Admissions Procedure

Only students interested in full time registration with the goal of obtaining a PhD degree are considered for this graduate program at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. The entrance requirements are very competitive and final registration is subject to review and approval by the Research Degrees Office of the Open University.

Qualified candidates should approach an individual principal investigator at the Stowers Institute, who must support and recommend the student to this program.

All student applications will be screened by the Research Degree Coordinator prior to interview to ensure applicants meet or will be able to meet the required standards of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and the Open University.

All applicants are interviewed by potential supervisor(s), the Research Degree Coordinator, and a member of the Graduate Program Coordinating Committee. Preferentially, these interviews are conducted in person but may be conducted over the phone or via a video call if a visit to the Stowers Institute is not feasible.

Decisions about offering a place are made on the basis of:

  • statement of research interest
  • existing or predicted qualifications and grades
  • experience gained after degree qualifications
  • 2 to 3 academic references
  • official transcripts
  • interviews
  • letter of support from a Stowers faculty member


Applicants who are not from a majority English speaking country or have not completed a degree in the UK or in a majority English speaking country, must supply evidence of their English Language competence. The candidate’s must provide evidence that their English language skill is sufficient for PhD study, i.e. provide the equivalent of iELTS level B2 level or above in all 4 components (Listening, reading, writing and speaking) prior OU registration.

Open University Personal Data Policy

The Stowers OU department will adhere to Stowers Policy Number: 106HR regarding all students’ personal information.  This policy states that Covered Individual’s files are treated as confidential and can be reviewed by the Covered Individual while employed at Stowers.  This data will be shared with the ARC Graduate Programme Coordinating Committee and the OU during the registration process only. External requests for salary/wage information will be released only upon receipt of a signed form by the Covered Individual and only to the party on the authorization form.

After employment the Covered Individual is entitled to copies of documents that he/she has signed.  Other documents may not be copied.

An offer letter will be sent to the candidate by the institute’s administration. All offers are subject to the prospective student’s acceptance of the conditions of the letter of appointment and, where appropriate, the award of a degree with the required classification.

The final step is the registration with and approval by the Open University (see: Registration with the Open University).


After acceptance:

Once accepted into the program, individual students will be assessed with respect to their training needs, including generic skills training, subject training, and project specific training. Their progress in acquiring these skills and training will be monitored by the individual’s Student Advisory Committee.