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We have 39 Virology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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Virology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 39 Virology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

PhD in Virology

A PhD in Virology would provide you with the chance to lead your own research project that will further our current understanding of viruses. Whether you’re researching the response of the human immune system to a given virus, attempting to use viruses to deliver therapeutics, or working on a vaccine, you’ll be aiming to improve and save lives.

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

Doing a PhD in Virology, you’ll become proficient in the laboratory with techniques including fluorescent antibody staining, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and cell culture. You’ll spend time reading around your research area and gain inspiration for methods to improve your experimental work.

Some typical research topics in Virology include:

  • Investigating viral replication
  • Assessing the impact of co-infection on an organism
  • Vaccine development
  • Developing novel therapies using viruses
  • Improving methods of viral detection
  • Studying the immune response to a certain virus

Almost all Virology PhD projects are advertised with the main research goal pre-determined. Many of these projects come with full funding attached, though some may require you to self-fund. Finding your own funding can be challenging since you must pay both PhD and bench fees. Self-funding and the difficulty finding a supervisor with research interest similar to yours, who also has the right equipment for your work.

During an ordinary workday, you’ll be in the laboratory performing, preparing or planning experiments, writing up sections of your thesis, and chatting to your colleagues and supervisor about your current and upcoming work.

To be awarded your PhD, you’ll need to submit a thesis of approximately 60,000 words and you’ll defend this during your viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Virology 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 Virology funding options 

The research council responsible for funding Virology 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 Virology 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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Control and inhibition of virus replication

The Tuplin laboratory utilises a range of cutting-edge approaches to investigate how arboviruses - specifically Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika viruses - control replication and translation of their genomes through interactions between RNA structures, host cell proteins and non-coding RNA, and the potential of such RNA elements/interactions as novel therapeutic targets. Read more

Investigation of host-virus interactions

The School of Molecular and Cellular Biology invites applications from prospective postgraduate researchers who wish to commence study for a PhD in the academic year 2024/25 in the area of molecular virology. Read more

Self-funded PhD- Integrated multi-omics characterisation of human retroviral reservoirs

Human retroviruses are a group of pathogens infecting an estimated 50 million people worldwide. The most widespread human retrovirus is HIV-1, which remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly in developing countries. Read more

Employing molecular virology to investigate hepatitis E virus replication

This project is available to self funded candidates only. The Herod lab has a broad interest in virus replication, with a particular interest in studying single-stranded positive-sense RNA viruses important for human and animal health. Read more

Fully funded PhD student position in structural biology of viruses

PhD position in the structural biology of viruses. The Department of Chemistry is opening a PhD position in Chemistry with a specialization in structural biology. Read more

Enhancing Insight into Variations in Virulence Among Avian influenza Viruses Infecting Poultry

This studentship is open to science graduates with, or who anticipate obtaining, at least a 2:1 or equivalent in a relevant biological subject in their undergraduate degree, or a Masters degree - subject to university regulations. Read more

Self funded MSc by Research or PhD in Biology: The oncogenic mechanism and potential of the emergent retrovirus ALV-K in global poultry

Lead supervisor: Dr Andrew Mason. The student will be registered with the Department of Biology. Background. Avian Leukosis Viruses (ALV) are oncogenic retroviruses which cause blood cancers in chickens, impacting commercial productivity and animal welfare. Read more

SLS 1: Human lung 3D models to assess antiviral effects of novel and sustainable compounds against SARS-CoV-2 variants

We are looking for a PhD student to develop 3D models of the human breathing lung. The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and the resulting Covid pandemic has highlighted the need for effective biological methods to assess viral infectivity and potential antiviral drug candidates. Read more

Exploring Viral Nucleic Acid Machinery via Cryo Electron Microscopy to Advance Biomedicine

Viruses, these tiny but potent life forms, are all around us, infecting various organisms and directly affecting human health. Although in most cases, viral infection is not life threatening, in the minority of cases it leads to long-term disorders including cancer. Read more

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