What’s it like to do a PhD in Genomics?
Genomics is an interdisciplinary field, meaning by studying a PhD in Genomics you’ll develop knowledge and technical skills from Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Bioinformatics. Whether your project is mainly based in the laboratory or not, you’ll be working with the genome of an organism and will develop excellent skills in data science, statistics and Bioinformatics to analyse the data effectively.
Some typical research topics in Genomics include:
- Studying the Genomics of plant or animal adaptations
- Bioinformatic work on Genomics data studying evolution
- Investigating the potential of genome editing
- Understanding the function of a section of the genome
- Researching how Genomics are involved in gene regulation
On a normal workday you’ll be investigating the structure, function, evolution, and mapping of genomes either from the laboratory or through Bioinformatics. You’ll also spend time writing up methods or previous results and you’ll chat with your supervisor and colleagues about your current work.
Once you have completed the research project, you’ll submit an original thesis of around 60,000 words and during a viva exam you’ll defend this work.
Most Genomics programmes are advertised projects with the key aim pre-determined by the supervisor. Many of these projects are advertised with attached funding, while some require you to find your own funding, which can be tough given it must cover PhD and bench fees. The challenge of self-funding also makes proposing your own project uncommon in Genomics.