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Microbiology (water treatment) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 6 Microbiology (water treatment) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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We have 6 Microbiology (water treatment) 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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Investigating the role of the biofilm in waste water treatment plants as a reservoir for antimicrobial resistance

Ref. SHLS20023 Spencer. Background. By 2050, 10 million premature deaths could occur annually as the result of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). An important route of AMR into the environment is via the sewerage network where key control points are the wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Read more

Wastewater sludge to hydrogen via direct biogenic electrolysis

  Research Group: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning
Wastewater sludge is the by-product of wastewater treatment plants. Currently, 13.5 million tonnes of dry sludge are produced in Europe annually, 1.5 million tonnes in the UK, and further increase has been projected with population growth. Read more

Enzyme-responsive peptide hydrogel as in situ forming long-acting drug delivery implants

One of the key issues in the treatment and prevention of disease is that patients struggle to adhere to the complex dosage regimens of therapies, which often require multiple dosing at very specific times each day. Read more

Are shellfish hotspots for AMR evolution and transmission? [microbiology, evolutionary biology, bio-clinical science, public health, aquaculture] – PhD (Funded)

Location. Environment and Sustainability Institute, Penryn Campus, Cornwall and Cefas in Weymouth. The Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the University of Exeter have a Strategic Alliance that aims to combine the complementary capabilities and perspectives of both organisations. Read more

High-throughput discovery of novel antibiotics using synthetic microbiology

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a frequent problem in the treatment of disease caused by several clinical bacterial pathogens. In the European Union, antibiotic-resistant infections kill nearly 25,000 patients and represent a total expenditure of £1.5 billion per year. Read more
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