All students undertake a substantive research project lasting between 39 months (Route A students) and 42 months (Route B students). Students who have not pre-selected an industry-linked project (Route A) work with their proposed supervisory team to define the topic of their substantive doctoral project shortly before the end of their second rotation project. Projects must address research questions that lie within the remit of the programme and are subject to approval by the CDT. Once the project has been approved, students work with their supervisor(s) to develop a research proposal for this project which defines the background and aims of the project and the methodology to be used and outlines a timeline for completion of the project within the remaining 3 allowed years of their graduate studies. This proposal is formally assessed by two expert assessors who provide advice on the project at an early stage, helping to ensure students have an exciting but feasible project that addresses an important biological or biomedical question and that students are able to take full advantage of the training and resources available to them.
Students continue to have the support of the CDT throughout their studies as their research progresses, with specific training aimed at helping students to develop skills in areas such as project management, communication skills and the process of writing and submitting their doctoral thesis and undertaking their doctoral viva.