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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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China Scholarship Council: Mapping mitochondrial signalling pathways in neurodegeneration

Our laboratory has dissected the function of two Parkinson’s disease-linked genes encoding the protein kinase, PINK1 and ubiquitin E3 ligase, Parkin, that has illuminated a highly conserved mitochondrial quality control pathway found in nearly every cell type including brain cells. Read more

China Scholarship Council: Disruptions to SRSF protein kinase (SRPK) signalling in human developmental disorders

The overarching goal of our research is to identify and characterise the protein kinase signalling pathways that control stem cell pluripotency and differentiation, and determine how protein kinase signalling is disrupted to cause human developmental disorders.  . Read more

China Scholarship Council : Molecular mechanisms underlying Parkinson's disease

There is great need for improved understanding of the mechanistic biology underlying Parkinson’s disease. Such knowledge will help with development of new drugs that slow or even halt the progression of the disease. Read more

MScR: Re-engineering Golgi dynamics in plants – investigating the role of myosin receptors

The growing global population requires the development of novel strategies to sustainably increase food production. Organelle movement is dynamic and linked to changes in cell size, plant biomass and in response to factors which affect food production such as pathogens (Perico and Sparkes, New Phytol. Read more

Optimising plant symbiotic bacteria through quorum-sensing and engineering biology approaches for delivery of climate-smart, sustainable nitrogen fertilizer for agriculture

For this exciting and timely PhD studentship, we seek an enthusiastic and motivated individual. The ideal candidate will be passionate about contributing to sustainable agricultural systems through the development of ‘green’ technologies. Read more

An integrative multi-omics approach to targeting cellular senescence as a drug repurposing strategy for age-related morbidities

  Research Group: Medicine
Age is a major risk factor for various human diseases including cancers, dementia, and cardiovascular diseases. Senescence is a process where cells cease dividing and undergo distinctive phenotypic changes. Read more

Dissecting the properties of immune cells that contribute to inflammation and tissue damage in Behçet’s disease.

Behçet's Disease (BD) is a rare multisystem hyper-inflammatory disorder with numerous symptoms including mouth and genital ulcers, eyes, and blood vessels inflammation, skin rashes, joints swelling, and involvement of digestive or central nervous systems (1). Read more

Utilising multiple European patient biobanks to develop prognostic biomarkers for acute coronary syndrome

  Research Group: Medicine
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide and across the EU, accounting for 32% and 37% of all deaths, respectively.  The number of CVD associated deaths is growing and has risen by 25% worldwide since the year 2000.  Each day in the UK, 180 people die from coronary heart disease. Read more

Exploring the role of MYBL2 in Replication stress

Every time a cell divides, the genome must be faithfully duplicated and segregated to provide a copy for each daughter cells. The complexity of DNA processing in combination with the persistent exposure to genotoxic stimuli means that the fidelity of the genetic code is constantly under threat. Read more

Targeting metabolism to enhance the efficacy of epigenetic therapies for the treatment of lymphoma

Follicular lymphoma is a cancer of B-lymphocytes which is diagnosed in approximately 2,200 patients in the UK each year. Despite recent advances in treatment, follicular lymphoma remains incurable, with some patients surviving only a few years. Read more

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