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We have 111 Human Genetics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in the UK



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Human Genetics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in the UK

We have 111 Human Genetics PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in the UK

A PhD in Human Genetics would provide you with the time and resources to conduct a research project into Human genes. A subcategory of Genetics, Human Genetics focuses only on coding DNA, known as genes, in Humans. This could involve studying inheritance, identifying genes involved in disease or developing novel therapeutics that target gene expression. These projects are predominantly laboratory-based.

What’s it like to do a PhD in Human Genetics?

As a Human Genetics PhD student, you’ll develop a wide range of skills in and out of the laboratory, from having the technical ability to perform gel electrophoresis and western blots to polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Out of the laboratory, you’ll have excellent time management to plan your experiments, which can often span several days, and you’ll have gained a wide range of subject knowledge from reading the literature surrounding your speciality.

Some typical research topics in Human Genetics include:

  • Investigating novel genetic links to diseases such as atherosclerosis
  • Developing improved methods of assessing genetic risk for disease screening
  • Researching the possibility of mRNA treatments
  • Studying the genetics of inherited conditions
  • Investigating gene regulation e.g. during an immune challenge

The majority of Human Genetics programmes are advertised projects with the scope of the project determined by the supervisor. Many of these come with attached funding, while a few ask you to find your own funding, which can be challenging as you’ll need to cover PhD and bench fees. The difficulty self-funding also makes proposing your own project uncommon in Human Genetics.

Day-to-day you’ll be in the laboratory conducting experiments, puzzling over data and analysing it using techniques from Bioinformatics and you’ll speak to your colleagues and supervisor about your current and future work.

To be awarded your PhD you must complete a thesis of about 60,000 words that contributes to the knowledge of your field and be able to defend it during your viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Human Genetics 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 Human Genetics funding options

The research council responsible for funding Human Genetics 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 less common for Human Genetics 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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MSc By Research: T cell activation dynamics and the ageing decline of immunity

The MSc by Research programme at the University of Aberdeen is for students interested in a research-intensive master's degree. It is designed specifically to enhance your skills for a PhD or research career. Read more

Funded PhD- Advancing gender and sex equity in health research

There are health disparities within sex and gender. This project will explore the sex and gender differences in healthcare research to better understand how key areas of inequity impact on health outcomes. Read more

Finding the cause of familial facial (Bell’s) palsy

The facial (VII) cranial nerve controls the muscles of facial expression, supplies taste sensation to parts of the tongue and controls a small muscle connected to the ear drum. Bell’s palsy is the clinical condition in which there is impaired function of the facial nerve, associated with facial muscle weakness. Read more

Genetics: Investigating the functional effect of novel genes and genetic variants in malignant hyperthermia susceptibility using model systems

Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is an inherited condition, where patients exposed to anaesthetic drugs are susceptible to a dramatic hyperthermic and hypermetabolic response that can contribute to a significant proportion of post-operative morbidity and deaths. Read more

Targeting nucleotide biosynthesis for the treatment of MYC-driven lymphoma

Dysregulation of MYC is frequently implicated in the pathogenesis of lymphoma. In particular, translocations that bring the MYC gene under the control of an immunoglobulin gene promotor are pathognomonic of Burkitt lymphoma and frequently observed in high-grade lymphoma, where they are associated with a poor prognosis. Read more

Regulation of gene expression in models of early human development

A PhD project studying gene regulation in models of early human development is available in the laboratory of Dr. Fiona Wardle ( in the Randall Centre for Cell and Molecular Biophysics, King’s College London. Read more

BBSRC NLD Doctoral Training Partnership: Deciphering the role of transcriptional enhancers in developmental gene regulation

Healthy cartilage in our joints is essential for us to maintain an active life into old age, with cartilage breakdown causing chronic pain, joint stiffness and reduced mobility. Chondrocytes, the only cell type present in cartilage, have a specialised phenotype that is initiated during development and then maintained throughout our lives. Read more

Cancer: Characterization of EGFR signaling activated by the endothelium in the process of breast cancer metastasis to the brain

The Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) is important in normal physiology regulating epithelial development and homeostasis. In cancer, deregulation resulting from mutation, amplification or transcriptional upregulation promotes tumorigenesis. Read more

BBSRC NLD Doctoral Training Partnership: Lightsheet microscopy to uncover the architecture of gene regulation in human cells and its role in cancer

This BBSRC studentship provides a rare opportunity to work across disciplines - combining molecular biology and biophysics – to generate new insight into the fundamental biology of gene regulation, as well as a new approach to cancer biology. Read more

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