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We have 484 Cell Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for European Students (exc UK)



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Cell Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for European Students (exc UK)

We have 484 Cell Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for European Students (exc UK)

A Cell Biology PhD would give you the opportunity to take on a three to four-year research project into the inner workings of cells. Your research may involve investigating cell-to-cell communication, the potential use of stem cells, or researching the difference between cells from a healthy individual compared to those with a certain disease. Regardless, you’ll be contributing to your field.

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

A PhD in Cell Biology would allow you to gain an array of laboratory skills, most notably in cell culture, which is essential to any Cell Biology project. You’ll also use classic laboratory methods such as immunoassays, chromatography, and fluorescence assays.

Some typical research topics in Cell Biology include:

  • Understanding cell trafficking
  • Stem cell biology
  • Investigating the plasma membrane of a certain cell type
  • Comparing cells from a diseased and non-diseased state
  • Investigating the cell cycle
  • Understanding cell communication
  • Investigating the regulation and consequences of programmed cell death

Day-to-day you’ll be performing experiments in the laboratory, creating graphs, analysing previously collected data, and discussing your work with your supervisor and colleagues. At the end of the final year of your project, you’ll submit a thesis of approximately 60,000 words and defend this during your viva exam.

Cell Biology programmes are most commonly advertised positions with full funding attached, meaning the general scope and goals of the work have been determined by the supervisor in advance and you apply to the project.

Writing a research proposal and suggesting your own research topic is uncommon in Cell Biology. As with most subjects within Biology, additional bench fees are required, which makes finding independent funding difficult.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Cell Biology 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 Cell Biology funding options

The research council responsible for funding Cell Biology 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 difficult for Cell Biology 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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Screening of CAR-T cell therapies using 3D microfluidic tumour models

This project focusses on advancing chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-T) cell therapy as a revolutionary treatment for cancer. While CAR-T cells have shown exceptional success against blood cancers there is a need to overcome challenges such as side effects and testing complexities. Read more


Metastatic melanoma is a hard-to-treat disease and it remains as one of the most worrisome cancer. There is an urgent need to improve the current therapies (chemotherapy, radiotherapy) that have a limited efficacy. Read more

Analysis of the roles of protein arginine methylation in motor neuron disease using quantitative proteomics

This project is on offer as part of the studentship scheme of the Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neuron Disease Research. The Euan MacDonald Centre is a multi-disciplinary network of MND researchers across Scotland. Read more

Exploring the regulatory mechanisms underpinning pro- and anti-inflammatory phenotypes of adult stem cells

Adult stem cells offer great potential as a cell therapy through the secretion of immunomodulatory factors. However, understanding what mechanisms underpin the regulation of these factors and the balance between a pro- and anti-inflammatory secretome remains to be elucidated. Read more

Precision Medicine DTP - Integrative single-cell transcriptomic to identify novel mediator of human blood progenitor proliferation

  Research Group: MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine
Background. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are the most widely used cells for cell therapy because of their unique ability to reconstitute the entire blood and immune system upon transplantation. Read more

Precision Medicine DTP - Quantitative analysis of intrinsic antibiotic resistance in the major nosocomial pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae

Background. Antibiotic resistance poses a global and severe threat to human, animal and planetary health. Typically, resistance arises through genetic mutations or via the acquisition of genes that allow bacteria to resist antibiotics. Read more

Precision Medicine DTP - Using single transcriptomic and genetic manipulation to investigate the cellular interaction in preneoplastic cell development niche

  Research Group: Centre for Inflammation Research
Additional Supervisor. Prof Thomas Otto [University of Glasgow]. Background. Tumourigenesis is initiated by a single cell acquiring an oncogenic mutation, which drives preneoplastic cell (PNC) development. Read more

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