Rotation Projects

In the second half of Year 1, you will conduct two 13-week research projects, one of which will be expanded to become the your main doctoral research focus for Years 2-4. Each rotation project is written up and assessed, with the assessments reviewed by the Programme Directorate and an additional subject area expert. These reports—effectively a short dissertation—are written in the style of a journal article.

On completion of the short projects, you move on to work on your substantive DPhil research project, being based in the research groups of your principal academic supervisor, but you will also have the opportunity to work with your Industrial Partner(s) should the science require it and opportunity arise.


Example Rotation Project:

Eleanor Law

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.


Analyzing kinks in α-helices.

Spotting the difference: when do two helices have differing kinks?

Citation: Law EC, Wilman HR, Kelm S, Shi J, Deane CM (2016) Examining the Conservation of Kinks in Alpha Helices. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0157553.