Registration with the Open University


When recommendation into the SIMR OU program has been confirmed by the Student’s supervisor and the Research Degree Coordinator, the student candidate will be requested to write a Research Proposal and the SIMR Research Degree Coordinator will assist in the preparation of the necessary application paperwork to be considered by the Open University Research Degrees Team. Registration can begin on the first day of any month. Registrations cannot be backdated beyond the first day of the month in which the registration form was submitted to the Open University.

Research Proposal

A research proposal (maximum of 10 pages) must be submitted as part of the registration. 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.

Registration process

The Research Degree Coordinator, in consultation with the supervisor and student, will provide and submit the application paperwork and assist in the formation of a Student Advisory Committee. Registration is subject to the review and approval of the OU Research Degrees Committee.

Pay 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 regular pay, paid in accordance with the payroll practices of the Stowers Institute plus applicable benefits including medical, pharmacy, and dental insurance coverage.

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. Assistance in arranging any necessary Visa and travel are provided by our Institute Administrative Team.

Registration for a degree

When a student is admitted to the research degree program they are registered for an MPhil research degree. The formal recommendation to transfer to a PhD is made at the end of the first year (upgrade assessment). In exceptional circumstances, the recommendation may be deferred for up to 4 months. The expectation is that requests be submitted a minimum of one month prior to the upgrade deadline date, 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. An Open University “Research Degrees in Affiliated Research Centres Student Handbook”  is available to the students as a guide to the University’s academic and administrative arrangements for research degree study in Affiliated Research Centres (ARCs).

Other study and employment

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 enroll in the Open University Research Degree Program must relinquish their staff position and salary and will receive a student salary and benefits.