Home Careers & Study PhD Studentships PhD programme overview

We are now accepting applications for the 2023-24 academic year. Please begin your application on our online portal here.

Franklin students work on highly interdisciplinary projects across our Themes with real-world impact, world-leading research supervisors, access to industrial collaborations and top universities from across the UK and beyond-state-of-the-art technologies.

Programme timeline

Students will be primarily based in our Franklin hub at Harwell for the duration of their PhD.

In their first year, students will be registered with our training partner, University of Edinburgh. After completing training, including courses with Edinburgh and Franklin-specific training in our Themes, students will develop a 12-week research project from a catalogue of possible ideas. These projects will be highly innovative projects centred around the Franklin technologies and be in collaboration with university academics. Following the evaluation of this Y1 project, students will then register at their supervisor’s university for Years 2-4, which will become the awarding body for their degree.

Click here for a detailed programme overview. 


Our collaborators include research institutes, universities and industrial companies from across the breadth of the UK. For the PhD programme, we are collaborating with Franklin member and non-member universities. Some of our PhD collaborators are shown here:

Franklin students will spend the majority of their time in our new central Hub in Harwell Campus, to ensure they have access to the technologies which will be instrumental for their research.

Some PhD project collaborators


Franklin students will each have a supervisory panel throughout their PhD journey. This includes Franklin academics and university co-supervisors. Each student will also have a personal tutor to meet with informally on a frequent basis. Our Early Careers Lead, who manages the PhD programme, will also be supporting their wellbeing.

There are many potential supervisors available at the Franklin, some of which are pictured below. Supervisors for this cohort’s PhD projects are yet to be confirmed and other potential supervisors can be found on our people’s page.


The Franklin PhD programme is fully funded for four years, where successful students will be offered:

  • Tax-free stipend of £19,606 each year for four years
  • ‘Home’ tuition fees for their entire degree*
  • All associated project, conference and publication costs
  • Free bus travel or free parking
  • Free affiliate student societies / club membership to a college from University of Oxford (please note that this does not include access to university accommodation, nor will our students be registered at University of Oxford)

Potential PhD supervisors

Professor Angus Kirkland

Science Director

University of Oxford

Angus Kirkland completed his MA and PhD at the University of Cambridge using high resolution electron microscopy to study the […]

Dr Judy Kim

Deputy Science Director

University of Oxford

Judy Kim is the Deputy Director of Correlative Imaging at the Rosalind Franklin Institute and Departmental Lecturer in the Department […]

Professor James Naismith


Professor Naismith grew up in Hamilton, in the west of Scotland attending local state schools. He graduated from Edinburgh in […]

Dr Mark Basham

Science Director, Artificial Intelligence and Informatics

Dr Mark Basham is Head of AI at the Rosalind Franklin Institute, and a Research Fellow at Diamond Light Source. […]

Dr Michele Darrow

Head of Data Strategy for Cryo Electron Imaging

Michele received her PhD from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX for her work using cryo electron tomography and […]

Dr Tobias Starborg

Senior Staff Scientist

Toby completed a PhD at the University of Manchester examining collagen fibril deposition and organisation. He then worked as a […]

Dr Marcus Gallagher-Jones

Senior Staff Scientist

Marcus received his BSc in Biochemistry from Durham University and his PhD in Biophysics from the University of Liverpool. For […]

Professor Josephine Bunch

Science Co-Director Biological Mass Spectrometry

Imperial College and NPL

Professor Josephine Bunch is Co-Director of the National Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry Imaging (NiCE-MSI) at NPL and Chair […]

Professor Ben Davis

Science Director, Next Generation Chemistry

University of Oxford

Ben Davis got his B.A. (1993) and D.Phil. (1996) from the University of Oxford. During this time he learnt the […]

Professor Shabaz Mohammed

Deputy Theme Director, Next Generation Chemistry

Shabaz Mohammed is the Deputy Theme Director and Head of Mechanistic Proteomics, and also teaches at the University of Oxford. […]

Professor Andrew Baldwin

Head of Biomolecular NMR

Andrew is Head of Biomolecular NMR and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford. He is interested in developing […]

Dr Liang Wu

Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale fellow

Liang is a Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale fellow. He is establishing a lab to study the processes involved in […]

Dr Michael Grange

Tomography Group Leader

Michael completed his D.Phil in structural biology at the University of Oxford, UK, where he applied FIB milling, electron cryo-tomography […]

Dr Lucile Moynie

Senior Scientist in Structural Biology and Protein Science

After completing her PhD in Structural Biology, Lucile moved to St Andrews to join Jim Naismith’s laboratory as a research […]

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