Attend the Virtual Global Study Fair | Register Now Attend the Virtual Global Study Fair | Register Now

We have 21 Behavioural Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for UK Students



Biological Sciences



All locations



All Institutions

PhD Type

PhD Type

All PhD Types



I am a UK student

Behavioural Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for UK Students

We have 21 Behavioural Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for UK Students

During a PhD in Behavioural Biology, you would have the opportunity to conduct research into the biology underpinning certain behaviours. Whether you’re investigating a link between a specific disease and behaviour or understanding how an environmental trigger affects the physiological response, you’ll most likely be in a laboratory for the majority of your work.

What’s it like to do a PhD in Behavioural Biology?

Studying a Behavioural Biology PhD, you’ll gain wide-ranging ability in the laboratory but also valuable experience working with participants – a skill that many other Biology-based PhD projects don’t involve. Since you’ll work with people directly, you’ll also develop a deep understanding of the ethical implications of your work and the studies conducted in the literature.

Some typical research topics in Behavioural Biology include:

  • Circadian rhythm and what affects this
  • The link between a specific disease and behaviour
  • The brain and communication
  • An animal’s brain and behaviour
  • Evolution of mechanisms in response to environmental pressure
  • How environment affects healthy systems e.g., the immune system

Generally, PhD programmes in Behavioural Biology are advertised with full funding attached. These are either three-year programmes or a four-year doctoral training programme. Since the project is advertised, the scope and key aim of the project is pre-determined by the supervisor, but you’ll shape the remainder of the project.

Proposing your own research in Behavioural Biology is uncommon as you must find a supervisor with research goals that align with yours, and that has the necessary equipment you’ll need. It can also be a headache finding adequate funding to cover bench fees alongside your PhD fees.

In a normal day, you’ll be in the laboratory performing experiments on samples or on participants, analysing past data, and talking though your results with your supervisor and colleagues. To be awarded your PhD, you’ll have significantly contributed to your field through a thesis of around 60,000 words and to have defended your work during your viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Behavioural Biology PhD programmes involve a Masters in Behavioural Science, Biology, Zoology and Psychology with at least a Merit or Distinction. If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need to show that you have the right level of language proficiency.

PhD in Behavioural Science funding options

The Research Council responsible for funding Behavioural Science PhDs in the UK is the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). They provide fully-funded studentships including a stipend for living costs, a consumables budget for bench fees and a tuition fee waiver. Students don’t apply directly to the BBSRC, you apply for advertised projects with this funding attached.

It’s uncommon for Behavioural Science PhD students to be ‘self-funded’ due to the additional bench fees. However, if you were planning to fund yourself it might be achievable (depending on your project) through the UK government’s PhD loan and part-time work.

read more
PhD saved successfully

White Rose BBSRC DTP: Could direct synaptic feedback from the Drosophila brain to its compound eye mediate the pop-out selective attention phenomenon in flies?

How does the brain tell the eye what to look at? It has been thought that selective attention occur at higher brain centres, but evolution might have tuned the neural networks of the whole nervous system collectively for attentive information processing by utilising feedback pathways to the sense organs and active sampling of the receptor cells. Read more

The role of neural oscillations in the formation of new speech memories

Speech memories are like the internal movies of our lives, allowing us to replay past events or to imagine the future. When you remember a conversation for instance, you recollect a myriad of details across senses such as the face and the voice sound associated with the same person. Read more

The Physiology of Macronutrient-Dependent Immunity in Honeybees

This project aims to understand the interaction between macronutrients and immunity. The candidate will develop research to understand how the quality and quantity of protein and lipid nutrients influence an adaptive immune response, using the response in bees as a model system. Read more

Delineation of neuronal circuits integrating nutritional signals

This is an exciting project investigating neuronal circuits regulating feeding behaviour. Obesity has reached pandemic dimensions since the last several decades and is one of the leading agents behind the increased prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Read more
Last chance to apply

FULLY FUNDED - Thalamic place cells: where are they, how do they get there and what are they for?

'APPLY VIA INSTITUTION WEBSITE LINK'. This is a neurobiological study involving the recording of neurons from freely moving rats and mice in order to understand how neurons encode the spatial environment. Read more

Conservation and behaviour of a threatened bird

The Southern Black-throated finch Poephila cincta cincta, is currently listed as endangered following a decline over more than 80% of its former range since the 1970’s, largely due to habitat loss and degradation. Read more

Filtering Results