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Molecular Genetics (plant molecular) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 2 Molecular Genetics (plant molecular) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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I am a UK student


We have 2 Molecular Genetics (plant molecular) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

PhD in Molecular Genetics

A Molecular Genetics PhD would provide you with the time and resources to shape your own three to four-year research project. A sub-category within Genetics, Molecular Genetics is focused on studying how variations in DNA structure affects variation between organisms. Your project could be searching for mutations within a gene, determining the structure and function of a specific gene or identifying genetic links to disease.

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.

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for most Molecular Genetics 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 Genetics Funding Options

The research council responsible for funding Molecular Genetics 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 less common for Molecular Genetics 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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