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By the end of your fourth term, you must have completed your Transfer of Status from a Probationer Research Student (PRS) to DPhil or MSc by Research student. You will be required to apply for this by completing the ‘GSO.2.MSD’ form and writing a progress report of no more than 3,000 words in length. You will be sent reminders by both the GSA and your supervisor(s) to complete this form, and how to go about writing the report. If you are unable to transfer your status by the end of your fourth term your status will automatically lapse and you will have to apply to be reinstated.

‘GSO.2.MSD’ Form:

The application form for Transfer of Status (GSO.2.MSD) can be found here. It must be completed and signed by the student, the supervisor, the College and the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). To obtain the DGS’s signature, please send the form to the Graduate Studies Administrator. The completed form will then be sent to the Medical Sciences Graduate School Office for approval and they will contact the proposed assessors. Once the assessors are agreed, the transfer report can be sent directly to the assessors by the student and the viva arranged.

Transfer Report (DPhil):

The transfer report should accompany the GSO.2.MSD form and outline a summary of the student's project and its main objectives. It should include an introduction, abstract and a description of results and methods, concluding with a discussion and future plans. The report must not exceed 3000 words with a limit of up to 2000 words in appendices including figures legends and references. A section about methods can be included either with the main report or the appendices.

Transfer Report (MSc By Research):

The transfer report should also accompany the GSO.2.MSD form and outline a summary of the student's project of not more than 500 words. A timetable leading up to submission should also be included.


Transfer of Status will be assessed by two assessors for the transfer to DPhil status and one assessor for the transfer to MSc by research status. The assessors will normally be proposed by the supervisor(s) and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. The supervisor(s) will not normally be one of the assessors.

MSD guidelines for selection of assessors:

  • Both assessors should be internal to Oxford, although an honorary contract (for NHS employees) would be sufficient. Likewise, a contract research (post-doctoral) staff member who is employed by Oxford University would be acceptable. It may be desirable for one of the assessors to be external to the student’s department, where this can be achieved.
  • At least one assessor should have supervised a student in Oxford to completion.
  • Neither assessor should have acted in a supervisory capacity to the student. This includes use of the student’s college advisor, DGS, or Graduate Advisor.

In a transfer report the assessors will want to see understanding of the research field and how the project is related to this, its objectives and future plans towards completion. Once they have assessed the transfer report the student will undergo a formal oral assessment (transfer viva), and the assessors will then complete an assessors' report form. This will then be forwarded, along with the completed GSO.2.MSD form to the Medical Sciences Board for approval. If approval can be obtained, the student will be awarded either DPhil or MSc by Research Status and notified in writing.

Further information of the Transfer of Status can be found on WebLearn