Skaggs-Oxford Program

The Skaggs-Oxford Program is a joint five-year program in biology or chemistry at Scripps in La Jolla, California, and biochemistry at the University of Oxford in Britain leading to the award of a joint Ph.D./D.Phil. degree. Students gain a broader and deeper interdisciplinary research experience than is possible from a single institution's doctoral program. It provides diversity in curriculum, scientific approaches, and research training with access to facilities and expertise at both Oxford and Scripps. It also offers students the experience of the distinct cultures of the United States and Britain.

The Skaggs-Oxford scholars are admitted as probationer research students and are subject to both Oxford regulations and Scripps student guidelines. They participate in the Oxford professional development course and must succeed in the oral qualifying examination. In consultation with their advisors, they then decide when to relocate to either Scripps or Oxford. Skaggs-Oxford scholars are required to carry out research for a minimum of two years at Oxford and have the option of beginning either at Oxford or at Scripps Research. The thesis and the research upon which it is based are expected to conform to Scripps’ criteria and Oxford for the award of the degree.

Use the links below to explore this program in greater detail.

SUPERVISION
Scripps’ graduate program and the Oxford Department of Biochemistry appoint a minimum of two faculty members to supervise each scholar. Term reports are required on students' progress and are submitted to both institutions.

Student counseling services, a student-chosen faculty thesis committee, and access to several deans ensure that the students have every opportunity to discuss the challenges that may arise during doctoral studies at Scripps and Oxford.

MONITORING
Academic progress supervisors at Scripps and Oxford submit written reports each quarter or term while the student remains in the degree program; i.e., until the thesis has been accepted for the award of the PhD/DPhil degree. Any concerns about progress are discussed between the supervisors of the two institutions, the Director of Graduate Studies in Biochemistry at Oxford and the Dean of Graduate Studies at Scripps, and with the student.

Applicants for transfer of status are judged by two assessors, at least one of whom is a member of the academic staff at Oxford who is familiar with the student's field of research. Academic staff from both institutions are involved in assessment of progress, and in particular, confirmation of status requires supporting statements from the supervisors from both academic partners.

Success in all stages of the course is required for progress to the submission of the thesis and the PhD/DPhil examination.

AWARDING OF DEGREE
Successful candidates are awarded a degree certificate from Scripps Research and the University of Oxford. They are invited to attend ceremonies at both institutions.

Starting at Oxford

Year 1 (at Oxford)

  • Professional development
  • Laboratory rotations
  • Research and study leading to D.Phil. status, including submission of a research report and thesis research proposal.

Years 2-5 (at Scripps)

  • Continuation of study leading to high quality thesis research, thesis production and examination.
  • Relocation to Scripps can occur at any time after approval of the research report and thesis research proposal.

Starting at Scripps

Year 1 (Beginning at Scripps)

  • Professional development
  • Laboratory rotations
  • Coursework (9 to 18 units)

Years 2-5 (at Scripps)

  • Advisor selection
  • Complete coursework requirement (if not completed during year 1)
  • Prepare/pass oral qualifying examination

Years 2-5 (at Oxford)

  • Proceed to candidacy
  • Carry out high quality thesis research
  • Complete thesis research
  • Preparation of the written thesis
  • Thesis defense
  • Conferral of Ph.D./D.Phil

Eligibility

The Skaggs-Oxford Program is open for competition to all students who meet the minimum requirements for entry to both Scripps and Oxford. These include:

  • UK first or upper second class honors degree or its equivalent.
  • An appropriate score in one of the two standard English language tests for those individuals not having a first degree from a North American or British university (IELTS: 7.0 or higher in each test; TOEFL 650 or higher - 280 in the computer-based test).
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and ideally a GRE subject test in chemistry or biology.

Selection

The application will be considered by Scripps and the Oxford Department of Biochemistry and candidates will be interviewed by a joint TSRI/Oxford selection committee.

Application Procedures

The following materials must be received by December 1 in order for your application to be considered complete.

  1. Submit an online application.
  2. Submit a Skaggs-Oxford  application via e-mail or postal mail.
  3. Submit an additional statement of purpose specifying why you are interested in the Skaggs-Oxford Program via email or postal mail.
  4. Request official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended; the transcripts should be mailed by your home school directly to the Office of Graduate Studies.
  5. Request both general and applicable subject Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores from ETS.  The institution code for the GRE is 4651. No department code is necessary.
  6. If applicable, international students must submit evidence of proficiency in English. Request Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores from ETS. The institution code for the TOEFL is 4651. No department code is necessary.
  7. A minimum of three letters of recommendation from faculty who can assess your potential for graduate-level research. Recommenders should e-mail, mail, or submit letters directly using the online application system

If I apply to the Skaggs-Oxford Program and do not get accepted, am I still eligible for Scripps’ Doctoral Program in Biological and Chemical Sciences?
Yes
 
Where exactly in Oxford will the Skaggs-Oxford scholars be based?
Skaggs-Oxford scholars will be attending Lincoln College in Oxford. (http://www.linc.ox.ac.uk/)
 
How much time would I spend at Oxford?
The minimum time spent in Oxford in order to gain an Oxford degree (D.Phil.) is 6 terms or two years.
 
How do I apply to the Skaggs-Oxford Program?
The application consists of two parts: the Graduate Program application and submit all required documents and the Skaggs-Oxford application and an additional statement of purpose. For more information, click admission guidelines link above.
 
What is the stipend level for the Skaggs-Oxford Scholars?
For the 2015-16 academic year, the stipend is $34,000 plus a $1,500 academic allowance.
 
If accepted into the Skaggs-Oxford Program is it important to choose the PIs in both California and Oxford right away?
No, you only need to choose an advisor at the campus in which you start.
 
Do you have to do the same amount of coursework as other Scripps graduate students?
Yes, you must complete 18 units of Scripps coursework.