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We have 177 Molecular Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for UK Students



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Molecular Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for UK Students

We have 177 Molecular Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for UK Students

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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Development of integrated microfluidic chips for making mRNA nanomedicines

Project - Recent mRNA vaccine success has heralded a new era of RNA nanomedicines. We are pleased to announce a fully funded PhD position with a scholarship focused on the development of integrated microfluidic chips for making mRNA nanomedicines. Read more

Gene editing of cultured plant stem cells to biomanufacture sustainable phytochemicals

  Research Group: Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences
This BBSRC Industrial CASE studentship is a collaboration between Unilever Plc, the University of Edinburgh and Green Bioactives Ltd. Read more

Measuring myocardial immunosenescence in cardiovascular disease

People with Multiple Long-Term Conditions (MLTC) show increased susceptibility to external stressors like infection, trauma, or surgery, where they are at increased risk of organ injury affecting the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain, and death, versus those without MLTC. Read more

"A variable epitope library approach to the development of more broadly protective porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome vaccines"

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome viruses (PRRSV) are responsible for one of the most economically important diseases affecting the global pig industry, estimated at over US$ 600 million and € 1.5 billion p.a. Read more

Investigating novel therapeutic strategies for severe neurodegenerative disease

Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are a group of neurodegenerative disorders characterised by degeneration of the longest motor neurons leading to muscle weakness and spasticity in the lower limbs. Read more

Exploring the form and function of vitamin B12

We are seeking a highly motivated individual to join our team as a fully funded PhD student who will investigate the trafficking, delivery, and utilisation of vitamin B12 in both bacteria and eukaryotes. Read more

Investigating neutrophil heterogeneity in ANCA-associated vasculitis

Stipend. Standard Research Council London Rate + Tuition Fees (Home rate) for 3 years. A consumables budget is also provided. Applications are invited for a 3-year PhD studentship based in the. Read more

Like two peas in a pod: Hormonal signals in legume reproductive development

This project is part of the DPhil in Biology at the University of Oxford. Seeds and pods communicate to coordinate reproductive development from fertilisation to seed maturation. Read more

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