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Genetic Engineering PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 32 Genetic Engineering PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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We have 32 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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Functional analysis of a mutation in the SCN1A gene associated with Dravet syndrome

Sodium current through Nav1.1 channels plays an important role in neuronal depolarization. Mutations in the SCN1A gene encoding the structure of the α-subunit of Nav1.1 channels are the most common cause of monogenic epilepsy, which can manifest itself in its most severe form as the so-called Dravet syndrome. Read more

Characterisation and treatment of patient iPSC-derived retinal organoids as an in vitro model of inherited retinal disease

Commercial partner: . Newcells Biotech Ltd. , Newcastle upon Tyne. Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived 3D retinal organoids (ROs) mimic the architecture of the mammalian retina and can therefore be used as a physiologically relevant in vitro model. Read more

MSc BY RESEARCH PROJECT FOR SELF-FUNDING STUDENT: Evaluation of novel genetically encoded fluorescent indicators of G-protein coupled receptor signalling

G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR) are the key group of molecular targets for the modern pharmacology of central nervous system. Moreover, many key biological processes in health and disease have been linked to signalling, mediated by GPCR. Read more

Investigating the Mitotoxicity of Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3 year full-time or 6 year part-time PhD project. The PhD will be based in the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Science and will be supervised by Dr Robert Baldock. Read more

Self funded BMS Project: Understanding the population dynamics of haematopoietic stem cells during gene therapy for sickle cell disease

Applications accepted for PhD Only. Background. This project builds on the recent discovery that whole genome sequencing approaches in blood stem and progenitor cells can be used to estimate the number of actively contributing blood stem cells in humans (Lee-Six et al., Nature 2018). Read more

Stress responses in crops and sustainable production of chemicals and biomass

The project aims at elucidating several aspects of the control of plant stress responses to identify environmentally friendly forms of plant protectants and phytopharmaceuticals, leading to enhanced crop yields and solutions for animals and human health. Read more

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