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Microbiology (genomic) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 38 Microbiology (genomic) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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We have 38 Microbiology (genomic) 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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Computational approaches for rapid pathogen genomic sequence analysis

Research interests/description of main research theme. In order to better guard against the rapid spread of high-risk strains of infectious diseases in the future, we must better leverage the large scale collection and processing of genomic data that is possible with today’s technologies. Read more

Precision Medicine DTP - Genomic characterisation of multidrug-resistant septicaemia-causing Klebsiella pneumoniae to inform patient care and infection control

  Research Group: Institute of Immunology & Infection Research
Additional Supervisor. Dr Surabhi Taori [NHS Lothian]. Background. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health crisis. Resistance to carbapenems, one of the last-resort treatments for severe infections, is of particular concern in Gram-negative organisms. Read more

Transmission modelling to track antimicrobial resistance across care settings in Liverpool

We are looking to recruit a PhD student with a strong background in statistics or mathematics to this fully funded 3 year PhD studentship to investigate transmission of drug resistant bacteria across health and social care settings in Liverpool. Read more

Harnessing biopharmaceuticals from microorganisms

  Research Group: Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership (MIBTP)
Background. Most of the bioactive molecules used in agriculture and medicine are made by microorganisms. For instance, Abamectin derives from actinomycete bacteria and is one of the most widely used insecticides in crop protection, with a global market of $938 million every year. Read more

Genomics of bacterial pathobionts and commensals of the human respiratory tract

 . Bacterial colonisation of the human upper respiratory tract (URT) is a pre-requisite for multiple diseases including pneumonia, otitis media, sinusitis, exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and, less commonly, diseases resulting from bacteraemia such as meningitis. Read more

Bioprospecting of novel marine terpenoids with broad commercial applications (ProspecTER)

An exciting opportunity for two PhD candidates to join a multidisciplinary international team led by Atlantic Technological University, Sligo and Dublin City University to conduct research in the area of marine natural products and bioprospecting. Read more

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