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We have 197 Evolution PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for Non-European Students in the UK

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Biological Sciences

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United Kingdom

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I am a non-European student


Evolution PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for Non-European Students in the UK

We have 197 Evolution PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for Non-European Students in the UK

A PhD in Evolution offers you the opportunity to conduct an extended research project into a specific area of evolution from researching how a specific characteristic has changed over generations to tracking the origin of a protein. Your project could be either formed of field work, carrying out experiments in the laboratory or a Bioinformatics project, likely working with genomics data.

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.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Evolution PhD programmes involve a Masters in a subject directly related to Biology, at Merit or Distinction level. If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need to show that you have the right level of language proficiency.

PhD in Evolution funding options

The research council responsible for funding Evolution 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 Evolution 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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Reproduction in a warming world – investigating climate change and fertility in important insects

The problem. We are starting to see the devastating impacts of climate change, including accelerating biodiversity loss. However, most biological predictions of how climate change will impact species’ ranges and population persistence are based on the lethal temperatures. Read more

How did seed plants create male and female sexes? The evolutionary origins of heterospory

Like animals, plants reproduce through having sex- namely, the fusion of haploid male and female sex cells. Although this process is superficially similar between animals and plants, the two lineages each invented it separately as a form of convergent evolution(1). Read more

QUADRAT DTP: Investigating the role of social phenotypes in relation to bystander behaviour during fallow deer fights.

This fully funded, 42-month PhD project is part of the QUADRAT Doctoral Training Partnership. Conflict is widespread in the animal world because individuals often need to compete for the acquisition of resources that ensure survival or reproductive success. Read more

EPSRC DTP PhD project: The prevalence and persistence of antibiotic resistance plasmids in wastewater.

The University of Bath is inviting applications for the following PhD project commencing on 30 September 2024 under the supervision of Prof Edward Feil in the Department of Life Sciences, with co-supervison from Prof Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern in the Department of Chemistry and Dr Theresa Smith in the Department of Mathematics. Read more

QUADRAT DTP: Biological control of mosquitoes: optimising the efficacy of native macroinvertebrate predators

This fully funded, 42-month PhD project is part of the QUADRAT Doctoral Training Partnership. Biological control of mosquitoes often fails and thus needs radical new approaches; here, we will harness variation in the predatory efficiencies of native invertebrate predators of mosquitoes. Read more

QUADRAT DTP: Marine connectivity and environmental history of endangered migratory sharks.

This fully funded, 42-month PhD project is part of the QUADRAT Doctoral Training Partnership. There is a pressing need to better understand movement patterns and complex life histories of migratory sharks to aid conservation efforts. Read more

QUADRAT DTP: Microbiome contribution to the evolution of the plant-pollinator specialisation network

This fully funded, 42-month PhD project is part of the QUADRAT Doctoral Training Partnership. This project connects a vast spectrum of biological organisation, spanning the ecological and evolutionary synergies among microbes, animal pollinators and plants. Read more

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