In the second half of Year 1, all students will conduct two 13-week rotation projects, one of which will be expanded to become the student’s main research focus for Years 2-4. Each rotation project will be written up and assessed, with the assessments reviewed by the Programme Directorate. Students are required to write a short dissertation on each of these rotations, written in the style of a journal article.
On completion of the short projects students undertake their substantive DPhil research project, with the students based within the research groups of their principal supervisor, which may be in the University or with an Industrial Partner.
Example Rotation Project:
Membrane proteins such as G-protein coupled receptors can have changes of direction in their alpha helices, which we call kinks. The change in direction can be measured as an angle, which makes it possible to compare how these features appear across a whole family of proteins. We found families of homologous helices and analysed the variation in kink angle for each family. Some families showed a wide range of angles, while others were very highly conserved. This is of interest as the helices which show a range of different angles in different homologs may be quite flexible, and important for function. A superimposition of helices is shown below.