We have 199 Microbiology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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Microbiology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 199 Microbiology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

A PhD in Microbiology would give you the opportunity to conduct an extended piece of research into microscopic organisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Most Microbiology projects are laboratory-based and cover a wide range of areas from developing novel therapeutics or innovating point of care tests for diagnosis to understanding the life cycle of a certain fungal species.

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

Studying a PhD in Microbiology, you’ll develop a range of specialist laboratory skills particularly in microscopy, aseptic technique, and cell staining. You’ll also become proficient in techniques such as pouring agar plates and have a strong understanding of health and safety that is essential when working with Bunsen burners, which are commonly used in Microbiology. When out of the laboratory, you’ll read the literature surrounding your research topic to identify gaps in the knowledge and discover new methods.

Some typical research topics in Microbiology include:

  • Development of novel antibiotics
  • Studying bacteriophages and their potential use as therapeutics
  • Characterising the microbiome
  • Development of point of care tests for infection diagnosis
  • Investigating fungi life cycle and metabolite production
  • Studying a particular virus

The vast majority of Microbiology projects are advertised with the main aims and general span of the project determined by the supervisor in advance. Many of these have full funding attached, though some may request you find your own funding. Self-funding can be challenging due to the cost of bench fees as well as traditional PhD fees.

Proposing your own research project is rare in Microbiology, partly due to the challenge of self-funding, partly because you must find a supervisor with interests that overlap with your project and who has adequate equipment for practical work.

On a general workday, you’ll be performing experiments in the laboratory, planning out your upcoming work, writing up results and chatting to your supervisor and colleagues about your work. At the end of your PhD, you’ll submit a thesis of around 60,000 words and defend it during your viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Microbiology PhD programmes involve a Masters in a subject directly related to Biology, with some experience in microbiology, at Merit or Distinction level. If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need to show that you have the right level of language proficiency.

PhD in Microbiology funding options

The research council responsible for funding Microbiology 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.

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Data analytics to disentangle molecular level interactions in microbiomes

We have an exciting opportunity for a PhD student with an interest in data analytics to join our team working on the BBSRC funded SLoLa project “Rules of life in CO2-driven microbial communities. Read more

Host-pathogen interactions of bacterial membrane proteins

In this age of increasing antimicrobial resistance, bacterial infections remain a major global health burden. During infection, bacterial pathogens deliver virulence proteins into the host cells. Read more

Sustainable Approaches to Biomedical Science: Responsible and Reproducible Research (Centre for Doctoral Training)

We welcome applications from graduates who wish to make an impact in the field of computational biomedical research. Our students gain the broad skillset needed to confront current and future biomedical research challenges. Read more

Artificial cyclic peptide library for novel antimicrobial resistance therapeutics and targeted delivery

Supervisory Team: Dr Afaf El-Sagheer and Dr Sandra Wilks. PhD Supervisor. Afaf El-Sagheer. Project description. A fully-funded 4 year PhD studentship is available for drug discovery research on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) at the University of Southampton. Read more

Knowledge-based Design of Dental Surfaces to combat Oral Biofilms

This 4-year BBSRC PhD studentship is a collaboration between University of Liverpool & Unilever R&D. Oral diseases are among the most common noncommunicable diseases worldwide, affecting an estimated 3.5 billion people. Read more

Microbial Induced Electrochemistry at the Local Site and Single Cell Level

Microbial Induced Corrosion (MIC) is a serious economic problem with an estimate worldwide cost of $113 Bn every year. MIC impacts a very wide range of industries, from power plants to construction, and even the health of humans with implants or protheses. Read more

PhD Studentship - Algae - omics

PhD project part of the CDT in Process Industries. Net Zero. The successful PhD student will be co-supervised by academics from the Process Intensification Group at Newcastle University. Read more

Exploration and development of clinical metagenomics for rapid infection diagnostics, pathogen identification and resistome profiling in advanced chronic liver disease patients

This project will identify the pathogens responsible for infections in cirrhosis patients and characterise the mechanisms underlying their resistance to antimicrobial agents, to improve diagnostics and ultimately the management of infections in these patients. Read more

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