We have 55 Genetic Engineering PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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Genetic Engineering PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 55 Genetic Engineering PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

Studying a PhD in Genetic Engineering would give you the time and resources to lead your own research project, based around modifying genetics. You’ll likely be genetically altering human, plant or yeast cells to attempt to prevent disease, improve yield or produce a biological product for industry. Almost all of these projects are laboratory based.

What’s it like to do a PhD in Genetic Engineering?

Doing a PhD in Genetic Engineering, you’ll gain the laboratory skills to use cutting edge techniques including CRISPR, as well as classic techniques such as electrophoresis, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and plasmid transformation. You’ll read the literature surrounding your area, which will inspire new methods for your own research.

Some typical research topics in Genetic Engineering include:

  • Investigating a network of genes involved in development or disease
  • Developing a production method for medication or biofuel using yeast or bacteria
  • Using genetic methods to identify novel compounds in fungi or bacteria
  • Genetically modifying mitochondria to treat inherited conditions
  • Development of novel ligands as antiviral, antibiotic or anticancer treatments
  • Modifying crops to increase yield or resistance to pests

Genetic Engineering PhD programmes are usually fully funded by either the university or a doctoral training programme. These projects are proposed by the supervisor and advertised online.

Writing your own research proposal is uncommon in Genetic Engineering as you’ll need to find funding to cover both PhD and bench fees, as well as finding a supervisor with the expertise and equipment required for your project.

Whether you join an advertised project or propose your own, you’ll write a thesis of approximately 60,000 words that contributes to the knowledge of your field and defend your work in a viva exam.

In an ordinary day, you’ll spend time in the laboratory preparing or conducting experiments, reading the literature, writing up your previous work and discussing methods and results with your supervisor.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Genetic Engineering 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 Genetic Engineering funding options

The research council responsible for funding Genetic Engineering 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 Genetic Engineering 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 - How do animals stay vigilant during sleep?

Sleep is vital for health and cognition yet is usually associated with unconsciousness meaning individuals are vulnerable to dangers in their environment and are unable to capitalize on resources should they become available (e.g food or a mate). Read more

Implementing state-of-the-art models to understand how blood cancer clones out-compete healthy stem cells and discovery targetable disease mechanisms

My lab focuses on myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) – chronic blood cancers in which cancer-induced remodelling of the tumour microenvironment plays a major role in fuelling malignant progression and poor outcomes for patients. Read more

Investigating lysosomal (dys)function in ageing and neurodegeneration

Project Overview. Ageing is associated with a decline in the functions of an organism (López-Otín, C. et al. Cell, 2023) and correlates with an increased risk of developing diseases in the later life (Niccoli, T. Read more

How sex chromosomes regulate mammalian development

In the Turner lab, we investigate how the sex chromosomes control mammalian development, from the early embryo to adult cell types, including germ cells. Read more

Investigating how mitochondrial dynamics control mtDNA homeostasis and engineering tools to visualise mtDNA molecules

Mitochondria are dynamic organelles forming a specific network by membrane remodeling events according to cellular needs1. Mitochondria contain multiple copies of their own genome, mtDNA, a circular molecule that encodes 13 essential proteins involved in energy production through oxidative phosphorylation. Read more

Investigating how mitochondrial dynamics control mtDNA homeostasis and engineering tools to visualise mtDNA molecules

Mitochondria are dynamic organelles forming a specific network by membrane remodeling events according to cellular needs1. Mitochondria contain multiple copies of their own genome, mtDNA, a circular molecule that encodes 13 essential proteins involved in energy production through oxidative phosphorylation. Read more

FULLY FUNDED PROJECT - De novo emergence and evolution of novel gene regulatory interactions in bacteria

'TO APPLY, PLEASE CLICK INSTITUTION WEBSITE'. The need to understand how bacterial gene regulatory mechanisms emerge and evolve to help bacteria quickly adapt to environmental changes has never been more crucial. Read more

PhD Studentship in Statistical Physics of Molecular Evolution (3.5 years)

A 3.5 year PhD position is available from October 2024 to work under the supervision of Kabir Husain. This is an exciting opportunity to join an interdisciplinary research group that uses tools from theoretical physics to analyse, predict, and design evolutionary fates in biology. Read more

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