What’s it like to do a PhD in Evolution?
Studying a PhD in Evolution, you’ll gain a range of skills, from programming in R or Python, using cutting edge 3D scanning and digital imaging equipment to becoming a leader in your field work.
Some typical research topics in Evolution include:
- Investigating how bacterial biofilms evolve over time
- Researching how a system e.g. vocal chords have evolved
- Analysis of genomics of a species over time
- Investigating how an environmental factor, such as social interaction affects the brain
- Studying sexual dimorphism in a given species
- Retracing the origins of a specific protein
Most PhD programmes in Evolution are proposed by the supervisor and advertised on the university website with full funding attached. However, some advertised projects require you to self-fund, which can be difficult due to additional bench fees. This funding challenge also makes proposing your own project in Evolution uncommon.
Day-to-day you’ll likely perform experiments and/or observe your species of study. If you have a Bioinformatic based project, you’ll write programmes to identify new features in the data. Regardless of your speciality, you’ll read extensively around your topic to gain inspiration for methods and discuss results with your supervisor and colleagues.
To be awarded your PhD, you’ll need to write a thesis of around 60,000 words and defend your work during a viva exam.