This article is part of a series: Recruiting
  • Can I do a Doctorate at the Bennett Institute?

Can I Do a Doctorate at the Bennett Institute for Applied Data Science?
The short answer: Yes!

The long answer

We are very interested in expanding the number of doctoral students at the Bennett Institute. I finished my DPhil here in 2022, we have a new student set to join us soon, and are working with a few others on potential applications. Here are some options for joining us:

Internal Funding

The Department of Primary Care Health Sciences has competitive funding opportunities for DPhils that you can apply for to join the department. We do not currently have any funded DPhil spots available at the Bennett Institute but that may change soon, and if it does we will make sure to shout loudly about it!

External Funding

We also know that many prospective PhD/DPhil students will be looking to apply for external funding for their studies, such as from the MRC, NIHR or Wellcome Trust. If you think the Bennett Institute might be a good home for your doctoral work, please get in touch! We are happy to have a preliminary chat about your interest and can potentially provide some guidance in developing your application. We cannot give advice on all the available schemes, but if you’re already working on, or considering, an application we can chat about developing your ideas and having us support you where necessary.


If you are a current doctoral student interested in additional supervision for your data analysis/management or need to conduct new analyses that we may be able to support, please also consider getting in touch.

What the Bennett Institute can offer

A wide array of opportunities to conduct exciting research

Much of our work at the Bennett Institute is based around OpenSAFELY, our secure, transparent, open-source software platform for analysis of electronic health records data. If you are interested in conducting epidemiological research based on patient records, we will fully support you in accessing and learning how to use OpenSAFELY for your research. We currently support projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic but hope to be expanding our scope beyond COVID-19 in time for the 2024-25 academic year. We also have expertise on the team in working with NHS prescribing data, especially in support of NHS service analytics, as part of the OpenPrescribing project, and research integrity projects such as the TrialsTracker and RetractoBot. We welcome inquiries from prospective students with research interests across any of these areas.

Building skills as part of a dynamic cross-disciplinary team

Core to the Bennett Institute is our cross-disciplinary collaborative ethos. We are a truly mixed team of software developers, clinicians and traditional academic researchers all pooling skills and knowledge. This has led to a highly academically productive environment alongside the creation of tools and services that disseminate, facilitate, extend and complement our research. We are committed to learning and sharing expertise throughout the team and this would naturally extend to any doctoral students. For instance, learning how to best develop and share analysis code is a key skill we aim to foster in all team members. Check out our team profiles, as a first step, to identify potential supervisors and collaborators.

A world-class setting for your research

We are located in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, one of the leading Primary Care departments in the world, and have strong links to other groups, both within and outside of Oxford. This allows for additional opportunities for collaboration and co-supervision outside of the Bennett Institute.

If you are preparing a doctoral fellowship or funding application, or looking for co-supervision, and think you might be a good fit at the Bennett Institute, please get in touch for a chat! You can reach out to potential supervisors directly or the entire team at