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We have 135 Biophysics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for UK Students



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Biophysics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for UK Students

We have 135 Biophysics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for UK Students

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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White Rose BBSRC DTP: Bioelectrical control of epithelial cell behaviour

Bioelectrical behaviours, such as ion transport and action potential firing, are key features of “excitable” neuronal and muscle cells but are less well understood in “non-excitable” epithelial cells. Read more

White Rose BBSRC DTP: Using cryogenic electron tomography (cryoET) to explore the mycobacterial cell envelope and its interactions with mycobacteriophages

Cryogenic electron tomography (CryoET) is an emerging technique that allows cells to be imaged in 3D up to 2-10 nanometre resolution in a label free manner by rotating cryogenic frozen cells in an electron microscope and computationally reconstructing their 3D volume. Read more

White Rose BBSRC DTP: Signaling nanodomains in somatosensory neurons

Somatosensory system processes stimuli related to sensations of touch, temperature, body position, pain and itch. Peripheral somatosensory nerves contain various molecular sensors that respond to specific external events (like touching a hot object) and a single nerve usually possesses a range of different sensors. Read more

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