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Molecular Biology (genomic) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 52 Molecular Biology (genomic) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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We have 52 Molecular Biology (genomic) 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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A Multi-Omics approach to understanding cardiovascular risk in patients with End-Stage Kidney Disease

Background. End-stage Kidney failure, also known as End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD), is the final, irreversible stage of chronic kidney disease (CKD), where kidney function has worsened to the point that the kidneys can no longer function independently. Read more

3D genome folding and its role in DNA-based processes

The organization of genomic DNA into chromatin fibres and nucleosomes and their regulation by histone modifications is well understood, as is the relevance of these mechanisms for gene regulation. Read more

Help from the past: exploring the genomic architecture of a historical collection of Vibriobacteria in the hunt for novel antimicrobials, [Microbiology/Bioinformatics)] – PhD (Funded)

Location. Biosciences, Streatham Campus, Exeter. 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

Self funded BMS Project: Understanding the population dynamics of haematopoietic stem cells during gene therapy for sickle cell disease

Applications accepted for PhD Only. Background. This project builds on the recent discovery that whole genome sequencing approaches in blood stem and progenitor cells can be used to estimate the number of actively contributing blood stem cells in humans (Lee-Six et al., Nature 2018). Read more

Does membrane repair fail to alert the immune system to disease?

The cGAMP-synthase cGAS recognises microbial or self-DNA to activate STING and induce the release of pro-inflammatory molecules. But cytoplasmic DNA is also particularly abundant in cancer cells, under the form of genomic structures called ‘micronuclei’. Read more

Evolution of vertebrate blood vessels

The blood vessels are the core elements of the circulatory system of animals, and their malfunction is related to most human diseases including cancer and heart attacks. Read more

Adaptation to environmental change in animals: ecology, evolution and genomics.

How are animals able to live in different environments, with different temperatures, energetic demands, diet, predators, parasites or pH? Thanks to advances in gene sequencing technology, we are in a remarkable period of discovery about the genomic basis of adaptation and how this depends on the intricacies of ecology and environment. Read more

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