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We have 15 Biotechnology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in Newcastle



Biological Sciences



Newcastle  United Kingdom



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Biotechnology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in Newcastle

We have 15 Biotechnology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in Newcastle

A Biotechnology PhD would provide you with the time and resources to research and develop methods and technologies that make use of Biology to improve industry. This could range from improving the efficiency of a biofuel, engineering pigment-producing bacteria to use to dye fabric, or genetically modifying crops to be resistant to a specific pest.

What’s it like to do a PhD in Biotechnology?

A PhD in Biotechnology would allow you to develop a specialist set of laboratory skills in areas such as gene editing with CRISPR and gene delivery through transformation, transfection, and transduction. Biotechnology programmes sometimes have a linked industry partner, in which case, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in a work placement and gain some hands-on industry experience.

Some typical research topics in Biotechnology include:

  • Developing therapeutic delivery vehicles
  • Engineering enzymes for industry
  • Developing or improving biofuels
  • Innovating new methods of using bacteria in industry
  • Vaccine development
  • Developing pest resistant crops

PhD programmes in Biotechnology are mostly fully-funded by either the university, an industrial partner, a doctoral training programme or a mix of these. The projects tend to be advertised, with the scope of the project determined by the supervisor.

Proposing your own project in Biotechnology is uncommon since you need to find a supervisor with research interests that overlap with yours, with all the equipment and expertise you require, and you’ll have to find funding to cover bench and PhD fees.

Day-to-day, you’ll be in the laboratory performing experiments, creating figures and analysing data you collected previously, and talking to your colleagues and supervisor about your methods and results. On completion of your laboratory work in your final year, you’ll submit an original thesis of around 60,000 words and defend this during your viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Biotechnology 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 Biotechnology funding options

The Research Council responsible for funding Biotechnology 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 Biotechnology 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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Biological self-healing for advanced and sustainable masonry materials

Biological processes, such as biomineralization, have been explored for consolidating porous materials and as a new class of self-healing cement-based building materials. Read more

Exploring the function of the rhodococcal cell envelope (ref: SF22/HLS/APP/DOVER)

The cell envelope is an important interface through which the bacterial cell interacts with its external environment. For some bacteria that might be the soil, or in the case of pathogens, the human body. Read more

Engineering Enzymes for Sustainable Production Methods (ref: SF22/HLS/APP/VAN LOO)

The need for sustainable production of materials and energy is becoming increasingly urgent. Both the urgency of the climate crisis and the current energy crisis show that diverse methods are required to reduce the footprint of the processes described above. Read more

Technoeconomic and environmental investigation of novel pathways to recover metals from lithium ion batteries

The PhD researcher joining this project will investigate chemical and biotechnology routes to recover metal ions from batteries. Bioleaching is a promising technology because it can be operated at ambient conditions and does not require addition of chemicals. Read more

Green synthesis of probes for microbial detection using biocatalysis (ref: SF22/HLS/APP/TURNBULL)

This project requires a talented student with a background in biology, biochemistry, or chemistry to make a library of compounds to be used in the detection and identification of pathogenic bacteria and yeasts. Read more

Utilisation of novel approaches in the bioprospecting of extreme habitats for novel antimicrobial agents. (ref: SF22/HLS/APP/ALJONES)

Since the discovery of penicillin, bioactive compounds have been sourced from microorganisms, which has led to the development of the majority of our antimicrobial agents. Actinomycetes are the most prolific producers of well-known antibiotics in clinical use, such as Rifampicin and Streptomycin. Read more

Error-control coding in DNA sequences

Over the past decade, there has been a lot of interest in studying the information-theoretic aspects of DNA sequences. For instance, the seminal work carried out by the French researcher Gerard Battail has shown that any DNA strand can be viewed as a codeword in the context of error-control coding theory. Read more

Bioelectronic materials

Biodegradable materials are an ideal starting point for implanting in the body because their removal takes place gradually and naturally over time after the implant has served its useful purpose. Read more

Development of a novel biocomposite-integrated thin film reactor for the intensification of biosolar energy-driven gas clean-up processing

This proposed project seeks to establish an entirely new, scalable, solar energy driven microbial gas absorber technology by a novel combination of advanced photoreactive biocomposite materials, experimental thin film absorber design and modelling approaches. Read more

Nature-based solution to mitigate subsidence hazards

One of most important engineering challenges of our generation is to ensure our infrastructure network is resilient to today's natural hazards and prepared for the future changing climate. Read more

Miniaturized fluidized bed bioreactor for bioprocessing

The technology of fluidized beds (FB) allows for the effective contact within multiple phases, thus having been widely applied in varieties of industrial process. Read more

Microneedle biosensors for rapid and painless disease diagnosis

This project aims to develop rapid disease diagnostics based on transdermal microneedle biosensors. Disease diagnosis often relies on invasive tissue sampling techniques, such as blood sampling or skin biopsies, in order to extract biomarkers for analysis. Read more
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