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Molecular Biology PhD Research Projects

We have 962 Molecular Biology PhD Research Projects

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We have 962 Molecular Biology PhD Research Projects

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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Peptide-based nanoparticles for brain targeted gene delivery

Gene therapy has the potential to provide therapeutic benefit to millions of people with neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Delivery into the brain is hampered by the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which limits the efficacy of both conventional and novel therapies at the target site. Read more

Chemical glycoengineering of therapeutic antibodies

Glycosylation is the most common posttranslational protein modification. Recombinant therapeutic glycoproteins (RTGs) such as monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are decorated with complex glycans that determine not only their efficacy but also other critical parameters such as in vivo half-life, stability and antigenicity. Read more
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Exploring The Utility of Transcriptomics Data in Toxicology

One of the challenges for the future of agriculture is to sustainable increase food production, using only the same or ideally less land area, to provide the quality and quantity required to meet the needs of an increasingly affluent & growing human population and simultaneously mitigating climate change and protecting or regenerating biodiversity. Read more

Combining protein modelling and synthetic biology to alter and expand of host range of phages

Phage therapy relies on the use of bacterial viruses for treatment of infectious diseases. Bacteriophages are natural predators of bacteria, but their specificity varies significantly depending on the host species. Read more

Investigating the role of USP17 in EMT

USP17 is over-expressed in a range of primary tumours (NSCLC, breast, colorectal, cervical, ovarian, osteosarcoma) and its depletion blocks the growth, and migration, of cells from all of these cancer types. Read more

The impact of skincare ingredients on skin-resident immune cell responses

The project forms part of The Boots Company Collaborative Training Partnership (CTP), which aims to develop entrepreneurial, highly trained doctorate scientists with transferable research and business skills, who will make valuable contributions to the UK economy by tackling bioscience challenges of the future. Read more

Probing the speciation of metal cations in the intestine by NMR spectroscopy (WALLACEM_U23SF)

Have you ever wondered how much of the calcium, magnesium or zinc contained in your food or mineral supplement makes it into your body, or whether it is beneficial to live in a hard water area? The absorption of these elements depends on the competing processes of solubilisation, precipitation and absorption in your small intestine. Read more

Exploring genetic variants of P2X7 in cancer cell biology (STOKESL_U23SF)

P2X7 is a ligand-gated ion channel activated by the extracellular nucleotide ATP. Although P2X7 was originally identified as a cytolytic receptor on immune cells, activation of P2X7 can also contribute to increased cell proliferation in cancer cells. Read more

Investigating locus coeruleus function in autism mouse models

Applications are invited for one 3.5 year full-time fully funded PhD studentship in the lab of Dr Rebecca Jordan within the Simons Initiative for the Developing Brain at the University of Edinburgh. Read more

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