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Bioinformatics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in the UK

We have 392 Bioinformatics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in the UK



Biological Sciences



United Kingdom



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We have 392 Bioinformatics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in the UK

A Bioinformatics PhD would provide you with the opportunity to work on an extended, in-detail project through the analysis of large sets of data. Bioinformatics programmes tend to be mostly ‘dry’ work with limited (if any) time in the laboratory conducting experiments. Since the focus is analysis of data, the choice of projects spans many subjects from analysing bacterial evolution, to modelling the spread of disease.

What’s it like to do a PhD in Bioinformatics?

As a Bioinformatics PhD student, you’ll work with the latest software and become proficient with programming in R, Python and MATLAB. You’ll also gain extensive experience with techniques from statistics and data science, all of which will allow you to analyse data effectively.

Some typical research topics in Bioinformatics include:

  • Genetic mapping
  • Population dynamics
  • Epidemiological modelling (modelling disease spread)
  • Improving diagnosis through the development of an algorithm
  • Using omic technology to study a disease state
  • Modelling and predicting evolution

Most Bioinformatics programmes advertised projects with full funding attached. These projects have a pre-determined aim, but you can alter the project along the way to suit your interests.

Compared to other Biology programmes, there is more opportunity of proposing a project, though this remains uncommon. While the majority are advertised projects, some doctoral training programmes offer bioinformatics projects in a given area and leave you to propose the specifics of the project.

In a normal day you’ll be writing programmes to identify new features in the data, analysing results using statistics and data science methods and discussing your project with your supervisor and colleagues.

At the end of the three or four years you’ll complete a thesis of around 60,000 words, which will contribute to your field and you’ll defend it during your viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Bioinformatics PhD programmes involve a Masters in a related subject including Maths, Biological Science, Computer Science, or Software Engineering, 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 Bioinformatics funding options

The Research Council responsible for funding Bioinformatics 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 Bioinformatics 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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Building confidence in non-protected zebrafish embryo-larvae as a viable alternative to mammalian DART assessment.

Location. Biosciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Streatham Campus, University of Exeter. The NC3Rs, in collaboration with the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship. Read more

QUADRAT DTP: Unveiling the environmental and genetic drivers of continuous colour variation in the European sea lemon (Doris pseudoargus)

Animal colouration is fascinating and it plays a vital role in communication, reproduction and defence. Defensive colouration is particularly intriguing, with some species showing extensive colour variation across their range in response to predation. Read more

QUADRAT DTP: Genome-wide diversity and demographic history of relict island populations of rodents

Conservation genetics theory predicts that when a few founding individuals colonise a vacant habitat they will experience a reduction in genetic diversity through the effects of genetic drift which can compromise the viability of the population and limit its capacity to adapt to the new environmental conditions. Read more

EASTBIO Shaping tissues by pulsed contractions – studying the role of endocytic hubs in actomyosin contractility

  Research Group: Biomedical Sciences Research Centre
BACKGROUND. To shape tissues and organs, cells need to exert forces on their neighbours and respond to them. Individual cells can generate forces with their actin cytoskeleton. Read more

EASTBIO Machine Learning methods for Experimental Evolution studies

  Research Group: Centre for Biological Diversity
BACKGROUND. Evolutionary biologists have long been interested in the question how populations adapt to changing environments. In experimental evolution studies replicate populations are allowed to adapt to novel but controlled laboratory environments. Read more

EASTBIO Genome-wide investigation of bovine respiratory virus infection and host defence

  Research Group: Biomedical Sciences Research Centre
BACKGROUND. Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) – commonly known as “shipping fever” - affects millions of feedlot calves every year and, in addition to causing significant animal welfare issues, is a major cause of economic loss throughout the world. Read more

EASTBIO Computational Modelling of the Effects of Vaccines and Antivirals on Pandemic Spread

  Research Group: Biomedical Sciences Research Centre
Modelling of epidemics is an essential tool for science, healthcare and government policy. This project will build on expertise developed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more

EASTBIO Colouring the patterns of molecular and phenotypic evolution.

  Research Group: Centre for Biological Diversity
A paradox lies at the heart of the rules of life that govern organismal form and function. Organisms are built and maintained by networks of genes that interact, moment-to-moment, with each other and with the internal and external environment. Read more

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