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Human Genetics (genomic) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 14 Human Genetics (genomic) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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We have 14 Human Genetics (genomic) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

A PhD in Human Genetics would provide you with the time and resources to conduct a research project into Human genes. A subcategory of Genetics, Human Genetics focuses only on coding DNA, known as genes, in Humans. This could involve studying inheritance, identifying genes involved in disease or developing novel therapeutics that target gene expression. These projects are predominantly laboratory-based.

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

As a Human Genetics PhD student, you’ll develop a wide range of skills in and out of the laboratory, from having the technical ability to perform gel electrophoresis and western blots to polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Out of the laboratory, you’ll have excellent time management to plan your experiments, which can often span several days, and you’ll have gained a wide range of subject knowledge from reading the literature surrounding your speciality.

Some typical research topics in Human Genetics include:

  • Investigating novel genetic links to diseases such as atherosclerosis
  • Developing improved methods of assessing genetic risk for disease screening
  • Researching the possibility of mRNA treatments
  • Studying the genetics of inherited conditions
  • Investigating gene regulation e.g. during an immune challenge

The majority of Human Genetics programmes are advertised projects with the scope of the project determined by the supervisor. Many of these come with attached funding, while a few ask you to find your own funding, which can be challenging as you’ll need to cover PhD and bench fees. The difficulty self-funding also makes proposing your own project uncommon in Human Genetics.

Day-to-day you’ll be in the laboratory conducting experiments, puzzling over data and analysing it using techniques from Bioinformatics and you’ll speak to your colleagues and supervisor about your current and future work.

To be awarded your PhD you must complete a thesis of about 60,000 words that contributes to the knowledge of your field and be able to defend it during your viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Human 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 Human Genetics funding options

The research council responsible for funding Human 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 less common for Human 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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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

CTDP1, a phosphatase at the intersection of transcription and DNA repair

Project Highlights. Quick targeted degradation of CTDP1 to investigate its functions in transcription and pre-mRNA splicing. Investigation of CTDP1 phosphatase activity in DNA repair-associated transcription. Read more

Genetic bases of inverse comorbidity

Supervisors. Dr Maxim Freydin. Funding. China Scholarship Council (CSC). Deadline. 31st January 2023. Research environment. The School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences at Queen Mary is one of the UK’s elite research centres, according to the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Read more

MRC DiMeN Doctoral Training Partnership: CRISPR-based genome and epigenome perturbation in stem cells to understand and reverse osteoarthritis risk

Osteoarthritis affects 8.5million UK adults and is defined by cartilage breakdown, pain, and disability. Osteoarthritis is caused by multiple different factors, with genetics contributing ~50% to an individual’s lifetime risk of developing the disease. Read more
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