What’s it like to do a PhD in Immunology?
As a PhD student in Immunology, you’ll gain extensive laboratory skills, particularly in cell culture, and develop the ability to critically appraise methods used in the literature to decide which is best for your research.
Some typical research topics in Immunology include:
- Autoimmune diseases
- The immune system and cancer
- Vaccine development
- Anti-inflammatory drug development
- Communication between immune cells
- The immune system and disease
A majority of Immunology programmes are advertised with full funding attached. These are advertised on the university website and are either three-year programmes or part of a four-year doctoral training programme. While the general research aim is pre-determined by the supervisor for advertised projects, you’ll be responsible for shaping the project along the way.
Proposing your own research in Immunology is rare as you must find a supervisor with research goals that align with yours, that has the instruments you’ll need and find adequate funding to cover bench fees alongside PhD fees.
In your daily life you’ll be performing experiments in the laboratory, analysing and creating figures from previous data, and talking through methods and results with your supervisor and colleagues. At the end of your PhD, you’ll contribute to your field by producing an original thesis of around 60,000 words and defend it during your viva exam.