We have 492 Molecular Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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Molecular Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 492 Molecular Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

Studying a PhD in Molecular Biology would provide you with the chance to guide your own research project. With a strong link to Cell Biology, Molecular Biology projects revolve around understanding the composition, structure, and interaction of molecules within the cell that control its function. These are generally laboratory-based projects.

What’s it like to do a PhD in Molecular Biology?

As a PhD student in Molecular Biology, you’ll develop extensive laboratory skills including DNA sequencing, expression cloning, gene knockout, and DNA or protein arrays. Your understanding of the range of techniques available to you will continually improve as you’ll read the latest publications in the field.

Some typical research topics in Molecular Biology include:

  • Understanding the role of a certain protein within a cell
  • Investigating DNA repair mechanisms and potential faults
  • Studying the difference in post-translational modifications in response to stimuli
  • Development of novel therapeutics
  • Investigating how proteins act differently in a disease
  • Studying DNA replication

A majority of Molecular Biology projects are proposed in advance by the supervisor and are advertised on the university website. Some of these projects are fully-funded by the university or a doctoral training programme, while others require you to self-fund.

Suggesting a project for yourself is uncommon in Molecular Biology, due to the challenge of finding funding to cover PhD and bench fees, as well as having to find a supervisor with suitable equipment and research interests to support your project.

Day-to-day, you’ll be in the laboratory preparing or conducting experiments, analysing previous data, creating figures, and writing up the results, alongside quick chats with your colleagues and supervisors about your work.

In the final year of your PhD, you’ll complete an original thesis of approximately 60,000 words in length and give an oral defence of this during a viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Molecular Biology PhD programmes involve a Masters in a subject directly related to Biology, with at least a Merit or Distinction. If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need to show that you have the right level of language proficiency.

PhD in Molecular Biology funding options

The research council responsible for funding Molecular Biology 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.

It’s uncommon for Molecular Biology PhD students to be ‘self-funded’ due to the additional bench fees. However, if you were planning to fund yourself it might be achievable (depending on your project) through the UK government’s PhD loan and part-time work.

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Exploring the potential for drug repurposing to enhance muscle mass and function in older adults.

Programme description. Loss of resilience describes enhanced vulnerability to, and impaired recovery from stress events when compared to a robust [youthful/healthy] state; and is commonly encountered with advancing age. Read more

Fully-funded PhD: Investigating the role of glycosylation in melanoma metastasis

  Research Group: Centre for Skin Sciences
Malignant Melanoma, the cancer of the melanocytes, is the deadliest form of skin cancer and its incidence in the UK has risen by ~32% in the last ten years (CRUK). Read more

PhD Studentship in Chemistry for Catalytic CO2 Utilisation

A PhD studentship is available at the University of Cambridge, starting in October 2025 under the supervision of Professor Erwin Reisner in the Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry. Read more

Optimising novel pre- and rehabilitation strategies to improve the physiological resilience of older surgical patients

PhD Description. In addition to rehabilitation, which has long been employed as method to enhance recovery from clinical stress events, there is burgeoning clinical and research interest in prehabilitation, an approach employed to prepare individuals for these events. Read more

Exploring mechanisms underlying viral infections in initiating pulmonary fibrosis

Respiratory viral infections are the most prevalent illnesses in humans. In addition to their immediate health effects, these infections can result in long-term lung conditions like pulmonary fibrosis and worsen existing chronic lung diseases. Read more

Host-pathogen interactions of bacterial membrane proteins

In this age of increasing antimicrobial resistance, bacterial infections remain a major global health burden. During infection, bacterial pathogens deliver virulence proteins into the host cells. Read more

Sustainable Approaches to Biomedical Science: Responsible and Reproducible Research (Centre for Doctoral Training)

We welcome applications from graduates who wish to make an impact in the field of computational biomedical research. Our students gain the broad skillset needed to confront current and future biomedical research challenges. Read more

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