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Biotechnology (cell therapy) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 16 Biotechnology (cell therapy) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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I am a UK student


We have 16 Biotechnology (cell therapy) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

A Biotechnology PhD would provide you with the time and resources to research and develop methods and technologies that make use of Biology to improve industry. This could range from improving the efficiency of a biofuel, engineering pigment-producing bacteria to use to dye fabric, or genetically modifying crops to be resistant to a specific pest.

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

A PhD in Biotechnology would allow you to develop a specialist set of laboratory skills in areas such as gene editing with CRISPR and gene delivery through transformation, transfection, and transduction. Biotechnology programmes sometimes have a linked industry partner, in which case, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in a work placement and gain some hands-on industry experience.

Some typical research topics in Biotechnology include:

  • Developing therapeutic delivery vehicles
  • Engineering enzymes for industry
  • Developing or improving biofuels
  • Innovating new methods of using bacteria in industry
  • Vaccine development
  • Developing pest resistant crops

PhD programmes in Biotechnology are mostly fully-funded by either the university, an industrial partner, a doctoral training programme or a mix of these. The projects tend to be advertised, with the scope of the project determined by the supervisor.

Proposing your own project in Biotechnology is uncommon since you need to find a supervisor with research interests that overlap with yours, with all the equipment and expertise you require, and you’ll have to find funding to cover bench and PhD fees.

Day-to-day, you’ll be in the laboratory performing experiments, creating figures and analysing data you collected previously, and talking to your colleagues and supervisor about your methods and results. On completion of your laboratory work in your final year, you’ll submit an original thesis of around 60,000 words and defend this during your viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Biotechnology PhD programmes involve a Masters in a subject directly related to Biology 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 Biotechnology funding options

The Research Council responsible for funding Biotechnology 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 Biotechnology 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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BBSRC PhD Studentship in “Cryogenic electron microscopy-based understanding of viral vector heterogeneity to aide process development"

About the Project. Viral vectors can be used as oncolytic viruses, gene-based vaccines, and gene therapy vectors. However, as highlighted by the adverse reactions observed with the recent ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine and gene therapy trials, gaps remain in our understanding of these products. Read more

ABM CDT The mechanisms of portable negative pressure wound therapy on wounds

Wounds are a major unmet healthcare burden that impact on millions of patients per year. From those undergoing simple surgeries to complex ulcers of the lower limbs, a common form of therapy is the use of negative pressure wound therapy. Read more

The development of bacteriophage as bionanoparticles for gene therapy

Gene therapy is at the forefront of innovations in healthcare. The key unmet need for transformative exploitation of gene therapy is to deliver genes to the correct tissue safely and with efficacy. Read more
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Characterisation and treatment of patient iPSC-derived retinal organoids as an in vitro model of inherited retinal disease

Commercial partner: . Newcells Biotech Ltd. , Newcastle upon Tyne. Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived 3D retinal organoids (ROs) mimic the architecture of the mammalian retina and can therefore be used as a physiologically relevant in vitro model. Read more

EPSRC DTP PhD project: Engineering nanosponges to sequester bacterial exotoxins for protection against severe infection

The University of Bath is inviting applications for the following PhD project commencing in October 2023. Eligible applicants will be considered for a fully-funded studentship – for more information, see the Funding Notes section below. Read more

EPSRC CDT in Bioprocess Engineering Leadership: Complex Biological Products Manufacture

Biological products and their manufacture are progressing to unparalleled levels of complexity. Examples include engineered biocatalysts, antibody-drug conjugates, multivalent vaccines and cellular therapies. Read more

Design of a buccal (cheek) patch for administration of a GLP-1 peptide

BUCCAL-PEP Project. The ‘BUCCAL-PEP’ HORIZON EUROPE project will combine skills to develop a multifunctional biomaterial patch which allows, for the first time ever, delivery of peptide therapies across the cheek (buccal). Read more

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