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Ph.D. Programmes

Core Biomedical Research Skills for PhD students
Module BIP77100 (10 ECTS credits)

Module information and timetable

PhD Handbook 2018/19



Postgraduate opportunities in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology can be viewed on the School's Research Vacancies webpage. A full list of research activities undertaken in the School can be viewed on the Research Activities webpage. Please feel free to contact potential supervisors directly if you are interested in their research area.


After initial discussions with your selected supervisor, all intending students must submit their application online through the new e:Vision portal

It is essential that all applicants have made contact with and have the support of a supervisor at the School of Biochemistry and Immunology prior to application.

As part of the application process you will need to provide

  1. Certified copies of your degree results (in the case of TCD applicants your previous student number will allow access to your grades from student records)
  2. Proof of EU status if submitting an EU application.
  3. Proof of English competency for applicants whose mother tongue is not English. The graduate studies office require that you provide a certificate which states that your undergraduate degree was completed entirely through the medium of English or that you have passed a recognized English competency exam. Exams currently recognized include:
    - IELTS minimum standard score: 6.5
    - TOEFL minimum standard scores: 230 (computer based), 570 (paper based 0, 89 (internet based).
    - Cambridge certificate of advanced English or Cambridge certificate of proficiency in English: minimum level grade C.
  4. References from two referees on the official TCD graduate student reference form.


The major source of funding for postgraduates is research grants obtained by the supervisor. Conditions of employment vary greatly between individual positions.

Research Studentship Awards

New entrants to the Research Register wishing to apply for Postgraduate Research Studentships or Ussher Awards must apply, in the first instance, for these Awards through the School after consulting the proposed supervisor. Awards cover fees for three years plus a student stipend of €16,000 and €8,000 respectively for the 1252 (College award) Studentship award and Ussher award

Continuing students may now apply for the Postgraduate Studentship Award. These students should make their application directly to their School.

Please note that students receiving the 1252 Research studentship award will receive the award for 3 years unless Graduate Studies are notified by the School to the contrary at the time of nomination. Please also note that students nominated for an award cannot receive the Postgraduate studentship beyond the fourth year on the Ph.D. register. This may have implications for nominated continuing students and should be noted when making nominations. In such instances the Graduate Studies Office must be told for how many years the nominee is to receive the award. Under college regulations the total stipend that students in receipt of these awards may receive is €18,000, i.e. supervisors may supplement the stipend of the student up to but not beyond this amount.

A school committee consisting of the Director of Postgraduate Teaching and Learning, Director of Research and Heads of Discipline will consider all of the applications for Ussher and 1252 Research studentship awards and rank them in terms of merit. The first candidate on the list will be the school nomination for an Ussher award. If the Ussher nomination is unsuccessful the selected candidate will be first on the 1252 Research studentship award list forwarded to the Graduate Studies Office. Currently the school has an allocation of two 1252 Research studentship awards.


Local Authority Awards: Students who received maintenance grants from their local authorities as undergraduates may be eligible for a continuation of the award as a postgraduate.

Demonstrating and Invigilating: Postgraduate students are encouraged to act as demonstrators in undergraduate practicals. Demonstrators get paid €21.02 per hour. Postgraduate students may also act as invigilators during examinations. Invigilators get paid €38.91 per 3 hour session.


All documentation and information relevant to new and progressing postgraduate students is centralised through the School Executive Officer.

All registered postgraduate students are required complete a progress report form at the end of each academic year i.e. the end of October for students who registered in October and the end of April for those who registered in April. See: Both student and supervisor must sign off on the form.

Confirmation of continuation on the Ph.D. register (see Section 2.14 in part II of the university calendar)
A formal process of academic assessment for all Ph.D. students to confirm their continuation on the Ph.D. register shall normally be arranged within the first eighteen months of registration extended by a further year for Ph.D. students on the part-time register from year 1. The process is to be approached positively and constructively by all parties as an essential part in the student‘s learning experience. The Ph.D. confirmation process requires the student to prepare a Ph.D. confirmation report; the confirmation report should be written according to the guidelines issued by the appropriate Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate). The student must ensure that a draft of the confirmation report is made available to the Supervisor with sufficient time for the Supervisor to read it and provide comments. The student shall be invited to attend a Ph.D. confirmation interview. The Ph.D. confirmation panel for each student is appointed by the Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate) and shall consist of three members of staff as follows: the Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate) or his or her nominee, and a second member who should have acknowledged expertise in the subject area of the student‘s research (or in a cognate field). Members of the Ph.D. confirmation panel may be drawn only from academic staff eligible to supervise (see Section 2, Paragraph 2.9). Although the Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate) makes the final decision about membership of the Ph.D. confirmation panel, he or she will consult with the Supervisor before deciding and will endeavour to take into account the student‘s opinion.
Guidelines to preparation of PhD confirmation report (pdf, 13KB)

No Ph.D. thesis should take longer than 4 years to complete (6 years in the case of a part-time Ph.D. student from October 2008). No M.Sc. thesis should take longer than 2 years (3 years in the case of a part-time M.Sc. student from October 2008) and no student should spend longer than 2 years on the M.Sc. register. Failure to fulfil these time frames results in financial penalities to the School.


Details regarding Thesis Submission and Dean’s Grace can be found on the Graduate Studies website


Postdoctoral research opportunities in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology are available on the School's Research Vacancies webpage.


Situated on the second floor of House Six, the Graduate Students' Union is an independent body within College that represents Postgraduate students throughout College. Upon registration, all postgraduates are automatically members. It is run by two full-time sabbatical officers, the President and the Vice-President.
Graduate Student Union website:

Dr Rachel McLoughlin
Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate).
Tel. +353-1-896-2526; Email:

Last updated 9 October 2018 (Email).