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We have 91 Developmental Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in the UK



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Developmental Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in the UK

We have 91 Developmental Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in the UK

As a Developmental Biology PhD student, you’ll have the chance to undertake a detailed research project into the key concepts that underpin the development of an organism. You may be investigating the role of a specific signaling pathway such as Notch, understanding how stem cells acquire their fates or researching the formation of a specific system in humans.

What’s it like to do a PhD in Developmental Biology?

Studying a PhD in Developmental Biology, you’ll become proficient in a range of laboratory skills, especially cell culture as well as techniques from Biochemistry, Cell Biology, and genetics. Due to the complicated ethical concerns surrounding developmental biology, particularly when it comes to studying human embryos, you’ll develop a comprehensive knowledge of ethics.

Some typical research topics in Developmental Biology include:

  • Investigating the development of a particular organ
  • Understanding the development of non-human organisms such as fish
  • Investigating the role of ions and/or growth factors in early embryo development
  • Researching the developmental cause of birth defects
  • How stem cells acquire their fate

Most Developmental Biology programmes are fully funded by the university or a doctoral training programme. These programmes usually have a certain number of advertised projects available, with the proposal previously written by the supervisor determining the scope of the work.

Proposing your own research project is not common in Developmental Biology, mainly due to the challenge of finding funding to cover both your PhD and bench fees.

On a general workday, you’ll likely be in the laboratory preparing or performing experiments, analysing data you collected previously, writing up results and discussing your work with your supervisor and colleagues. You’ll submit your thesis of approximately 60,000 words at the end of your PhD, then have to defend it in a viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Developmental 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 Developmental Biology funding options

The research council responsible for funding Developmental 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 difficult for Developmental 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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The cellular response to stress: roles in disease and ageing

All living organisms need to adapt to their environment in order to survive and reproduce. They are subjected to many stresses including altered oxygen levels, heat or cold, irradiation, infection and injury. Read more

EASTBIO: How do B cells fuel protein production?

B lymphocytes (B cells) are a critical component of the body’s immune system. B cells produce antibodies which bind to pathogens such as viruses and bacteria and target them for destruction. Read more

EASTBIO: Structure and function of ER export receptors

Protein secretion is initiated in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by capture of nascent proteins into COPII vesicles. Many proteins require cargo receptors to gain access to these vesicles. Read more

EASTBIO: Unravelling key cellular machinery for spliceosome regulation

Variations in protein structure at the level of amino acid sequence and modifications underpin the biological complexity observed in living organisms; a complexity that far exceeds that of the approximately 20,000 genes in the human genome that encode for proteins. Read more

EASTBIO: Characterisation of the impact of NICD S2513 mutation on human segmentation using iPS derived somitoids

During early development cells differentiate into the different cell types required to form the tissues that make up the embryo. Research into human embryological development is challenging for practical and ethical reasons. Read more

EASTBIO: Cross talk between GPCRs and IL-33 dependent signalling in parasitic infection

The immune system plays important roles in both the response to infection and in tissue repair and homeostasis. It is a complex system made up of multiple specialised cell types, each of which must communicate with each other to coordinate an effective response. Read more

EASTBIO: Application of mitochondrial capture methods to uncover novel mitochondrial mechanisms

Molecular dissection of the protein kinase PINK1 and ubiquitin ligase Parkin, that are both mutated in Parkinson’s disease, has revealed a highly conserved mitochondrial quality control pathway found in nearly every cell type including neurons. Read more

EASTBIO: Molecular interplay in plant-aphid-virus interactions

Aphid-transmitted plant viruses pose a major threat to potato crop production. Among the non-persistent viruses, potyviruses, such as PVY and PVA, cause significant economic damage. Read more

EASTBIO: How cells prevent errors in chromosome inheritance during cell division

Human cells store their genetic information in 46 chromosomes. To maintain this vital genetic information, a complete set of chromosomes must be inherited precisely by each daughter cell after cell division. Read more

Epigenetic signalling in cancer

The advent of population scale tumour genomics has revealed that the genes encoding proteins that normally act to regulate chromatin structure are amongst the most frequently mutated genes in a range of cancers. Read more

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