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  MScR: Developing nanomaterials to enhance and future-proof crop yields

   School of Biological Sciences

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  Dr H Whitney  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Plants are critical for food security, carbon capture and the production of many of the materials we rely on. Novel ways to enhance plant growth and productivity are being investigated, and one of these is by looking at modifying plants at the nanoscale. Plants produce nanostructures of their own that can enhance light capture for photosynthesis, and these nanostructures can be investigated for their own contribution or act as inspiration for synthetic nanomaterials. A currently emerging area of research is the use of nanomaterials to enhance plant growth and reduce the amount of fertilizers or pesticides used.

MSc by Research (MScR) is a 1-year research degree that provides an intensive lab-based training and a preparation for PhD study. You will carry out your studies as part of your research group – like a PhD student does. Towards the end of the year, you write up a thesis on your research and are examined on this. This degree suits students wanting to gain maximum research experience in preparation for PhD applications. 

We are keen to recruit a diverse range of students and to ensure our research is open to all. We particularly welcome applications from groups traditionally under-represented in life sciences research. Please check the University webpages for the current tuition fee information. Most MScR projects also require a bench fee. This varies depending on the research and your project supervisor can tell you the bench fee for the project.

Please contact Dr Heather Whitney ([Email Address Removed]) directly for information about the project. 

How to apply:

Use the following link to apply: Start your application | Study at Bristol | University of Bristol

You should apply to the Faculty of Life Sciences, School of Biological Sciences selecting the programme Biological Sciences - MSc by Research.

Please ensure you upload all supporting documents as per the admissions statement (which applies to both PhD and MScR programmes): PhD Biological Sciences | Study at Bristol | University of Bristol

Clearly indicate the supervisor name and project title in the relevant section of the application form.

The system will not allow you to submit your application without uploading a document to the research statement section.  Where this is an optional requirement, please upload a blank Word document which is headed “No research statement required”.

 Applications are accepted all year round. However, the preferred entry points for study are September / January / April / July.

Agriculture (1) Biological Sciences (4) Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

This project is for students who can fund the project themselves; however, you are eligible to apply for a University of Bristol Think Big Postgraduate Award ( If you are a UK student from a Black background then you are eligible to apply for an Opportunity Bristol Scholarship (

How good is research at University of Bristol in Biological Sciences?

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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