Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now

We have 6 Behavioural Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in Oxford



Biological Sciences



Oxford  United Kingdom



All Institutions

PhD Type

PhD Type

All PhD Types



All Funding

Behavioural Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in Oxford

We have 6 Behavioural Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in Oxford

During a PhD in Behavioural Biology, you would have the opportunity to conduct research into the biology underpinning certain behaviours. Whether you’re investigating a link between a specific disease and behaviour or understanding how an environmental trigger affects the physiological response, you’ll most likely be in a laboratory for the majority of your work.

What’s it like to do a PhD in Behavioural Biology?

Studying a Behavioural Biology PhD, you’ll gain wide-ranging ability in the laboratory but also valuable experience working with participants – a skill that many other Biology-based PhD projects don’t involve. Since you’ll work with people directly, you’ll also develop a deep understanding of the ethical implications of your work and the studies conducted in the literature.

Some typical research topics in Behavioural Biology include:

  • Circadian rhythm and what affects this
  • The link between a specific disease and behaviour
  • The brain and communication
  • An animal’s brain and behaviour
  • Evolution of mechanisms in response to environmental pressure
  • How environment affects healthy systems e.g., the immune system

Generally, PhD programmes in Behavioural Biology are advertised with full funding attached. These are either three-year programmes or a four-year doctoral training programme. Since the project is advertised, the scope and key aim of the project is pre-determined by the supervisor, but you’ll shape the remainder of the project.

Proposing your own research in Behavioural Biology is uncommon as you must find a supervisor with research goals that align with yours, and that has the necessary equipment you’ll need. It can also be a headache finding adequate funding to cover bench fees alongside your PhD fees.

In a normal day, you’ll be in the laboratory performing experiments on samples or on participants, analysing past data, and talking though your results with your supervisor and colleagues. To be awarded your PhD, you’ll have significantly contributed to your field through a thesis of around 60,000 words and to have defended your work during your viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Behavioural Biology PhD programmes involve a Masters in Behavioural Science, Biology, Zoology and Psychology 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 Behavioural Science funding options

The Research Council responsible for funding Behavioural Science 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 Behavioural Science 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.

read more

Evolution of parental care in variable environments

Parental care is most broadly defined as any parental trait that is likely to increase the fitness of offspring; a little more specifically, parental care is a parental behaviour that (1) occurs post-fertilization, (2) is directed at offspring, and (3) most likely to increase offspring lifetime reproductive success. Read more

Foraging and navigation in pelagic seabirds

Pelagic seabirds are apex predators harvesting patchily distributed, dynamic marine resources on spectacular spatial scales. How they do so is key to understanding their natural at-sea movements and distributions, their vulnerability to the impacts of ocean industrialisation, and their response to environmental change. Read more

Antipredator colouration in fish groups

When faced with predators, an enormous diversity of animals form large and coordinated groups that rank amongst the most astonishing of nature’s spectacles. Read more

Causes and consequences of age-related changes in fighting ability in animals

Age-related changes in social traits are widespread across the animal kingdom. In cooperatively-breeding species, for instance, the type and amount of help that individuals provide often changes as they age. Read more
  • 1

Filtering Results