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Genetic Engineering PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 46 Genetic Engineering PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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We have 46 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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