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Microbiology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 197 Microbiology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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We have 197 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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Mutagenesis and DNA repair in persistent cells

Antimicrobial resistance is a global health problem and we need new approaches to mitigate it. When the microbial community is treated with a lethal concentration of the antibiotic, the surviving cells are either genetically resistant or antibiotic tolerant. Read more

Evolutionary ecology of host-parasite interactions

Proposed Start Date. September 2022. The body is home to trillions of microbes. There has been a surge of interest on the effects of these microbes on host health, often as agents of infectious disease. Read more

Protease-resistant antimicrobial peptides to target bacterial and fungal pathogens

Antimicrobial resistance is quickly becoming a serious global health problem. The emergence of multidrug-resistant microbial strains combined with the drying up of the antibiotic pipeline in the pharmaceutical industry has significantly worsened the situation in recent years. Read more

Impact of dietary components on the intestinal stem cell homeostasis and cancer risk

Bowel cancer is the 4th most common and second biggest cause of cancer mortality. Of the ~14,000 new cases of bowel cancer each year in the UK it is estimated 50% could have been prevented through healthy lifestyle changes. For example, there is strong evidence for a high fibre diet preventing bowel cancer. Read more

Fully-funded PhD positions in several natural sciences & engineering disciplines

Join an internationally renowned scientific community with the Hector FellowPhD program. PhD students benefit not only from the experience of the program, but also from the network of Hector Fellows. Read more

Understanding the Stability of Biologics Using Advanced Light Scattering Techniques

The biotherapeutics market was valued at approximately USD 325.17 billion in 2020. It is expected to witness a revenue of USD 496.71 billion in 2026, with a CAGR of 7.32% over the forecast period, 2021-2026. Read more

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