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Cell Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 123 Cell Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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I am a UK student


We have 123 Cell Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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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TYLERK_U23MED - Functional Genomics and Metagenomics of Cryptosporidiosis

Human cryptosporidiosis is the leading protozoan cause of diarrhoeal mortality worldwide, and most infection is caused by either person to person transmitted Cryptosporidium hominis or the presumptively zoonotic C. Read more

Optimising host response biology to advance wound dressing efficacy

Chronic, non-healing wounds affect 22 million patients annually. Whilst advances have been made in antimicrobial and moisture protecting dressings there remaining significant challenges in providing dressings which can resolve chronic inflammation within the non-healing wound bed. Read more
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PhD in Cancer Biology - The relationship between uptake and efflux transporters in Breast Cancer

Number of awards. 1. Start date. 19 September 2022. Award duration. 3 Year funded PhD. Overview. This PhD project will explore the role of transport proteins in Breast Cancer. Read more

Functions of the cytoskeleton in mammalian oocyte meiosis

The Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences is a leading international research institute of exceptional scientific breadth. Read more

Mechanistic insights into VapA and the treatment of Rhodococcus equi.

Rhodococcus equi (R. equi) infects a range of grazing animals and poses a threat to animal health especially that of horses. It represents a significant economic burden to the horse-breeding industry (losses are valued at $2-4M annually in Australia alone) and antibiotic resistance is becoming more prevalent. Read more

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

Nanostructured Self-Assembly of Bio-Derived and Bio-Inspired Lipid-Based Amphiphiles: Analysis and Biochemistry

This exciting research project is associated with an EPSRC Fellowship award to Prof Hamley. This is a 4-year project which also involves two postdoctoral researchers and another PhD studentship. Read more

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