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Microbiology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 191 Microbiology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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We have 191 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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Effects of transcription on genome stability

Transcription-coupled DNA repair (TCR) pathways prioritise the repair of certain lesions in "active" genes. These pathways help maintain genome integrity throughout the lifetime of multi-cellular organisms, and thus help prevent the occurrence of mutation that might cause cancer or other disorders. Read more

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Smart Medical Imaging

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Smart Medical Imaging at King's College London and Imperial College London is a successful partnership of two world-class institutions to provide PhD training within an embedded hospital environment in central London. Read more

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Smart Medical Imaging

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Smart Medical Imaging at King's College London and Imperial College London is a successful partnership of two world-class institutions to provide PhD training within an embedded hospital environment in central London. Read more

Investigating the role of bioactive lipids in skin health

Human skin depends on systemic provision of fatty acids that are important to maintain the integrity of the epidermal barrier as well as to support the associated immune and inflammatory reactions. Read more

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

The role of the microbiome in diabetic foot ulcers

  Research Group: Molecular Mechanisms and Long Term Conditions
Reference. SHLS20069. Background. Recently the composition of the bacterial species that reside in specific areas – the microbiome has been implicated in many long term health conditions. Read more

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