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University of Bristol Biochemistry PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 12 University of Bristol Biochemistry PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships



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We have 12 University of Bristol Biochemistry PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

A PhD in Biochemistry would provide you with the time and resources to undertake an in-depth research project into one area of biochemistry. These projects are almost always laboratory-based and can range from investigating the structure and role of a protein or receptor to developing and optimising current detection methods.

What’s it like to do a PhD in Biochemistry?

Doing a PhD in Biochemistry, you’ll develop wide-spread laboratory skills including protein purification, western blotting, chromatography, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The use of cutting-edge equipment such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is common in Biochemistry and consequently you’ll become proficient with these fine instruments.

Some typical research topics in Biochemistry include:

  • Engineering enzymes for industry
  • Characterising the structure and function of proteins
  • Developing novel therapeutics
  • Understanding the role of redox in a system or disease
  • Investigation of a specific receptor
  • Developing and optimising methods (such as NMR)

Day-to-day you’ll be in the laboratory performing experiments, writing up and analysing data from previous experiments and discussing your results and research plans with colleagues.

Biochemistry programmes are almost always advertised research projects, with the key aim pre-determined by the supervisor. Although the aim is set, you are still free to influence the direction of the project along the way. These advertised programmes usually come with full funding attached.

It is uncommon to propose your own research in Biochemistry as you must find a supervisor with research goals that overlap with your project, who also has adequate equipment for your experimental work, and you must find sufficient funding for bench and PhD fees.

Regardless of being funded or not, your PhD will end with a thesis of around 60,000 words, which contributes significantly to the knowledge of the field. To be awarded your PhD, you’ll then need to defend your thesis during your viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Biochemistry PhD programmes involve a Masters in a subject directly related to Biochemistry such as Biology or Chemistry, 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 Biochemistry funding options

The Research Council responsible for funding Biochemistry 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 Biochemistry 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.

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Fully-funded 3.5-year dual PhD studentship to investigate the efficient, controlled delivery of synthetic anion carriers to cystic fibrosis epithelial cells

A 3.5-year dual PhD position is available at the University of Bristol and Macquarie University from January 2023. In this project, we aim to investigate the controlled delivery of artificial anion transporters (anionophores) to epithelial cells using innovative drug delivery platforms. Read more

4-year PhD Studentship: Investigating PZ-128 as a novel treatment for nephrotic syndrome and diabetic nephropathy

Idiopathic Nephrotic Syndrome (INS) is a devastating disease in children that is typically associated with oedema, proteinuria, hypertension, microscopic haematuria, and renal insufficiency and usually leads to end stage renal failure despite the use of prolonged and toxic immunosuppression. Read more

4-year PhD Studentship: Targeting cancer stem cells: Selective culture method and drug search

Cancer stem cells are a small population of cells in tumours maintaining the tumorigenic capacity (1). They are featured as quiescent (i.e., dormant), in contrast to the majority of cancer cells that actively proliferate under the aberrant regulation. Read more

Modular design and construction of de novo protein nanowires and light harvesting arrays

Electron and captured energy flow within proteins is essential to life; these phenomena underpin cellular respiration and photosynthesis, both of which are dependent on complex protein machinery that support chains of redox active cofactors or chromophores. Read more

Effects of transcription on genome stability

Transcription-coupled DNA repair (TCR) pathways prioritise the repair of certain lesions in "active" genes. These pathways help maintain genome integrity throughout the lifetime of multi-cellular organisms, and thus help prevent the occurrence of mutation that might cause cancer or other disorders. Read more

Interplay of chromatin and maintenance of genome stability

Genome instability is a known driver of tumourigenesis and hallmark of cancer. Efficient eukaryotic DNA repair requires changes to chromatin to allow signalling and access of repair proteins to sites of damage. Read more
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