We have 111 Microbiology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for UK Students



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Microbiology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for UK Students

We have 111 Microbiology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for UK Students

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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Development of an in vitro nebulisation assay for use with defence pathogens

Applications are invited for a three-year Postgraduate studentship, supported by the Defence Science Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and the College of Health and Life Sciences, to be undertaken within the Biosciences Research Group at Aston University. The successful applicant will join an established experimental group working on antibiotic drug discovery and development.  . Read more

EASTBIO: Establishing drivers for the generation and transmission of antimicrobial resistance in the food chain.

  Research Group: Infection Medicine
Pathogenic microorganisms pose a significant threat to food security and in the spread of infectious diseases, particularly the transmission of antibiotic resistant organisms (ARO) which remain a critical concern 1. Read more

White Rose BBSRC DTP: Understanding the drivers of viral lifestyles in the soil microbiome

The viruses that infect bacteria, known as phages, represent a major component of the soil microbiome. Yet their functional role in regulating bacterial populations and nutrient cycling remains unclear despite our need to understand what constitutes a healthy soil microbiome for food security. Read more

Evolutionary innovation through transcription factor promiscuity

The University of Bath is inviting applications from Home students for the following PhD project which will be conducted within the Department of Life Sciences under the direct supervision of Prof Tiffany Taylor with co-supervision from Prof Laurence Hurst. Read more

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