What’s it like to do a PhD in Molecular Genetics?
Studying a PhD in Molecular Genetics, you’ll gain laboratory skills from many disciplines including Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology. You’ll also read literature surrounding your area of research to identify gaps in the knowledge and gain inspiration for new methods.
Some typical research topics in Molecular Genetics include:
- Studying gene regulation in response to a form of stress
- Attempting to find a link between a disease and a certain gene
- Identifying the genes involved in a certain process
- Identifying and studying gene mutations
- Studying how stem cell DNA is altered when acquiring a fate
Molecular Genetics projects are almost always advertised projects, with the key aim and general scope of the project pre-determined by the supervisor. Often these projects have full funding attached from a doctoral training programme or the university, but some ask you to find your own source of funding.
Writing your own research proposal is uncommon in Molecular Biology, partly because it can be challenging to self-fund with the cost of bench fees as well as traditional PhD fees, but also due to difficulty finding a supervisor with an interest and the appropriate equipment for your project.
In a general day, you’ll be planning or carrying out experiments in the laboratory, analysing previous data, writing up your methods and results and discuss your work with colleagues and your supervisor.
To be awarded your PhD, you must complete an original thesis of around 60,000 words and successfully defend your work during a viva exam.