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Developmental Biology (plant molecular) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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I am a UK student


We have 0 Developmental Biology (plant molecular) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

As a Developmental Biology PhD student, you’ll have the chance to undertake a detailed research project into the key concepts that underpin the development of an organism. You may be investigating the role of a specific signaling pathway such as Notch, understanding how stem cells acquire their fates or researching the formation of a specific system in humans.

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

Studying a PhD in Developmental Biology, you’ll become proficient in a range of laboratory skills, especially cell culture as well as techniques from Biochemistry, Cell Biology, and genetics. Due to the complicated ethical concerns surrounding developmental biology, particularly when it comes to studying human embryos, you’ll develop a comprehensive knowledge of ethics.

Some typical research topics in Developmental Biology include:

  • Investigating the development of a particular organ
  • Understanding the development of non-human organisms such as fish
  • Investigating the role of ions and/or growth factors in early embryo development
  • Researching the developmental cause of birth defects
  • How stem cells acquire their fate

Most Developmental Biology programmes are fully funded by the university or a doctoral training programme. These programmes usually have a certain number of advertised projects available, with the proposal previously written by the supervisor determining the scope of the work.

Proposing your own research project is not common in Developmental Biology, mainly due to the challenge of finding funding to cover both your PhD and bench fees.

On a general workday, you’ll likely be in the laboratory preparing or performing experiments, analysing data you collected previously, writing up results and discussing your work with your supervisor and colleagues. You’ll submit your thesis of approximately 60,000 words at the end of your PhD, then have to defend it in a viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Developmental 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 Developmental Biology funding options

The research council responsible for funding Developmental 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 Developmental 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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