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University College London Cell Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 7 University College London Cell Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships



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We have 7 University College London 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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Towards the development of a clinically and regulatory approvable treatment for Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)

NEC is a severe neonatal condition that commonly affects premature neonates with significant morbidity and mortality (up to 50% in patients requiring surgery, with limited improvement in the last 30 years). Read more
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Investigating the impact of CF therapeutics beyond the airways using nanosensing technology

The impact of CF therapeutics beyond the airways. The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is an anion channel that is important for both chloride (Cl-) and bicarbonate (HCO. Read more

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in BioDesign Engineering

We are currently recruiting for 2022 entry for the EPSRC CDT in BioDesign Engineering. This is an interdisciplinary programme that runs between Imperial College London, University College London and University of Manchester. 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
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