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We have 15 Entomology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships



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Entomology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 15 Entomology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

Studying a PhD in Entomology, you’ll have three or four years to conduct an extended piece of research into insects, how they interact with other organisms and their environment. Your work may be aiming to control insect pests, studying how an insect population interacts with the ecosystem or investigating how the environment affects insect populations. This work can be directly useful in improving crop yield or reducing disease, better storage of fabric or improving biodiversity.

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

A PhD in Entomology would allow you to develop skills both in field work, learning methods of sampling and observation to gather the most useful data and in the laboratory to analyse samples. The amount of time you spend doing field work and in the laboratory will depend on your exact project. For example, if you’re studying the life cycle of an insect species you may exclusively study them in the laboratory, with only one species they interact with.

Some typical research topics in Entomology include:

  • Developing potential insecticides or methods of managing a certain insect population
  • Studying the importance of an insect species on the ecosystem
  • How environmental changes affect insect populations
  • Studying the life cycle of a species
  • Investigating how an insect may cause plant disease

Most Entomology projects are advertised with attached funding. However, some advertised projects require you to find funding yourself, which can be tricky as it must cover both PhD and bench fees. This is also the reason why proposing your own project in Entomology is uncommon.

In a general day, you’ll be in the field observing your insect of interest and how it interacts with the environment or in the laboratory observing the insects out of their natural habitat. You’ll also write up complete sections of your work and discuss difficulties and results with your supervisor and colleagues.

Upon completion of your practical work in the final year, you’ll write a thesis of approximately 60,000 words and defend your work during a viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Entomology PhD programmes involve a Masters in a subject directly related to Biology, at Merit or Distinction level. If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need to show that you have the right level of language proficiency.

PhD in Entomology funding options

The research council responsible for funding Entomology 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 Entomology 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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Funded PhD Project: How maternal behaviour and larval environment influence disease transmission in mosquitoes: a modelling and experimental approach

This project will be part of the Bristol-Macquarie Cotutelle Programme, funded by EPSRC. It will be jointly supervised by Dr Sinead English at the University of Bristol, UK and A/Prof Fleur Ponton at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Read more

Ecological geometry: applying geometric and topological concepts and tools to model how animals interact with each other and their environment

These projects are open to students worldwide, but have no funding attached. Therefore, the successful applicant will be expected to fund tuition fees at the relevant level (home or international) and any applicable additional research costs. Read more

Population genomics of insect communities

Declines in insect populations and species are arguably one of the most concerning symptoms of the biodiversity crisis, given their importance in underpinning food webs and ecosystem processes. Read more

Self-funded MSc R- Effects of age on disease defence strategies in ants

Group living offers favourable conditions for the spread of infectious diseases, because high population densities and frequent social contacts facilitate pathogen transmission. Read more

Self-funded MSc R- Sublethal effects of novel insecticides on a beneficial parasitoid wasp and the implications for biological control

Broad-spectrum chemical insecticides such as neonicotinoids are a major cause of beneficial insect declines globally. In response to this, bans and restrictions on neonicotinoid use have been implemented on a global scale in an attempt to reverse trends in insect biodiversity loss. Read more

Plant-insect interactions in a changing world

Project Overview: . Insects associated with plants comprise one of the most diverse groups of species on earth. Their impact on the ecology and evolution of their host plants is widely recognised, as is their contribution to multiple important ecosystem services. Read more
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