication Skills – Writing; Presentation; English Language Skills
Careers and Personal Development – Careers; Personal Development; Entrepreneurship
Preparation for Academic Practice – Grant Writing; Teaching; Intellectual Property
Graduate Research Student's Provision
Each member of TRIG has a named supervisor or supervisors, normally as indicated in your offer letter, who will have overall responsibility for the direction of your work on behalf of TRIG. Each graduate student will also have a supervisory team consisting of your project supervisor, Director of Graduate Studies, or senior members of research staff within your laboratory and usually an advisor nominated by your College. You should expect to have a one to one formal meeting with your primary supervisor on a regular basis where your progress will be reviewed and the contents of the termly submitted supervision report discussed and agreed.
Each member of TRIG receives a comprehensive induction pack detailing all of the information required to be an active and successful member of the group. For students starting in October, the main induction to the department is provided at the start of their first term. Other arrangements will be made for students starting at other times of the year. Your supervisor(s) will arrange more specialised induction subsequently.
Workspace will be related to individual circumstances. If undertaking experimental work, you will be provided with bench space in a laboratory. If undertaking theoretical research, you will have shared office space.
You will have access to IT support through the Department, all library facilities and available on-line resources of the university and experimental facilities as appropriate. The provision of other resources specific to your project should be agreed with your supervisor as a part of the planning stages of the agreed project. You will have access to the seminars that the Department (and other Departments within the Division), individual research groups, or groups with a common area of interest organise.
Travel support funds
You will normally be expected to apply to external sources (e.g. as recommended by your Supervisor for financial support to attend conferences etc.). Only limited Departmental funds will be available in addition to any funds allocated via individual research group/supervisors.
Formal graduate skills training
Students are encouraged to learn how to review, critique and present academic papers through several Journal Clubs in the Department, catering for different interest groups. As part of your training the Department also has a formal process for review and assessment of all graduate students; comprehensive details will be given in the induction pack.
The Medical Sciences Division organises courses and career planning events, details of which are emailed to students via their departments. Information about transferable skills training is provided in the Division’s Skills Portal. Information about divisional training and other courses offered across the University is also available through the Skills Portal.
This site provides information about transferable skills development for research students and research staff at Oxford University, and includes a searchable database of skills training opportunities, links to articles on subjects such as project management, teaching and career planning, and message boards for asking questions and discussing issues with other researchers. An online Personal Development Planning System is being launched by the University and will be made available through the Skills Portal.
Developing and practicing teaching skills (for second and third year graduates)
The University has established a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), which will support the development of research students who wish to follow an academic career, including training in teaching skills.