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Biophysics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 188 Biophysics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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We have 188 Biophysics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

A PhD in Biophysics would provide you with the chance to research and develop equipment and methods to improve our understanding of Biology or improve the lives of patients. Your research may involve developing bioengineered materials, creating drug delivery systems, or innovating new detection methods. These projects often involve both time in the laboratory and time spent using software for the design aspects of the work.

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

Doing a PhD in Biophysics, you’ll develop a wide variety of skills from bioinformatics such as programming, statistics, and data science to skills in the laboratory. The interdisciplinary nature of the subject means you’ll be reading literature spanning many topics and will gain a range of knowledge.

Some typical research topics in Biophysics include:

  • Development of novel microscopy and bioimaging techniques
  • Development or improvement of drug delivery systems
  • Production of novel therapeutics
  • Innovating bioengineered materials
  • Understanding a biological process through modelling and techniques more commonly used in physics.

Biophysics programmes are mostly fully-funded, either through the university or a doctoral training programme. The projects are generally advertised, with the main research aim determined by the supervisor.

It is uncommon to propose your own project in Biophysics as you must find a supervisor with interests that fit your project that also has sufficient equipment/software for your work, and you’ll need to find funding to cover PhD and bench fees.

In a general day, you’ll be working on or tweaking your design in software such as MATLAB, doing some experimental work in the laboratory, and talking to your supervisor and colleagues about your work.

At the end of your final year, you’ll create an original thesis of around 60,000 words, which you’ll defend during your viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Biophysics PhD programmes involve a Masters in a relevant subject including Physics, Engineering 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 Biophysics funding options

The Research Council responsible for funding Biophysics 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 Biophysics 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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Self funded BMS Project : A nuclear enterprise: characterisation of an antigen expression factory for immune evasion in African trypanosomes

Applications accepted for PhD Only. Antigenic variation is a highly sophisticated virulence mechanism. Several pathogens, such as African trypanosomes and malaria parasites, are able to systematically alter the identity of proteins displayed to the host immune system. Read more
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The role of the atmosphere in shaping and sustaining microbial communities on glaciers

  Research Group: Earth Surface Science
Supervisors. James Bradley, Queen Mary University of London, UK. Anne Jungblut, Natural History Museum, UK. Co-supervisors. Chris Greening, Monash University, Australia. Read more

Quantum optical networking and communication

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3-year full-time or 6-year part time PhD project. The PhD will be based in the School of Mathematics and Physics, and will be supervised by. Read more

Cellular logistics: Biological physics of selective protein and gene transport across the nuclear envelope

  Research Group: School of Physics and Astronomy
The coordinated transport of proteins and nucleic acids between the nucleus and the cytosol is vital for proper gene expression and cell function, and hijacked by viruses to propagate. Read more

Structure and function of bacterial proteins

In the current era of growing antibiotic resistance cases, the world needs new therapeutics against bacterial infections. The project will focus on the investigation of structure and function of selected bacterial proteins, which could lead to the development of new therapeutics. Read more

Noise-induced transitions in gene regulatory networks

Our world is characterized by noise sources at different spatial and temporal scales. For instance biomolecules in cells undergo Brownian motion before ultimately interacting with their targets. Read more

Disruption of nuclear envelope regulation of miRNA, enhancer, and gene loci positioning leads to aberrant development and disease

  Research Group: Institute of Cell Biology
Defects in spatial genome organisation are linked to human disease and it is speculated that most as yet unidentified disease alleles will occur in non-coding genome regions. Read more

Regulation and mechanics in polarity

Membranes and their protein organization are a frontier in our understanding of cell biology. We focus on polarized trafficking as a model to uncover fundamental mechanisms in the organization of structures at membranes. Read more

Development of molecular simulation model for heterogeneous RNA and RNA-protein structures.

In recent years, it has become clear that RNA molecules play active roles in a variety of cell regulatory processes. In addition, RNA molecules have a great potential for therapeutic applications, as evidenced by the success of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Read more

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