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Biotechnology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in the UK

We have 180 Biotechnology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in the UK



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We have 180 Biotechnology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in the UK

A Biotechnology PhD would provide you with the time and resources to research and develop methods and technologies that make use of Biology to improve industry. This could range from improving the efficiency of a biofuel, engineering pigment-producing bacteria to use to dye fabric, or genetically modifying crops to be resistant to a specific pest.

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

A PhD in Biotechnology would allow you to develop a specialist set of laboratory skills in areas such as gene editing with CRISPR and gene delivery through transformation, transfection, and transduction. Biotechnology programmes sometimes have a linked industry partner, in which case, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in a work placement and gain some hands-on industry experience.

Some typical research topics in Biotechnology include:

  • Developing therapeutic delivery vehicles
  • Engineering enzymes for industry
  • Developing or improving biofuels
  • Innovating new methods of using bacteria in industry
  • Vaccine development
  • Developing pest resistant crops

PhD programmes in Biotechnology are mostly fully-funded by either the university, an industrial partner, a doctoral training programme or a mix of these. The projects tend to be advertised, with the scope of the project determined by the supervisor.

Proposing your own project in Biotechnology is uncommon since you need to find a supervisor with research interests that overlap with yours, with all the equipment and expertise you require, and you’ll have to find funding to cover bench and PhD fees.

Day-to-day, you’ll be in the laboratory performing experiments, creating figures and analysing data you collected previously, and talking to your colleagues and supervisor about your methods and results. On completion of your laboratory work in your final year, you’ll submit an original thesis of around 60,000 words and defend this during your viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Biotechnology 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 Biotechnology funding options

The Research Council responsible for funding Biotechnology 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 Biotechnology 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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Mapping functionally important regions in biotherapeutic proteins through combined use of high-end analytical techniques and molecular modelling

A 3-year full-time PhD studentship is available in the Analytical and Biological Sciencies Team within the Science, Research and Innovation operational group (SR&I) of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), in collaboration with the department of Biochemical Engineering at University College London. Read more

Facilitating the Development of Mesenchymal Stromal Cell-Based Therapies

A three year full-time PhD studentship is available in the Biotherapeutics and Advanced Therapies department within the Science, Research and Innovation operational group (SR&I) of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), in collaboration with the School of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine and Science at King’s College London (KCL). Read more

Evaluate the efficacy and safety of universal, allogeneic CAR-T cell therapies

A 3-year full-time PhD studentship is available in the Biotherapeutics and Advanced Therapies Team within the Science, Research and Innovation operational group (SR&I) of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), in collaboration with the Division of Infection & Immunity at University College London. Read more

Fully funded 48-month PhD studentships in a range of STEM disciplines available at the EPSRC and SFI CDT in Sustainable Chemistry

The EPSRC and SFI Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Sustainable Chemistry. Atoms-2-Products, would like to invite suitably qualified and highly motivated applicants from all STEM disciplines to apply for 48-month PhD studentships to work in one of four Research Thematic areas. Read more

Standing nonheritable variation in bacteria

The aim of this multi-disciplinary project is to develop quantitative methods to measure variation and selection, and their impacts on the dynamics of bacterial populations under changing environmental conditions. Read more

Electrified and Nanoconfined Enzymes: The Electrochemical Leaf

A funded PhD studentship is available in the group of Dr Clare F Megarity at the University of Manchester, for an ambitious candidate interested in a brand-new way to study and exploit enzyme catalysis using a powerful electrochemical platform called The Electrochemical Leaf (e-Leaf). Read more

Modelling scar formation in endometriosis

This opportunity will remain open until the position has been filled and so early applications are encouraged. Endometriosis affects 10-15% of women during their reproductive years and is often associated with debilitating pelvic pain and impaired fertility. Read more

Engineering 3D biofilms for sustainable wastewater management

Water pollution from untreated wastewater is a big challenge across many countries. This is partly because centralised wastewater treatment networks are expensive to install and are energy intensive. Read more

The role of metabolic adaptation in stress tolerance, tumorigenesis, and fungal drug resistance

Our group studies novel mechanisms of rapid cellular adaptation to stress. We are primarily interested in how membraneless organelles coordinate real-time adaptability of cellular functionality, particularly metabolic responses. Read more

Functionalisation of PEEK used as a scaffold material enhancing cell proliferation in the rehabilitation of critical size bone defects

Tissue defects resulting from surgical resection (cancer), trauma or congenital disease often require bone implant treatments. The current gold standard treatment is autologous reconstruction, but this comes with limitations such as a limited supply, donor site comorbidity and, unpredictable resorption during healing. Read more

Aptamer and nanoMIP Beacons for Russian Doll Style Recognition in Therapeutic Drug Monitoring

The Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomolecular Sciences at Liverpool John Moores is looking for a motivated PhD student with at least an upper 2nd class degree in Chemistry or related subject to work on an exciting CAM funded fellowship under the supervision of Dr Jon Ashley. Read more

Engineering Protein Nanocompartments for Biotechnological Applications

Protein nanocompartments have board applications as catalytic nanoreactors and as carriers for therapeutics delivery. They are self-assembled protein-based supramolecules that have spherical and hollow architectures. Read more

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