Registration with the Open University


All registrations begin on the first day of the month. Registrations cannot be backdated beyond the first day of the month in which the application was received. The first part of the Open University form ARC9 must be completed by the student.

Research Proposal

A research proposal (maximum of 5 pages) must be submitted as part of the application. It should include the following:

  • the topic or area to be investigated
  • the problem or hypothesis to be tested
  • the methods and techniques to be used in the investigation
  • the relationship of the proposed research to the published literature and to current research in the applicant’s field and an indication of the contribution to knowledge the thesis would make
  • details of the applicant’s and/or supervisor's previous work in the proposed field
  • a detailed timetable for completion of the project.

Application process

The supervisor, in consultation with the student and Research Degree Coordinator, should complete the remainder of the application.  In addition, the supervisor and co-supervisors must complete form ARC4, which is a CV with additional information on number of students supervised and a short description of each member’s supervisory experience.  See the Student Advisory Committee link for further information on the constitution of the committee.

Stipend and support

While a graduate student in good standing, the Stowers Institute will pay tuition and applicable fees to the Open University. The graduate student will receive a regular stipend, paid in accordance with the pay practices of the Stowers Institute plus applicable benefits. The Stowers Institute will normally reimburse reasonable travel expenditure up to a maximum of $2000 of relocation expenses for an overseas student’s move to the U.S. once a position has been offered. Cost of books and extracurricular activity fees are the graduate student's responsibility.

Registration for a degree

When a student is admitted to the research degree program s/he is registered for an M.Phil. research degree. The formal recommendation to transfer to a Ph.D. is made at the end of the first year (probationary period). The recommendation may be deferred if supervisors need to see more work before they can give an opinion, or if the Open University requires more information before confirming a specific degree registration.

Continuing your registration

To maintain registration you must make progress to the satisfaction of your supervisors, your Student Advisory Committee, the SIMR Graduate Program Coordinating Committee, and comply with any academic requirements. Once you have been registered for a particular degree, your registration will be renewed automatically each year until the submission date, as long as a report of satisfactory progress has been received by the Open University.

Other study and employment

Unless you are undertaking a program of related study, you may not study for any other degree or qualification at the Open University or any other institution at the same time as your research degree study at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. Current Stowers staff members who enrol in the Open University Research Degree Program must relinquish their staff position and salary and will receive a student stipend and benefits.