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Genetics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 56 Genetics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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Biological Sciences

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We have 56 Genetics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

A Genetics PhD would provide you with the opportunity to lead a three to four-year research project to further our understanding of Genetics. Whatever your specific area of study, you’ll be focused on analysing gene structure, function, inheritance and/or variation. You may be studying Genetics within the context of a single cell, an organism or within a population.

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

Studying a PhD in Genetics, you’ll gain extensive experience working in the laboratory including western blotting, gel electrophoresis and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). There are a wide range of methods that can be used to study genes and therefore, you’ll need to research each method to identify those best for your project.

Some typical research topics in Genetics include:

  • Studying the genetics of inherited conditions
  • Investigating the genetic changes that occur through evolution
  • Attempting to find a link between a disease and a certain gene
  • Studying the genetic mutations that arise during cancer
  • Assessing the dominance of genes
  • Identifying the genes involved in a certain process e.g. plant response to excess water

Generally, Genetics programmes are fully-funded projects that are advertised by the university. The main aim and scope of these projects is pre-determined by the supervisor, but when you begin the research, you’ll be responsible for shaping the project.

Proposing a project yourself is uncommon in Genetics as you’ll need to find a supervisor with the expertise in your area and equipment you’ll need to conduct your research. Finding funding to cover bench fees on top of PhD fees also makes this a more tricky option.

Regardless of your funding, your day-to-day life will be similar. You’ll mostly be in the laboratory setting up and running experiments, analysing data from past experiments, and talking to your colleagues and supervisor about your latest plans, methods and results. Your PhD will end in a thesis (approximately 60,000 words), which you’ll defend during a viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Genetics 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 Genetics funding options

The research council responsible for funding Genetics 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 Genetics 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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