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Immunology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 144 Immunology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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I am a self funded student


We have 144 Immunology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

An immunology PhD would give you the opportunity to research a specific area of the immune system in great detail. You’ll likely be trying to understand how cells communicate, the role of certain signals, or how the immune system is altered in specific diseases. These projects are almost always laboratory-based.

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.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Immunology 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 Immunology funding options

The research council responsible for funding Immunology 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 Immunology 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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Identifying novel regulators of haematopoiesis using flies

Supervisors. Iwan Evans (primary supervisor); Steve Brown (Biosciences, secondary supervisor). Project details. Control of blood cell proliferation, survival and activation is critical to the health of an organism. Read more

Meals for macrophages – investigating how macrophages engulf and process dying cells in vivo

Supervisors. Iwan Evans (primary supervisor); Phil Elks and Simon Johnston (secondary supervisors). Project details. A critical role for phagocytic cells such as macrophages is the engulfment and subsequent degradation of dying cells and debris. Read more

Investigating the control and function of macrophage subtypes using Drosophila melanogaster

Supervisor(s). Iwan Evans (Primary Supervisor, IICD) and Martin Zeidler (Second Supervisor, Biosciences). Project details. The phagocytic white blood cells known as macrophages are a highly heterogeneous population of cells. Read more

Combined targeting of PD-L1 and TRAF6 pathways: Implications for Cancer Treatment

The majority of deaths from advanced, difficult-to-treat cancers are a result of metastases. Programmed death 1 ligand (PD-L1), a negative regulator of the immune system, is highly expressed in metastatic cancer cells, and its expression is associated with suppressed anti-tumour immunity. Read more

Differential effects of Cannabidiol: Mechanism(s) of Action and Implications in Cancer

Increasing social acceptance of the ‘non-intoxicating’ cannabidiol (CBD) – one of the major bioactive and non-psychoactive cannabinoids in cannabis sativa – have accelerated its availability and on-/off-label use around the globe. Read more

Are macrophages the heroes or villains of infection control?

The field of host pathogen interactions has never been more important. From the recent Covid19 pandemic to the causes of cancer and neurodegenerative disease host pathogen interactions underpin the pathology of many important diseases. Read more

Neurodegenerative disorders

We are currently looking for a PhD candidate to work on the following projects. Understanding enzymes linked to neurodegeneration and antiviral defence. Read more

Epigenetics and Cancer: Determining how Mistakes in V(D)J Recombination Trigger Leukaemias and Lymphomas

  Research Group: School of Molecular and Cellular Biology
V(D)J recombination is essential to produce an effective adaptive immune system but since the reaction involves the breakage and rejoining of DNA, it is highly dangerous and errors have long been thought to lead to leukaemias and lymphomas. Read more

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