FREE Virtual Study Fair | 5-6 July | REGISTER NOW FREE Virtual Study Fair | 5-6 July | REGISTER NOW

We have 188 Microbiology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in the UK



Biological Sciences



United Kingdom



All Institutions

PhD Type

PhD Type

All PhD Types



All Funding

Microbiology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in the UK

We have 188 Microbiology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in the UK

A PhD in Microbiology would give you the opportunity to conduct an extended piece of research into microscopic organisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Most Microbiology projects are laboratory-based and cover a wide range of areas from developing novel therapeutics or innovating point of care tests for diagnosis to understanding the life cycle of a certain fungal species.

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

Studying a PhD in Microbiology, you’ll develop a range of specialist laboratory skills particularly in microscopy, aseptic technique, and cell staining. You’ll also become proficient in techniques such as pouring agar plates and have a strong understanding of health and safety that is essential when working with Bunsen burners, which are commonly used in Microbiology. When out of the laboratory, you’ll read the literature surrounding your research topic to identify gaps in the knowledge and discover new methods.

Some typical research topics in Microbiology include:

  • Development of novel antibiotics
  • Studying bacteriophages and their potential use as therapeutics
  • Characterising the microbiome
  • Development of point of care tests for infection diagnosis
  • Investigating fungi life cycle and metabolite production
  • Studying a particular virus

The vast majority of Microbiology projects are advertised with the main aims and general span of the project determined by the supervisor in advance. Many of these have full funding attached, though some may request you find your own funding. Self-funding can be challenging due to the cost of bench fees as well as traditional PhD fees.

Proposing your own research project is rare in Microbiology, partly due to the challenge of self-funding, partly because you must find a supervisor with interests that overlap with your project and who has adequate equipment for practical work.

On a general workday, you’ll be performing experiments in the laboratory, planning out your upcoming work, writing up results and chatting to your supervisor and colleagues about your work. At the end of your PhD, you’ll submit a thesis of around 60,000 words and defend it during your viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Microbiology PhD programmes involve a Masters in a subject directly related to Biology, with some experience in microbiology, 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 Microbiology funding options

The research council responsible for funding Microbiology 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.

read more
PhD saved successfully

Modelling the respiratory microbiome in chronic lung disease and healthy ageing

The Respiratory Microbiome Group seeks to understand the interactions between complex communities of bacteria, fungi and viruses with the human respiratory tract in both disease (acute infections and chronic lung disease) and in health or healthy ageing. Read more

Use of Fungi as a Means of Producing Concrete-Like Construction Materials

Concrete is one of the World’s most ubiquitous materials. It has achieved this through its versatility, durability and low cost. However, the manufacture of a key ingredient - Portland cement – contributes 4% of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Read more

MSc by Research: Exploiting the genetic diversity of B. subtilis to understand growth in diverse environments

Microbes play a critical role in the bioremediation of human, animal, and plant-derived waste. One commonly implemented mechanism to process polymers into smaller molecules is the production and secretion of hydrolytic enzymes. Read more

Spatio-temporal dynamics of reactive oxygen species in mixed biofilms

Bacterial cells typically live in a spatially structured community known as a biofilm. Understanding of how cells in a mixed biofilm modify micro-environments and generate complex temporal environmental variations is still poor. Read more

(WIS) Exploring macrophage function in oral health and inflammation

The project will be undertaken at two locations - the University of Manchester and Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. The time spent at each institution is flexible and will be determined by project progression. Read more

Medical Research Council (MRC) Parkinson’s Disease and Neurodegeneration PhD Programme 2024

We are seeking bright and enthusiastic young students to join a new PhD programme at the MRC PPU dedicated to understanding the cellular mechanisms underlying Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Read more

Filtering Results