Biological Sciences (PhD) 2017-18

This course also available for 2016-17 entryThis course also available for 2018-19 entry

Come along to the Postgraduate Study Fair on Tuesday 7 March, 3-6pm to find out more.

The Research Degree

A PhD is the highest academic award for which a student can be registered.This programme allows you to explore and pursue a research project built around a substantial piece of work, which has to show evidence of original contribution to knowledge.

A full-time PhD is a three year full-time programme of research and culminates in the production of a large-scale piece of written work in the form of a research thesis that should not normally exceed 40,000 words.

Completing a PhD can give you a great sense of personal achievement and help you develop a high level of transferable skills which will be useful in your subsequent career, as well as contributing to the development of knowledge in your chosen field.

You are expected to work to an approved programme of work including appropriate programmes of postgraduate study (which may be drawn from parts of existing postgraduate courses, final year degree programmes, conferences, seminars, masterclasses, guided reading or a combination of study methods).

You will be appointed a main supervisor who will normally be part of a supervisory team, comprising up to three members to advise and support you on your project.


Start date:
This research degree has multiple possible start dates including:
18 / 09 / 2017
08 / 01 / 2018
16 / 04 / 2018

Your start date may be decided in agreement with your supervisor.

Duration:

The maximum duration for a full time PhD is 3 years (36 months) with an optional submission pending (writing up period) of 12 months.

Sometimes it may be possible to mix periods of both full-time and part-time study.

Entry requirements

The normal level of attainment required for entry is:

•  a Master's degree from a UK University or equivalent, in a discipline appropriate to the proposed programme to be followed, or

•  an upper second class honours degree (2:1) from a UK university in a discipline appropriate to that of the proposed programme to be followed, or

•  appropriate research or professional experience at postgraduate level, which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment.

For applicants whose first language or language of instruction is not English you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum of IELTS 6.0 overall with the written element at least 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5, will be considered acceptable, or equivalent.

Further information on international entry requirements and English language entry requirements is available on our international webpages

Contact:

Tel: +44 (0) 1484 473969
Email: researchdegrees@hud.ac.uk

Places available:

This is dependent upon supervisory capacity within the subject area

(this number may be subject to change)

Location:
Huddersfield, HD1 3DH

Apply now Book on an Open Day or Study Fair Order a prospectus Ask a question

What can I research?

Research topics available for this degree:

There are several research topics available for this degree. See below for full details of individual research areas including an outline of the topics, the supervisor, funding information and eligibility criteria.

Research titleSupervisorsApply
Characterisation of novel proteins and their complexes, involved in the maintenance of genome integrity in human cancers
Outline
The human DNA damage response (DDR) involves a multitude of pathways that respond to the great variety of DNA lesions that cells face. Quite often in cancers some DNA repair pathways may be deregulated, potentially allowing cancer cells to drive aggressive disease or resist chemotherapeutic treatments. We aim to characterise novel factors involved in cancer-related DDR by biochemical, structural and cell biological approaches.
Eligibility
A good (2.1 or better) honours degree in Biochemistry or related subject
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness and endocannabinoids
Outline
The endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are physiological ligands for the cannabinoid receptors. AEA increases significantly during aerobic exercise, whereas 2-AG shows no statistical change. Moderate exercise leads to the most significant changes in AEA and this molecule is thought to be partly responsible for “runners high”, since AEA can pass the blood-brain barrier. Analgesia is also an important physiological function of endocannabinoids. Strength training is a non aerobic exercise which often results in Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) in unaccustomed muscles, characterised by release of creatine kinase from the affected muscles, pain and inflammation. The effects of DOMS varies between individuals and may be related to the levels of circulating endocannabinoids. The questions to be addressed by this project are: 1. Are high levels of circulating endocannabinoids associated with less pain from induced DOMS ? 2. Do circulating levels of AEA increase with strength training as well as aerobic exercise ? 3. Does strength performance correlate with the circulating levels of endocannabinoids ?
Eligibility
Applicants should have at least a BSc with first-class honours in a relevant field of biology or life science. Applicants must have a strong interest in exercise physiology and biochemistry.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £8.000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Evolutionary Cell Biology of Metabolism in Unicellular Eukaryotes
Outline
Our understanding of eukaryotic cell biology and metabolism has predominantly been informed by studies on mammalian, yeast, and plant cells. Yet, protists by far and away account for the majority of evolutionary diversity in eukaryotes. During the last 15 years as a consequence of whole genome sequencing, surprisingly rich variations in central metabolism, metabolic compartmentalisation and organelle biogenesis have been glimpsed within protists, and thus within eukaryotes generally. Using molecular genetics, biochemical, structural biology and/or computational approaches projects studying the evolutionary cell biology of organellar metabolism in trypanosomatids and other evolutionarily divergent protists are available.
Eligibility
Home/EU/International students with a minimum of a upper second class or first class BSc Honours degree in Biology, Microbiology or Biochemistry
Funding
There is currently no studentship or scholarship available to support this project. Enquiries from eligible self-funding or sponsored students are welcome. In addition to the tuition fee, a bench fee of up to £8000 per annum will also be required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Evolutionary Cell Biology of Metabolism in Unicellular Eukaryotes
Outline
Our understanding of eukaryotic cell biology and metabolism has predominantly been informed by studies on mammalian, yeast, and plant cells. Yet, protists by far and away account for the majority of evolutionary diversity in eukaryotes. During the last 15 years as a consequence of whole genome sequencing, surprisingly rich variations in central metabolism, metabolic compartmentalisation and organelle biogenesis have been glimpsed within protists, and thus within eukaryotes generally. Using molecular genetics, biochemical, structural biology and/or computational approaches projects studying the evolutionary cell biology of organellar metabolism in trypanosomatids and other evolutionarily divergent protists are available.
Eligibility
Home/EU/International students with a minimum of a upper second class or first class BSc Honours degree in Biology, Microbiology or Biochemistry
Funding
There is currently no studentship or scholarship available to support this project. Enquiries from eligible self-funding or sponsored students are welcome. In addition to the tuition fee, a bench fee of £8000 per annum will also be required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Evolutionary Forces on Codon Usage In Unicellular Eukaryotes
Outline
The genetic code shows redundancy, with most amino acids being encoded by between two to six different codons. Analyses of gene sequences show that almost all organisms do not use these codons equally. This bias in codon usage results in an excess of GC or AT-ending codons and may be the result of a variety of evolutionary processes. Much of the current work on codon usage has centred on multicellular eukaryotes, despite unicellular organisms making up the majority of eukaryotic diversity. This project aims to screen the genomes of unicellular eukaryotes in order to understand the forces controlling codon usage across the eukaryotic tree.
Funding
A minimum of an upper second class or first class BSc Honours degree in Biology, Microbiology.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Evolutionary relationships between populations of wild mice form the genus Apodemus based on whole–genome data
Outline
Rodents from the genus Apodemus are the most common mammals of the Paleoarctic region. They occupy environments as different as Spain and Siberia, contribute to spread of human diseases like Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis; some apparently separate species, A. flavicolis and A. sylvaticus, live in sympatry in the forests and fields of the European Plains. Apodemus are a rich target for evolutionary studies on hybridisation, host–pathogen interactions and adaptations. However, they are very underdeveloped in terms of their genomic and genetic resources. For example, most of the published work use short fragments of mtDNA and around 10 microsatellites to study phylogeogaphic relationships between populations of Apodemus in Europe and Asia. This number of markers is insufficient for studies of adaptations, which are the main interests of the BrykLab. Thanks to several collaborations with researchers in UK and rest of Europe, we have access to contemporary samples of Apodemus from around Poland, as well as to an extensive collection of samples dating back to the second World War that enable spatial and temporal comparisons of genetic diversity. We aim to employ RAD–seq to develop a set of whole-genome genetic markers in Apodemus and use them to conduct several comparisons of genetic variation and population structure in A. flavicolis and A. sylvaticus. This fundamental work will inform and direct further high-resolution studies on adaptations, sympatric speciation or host-pathogen interactions, among others.
Eligibility
Master’s degree (research) in evolutionary genetics, evolutionary ecology, molecular genetics, molecular biology and/or bioinformatics. Computer scientists with strong interests in biology and/or ecology are also encouraged to apply. In certain cases no formal MSc degree may be required, depending on experience.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £15,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Genomic investigations of unique environmental bacteria.
Outline
A wide range of whole genome sequences are available for a number of bacteria from unique environments. This project will investigate these genomes with a specific focus on their carbohydrate biochemistry, ability to form biofilms and cellular mechanisms used to survive in extreme environments.
Eligibility
The PhD is available to any graduates with a good honours degree in biology, computer science or mathematics. Excellent IT skills and some experience of R programming would be an advantage. An excellent command of spoken and written English is also a requirement.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £3,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Glycosylation as a regulator of development, metabolic physiology and disease
Outline
The research in my lab is aimed at understanding normal development, metabolic physiology and aging-related diseases at molecular, cellular and physiological level. My lab is particularly interested on how glycosylation of membrane proteins regulates cell signalling in 1) neural development and regeneration and 2) metabolic physiology related to obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and aging-related disorders. To this end we apply molecular and developmental genetic approaches in the nematode C. elegans in vivo and C. elegans models for human diseases (such as neuroendocrine disorders, osteo- and chondrodysplasia syndromes, metabolic disorders).
Eligibility
A minimum of upper secondary class degree (UK) or equivalent required and experience in genetics and/or cellular or molecular biology is desirable.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £8,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
How do voltage dependent anion channels interact with their cytosolic partners? Engineering channel-based switches
Outline
To investigate the structural changes that define the gating-behaviour of outer-membrane channels and to unravel the ways these structural/functional changes regulate signalling cascades in apoptosis and aging. Understanding of these relationships will enable the development of artificial channels with desired functionalities/characteristics for the generation of a new array of in vivo and in vitro biological tools.
Eligibility
Home/eu/international students who have government scholarships/studentships or are self-funded are welcome to apply for PhD positions. We are looking for enthusiastic future researchers with a 1st class BSc or a 2nd class MSc in biochemistry, biophysics, biology or a related subject. Potential applicants should be confident in applying standard biochemical, recombinant DNA biology and microbiology techniques. They should also be enthusiastic about science and discovery and eager to push and/or explore novel research directions. Potential candidates are expected to be able to spend time abroad and work well in teams. Previous experience in membrane-protein production and/or purification is desirable.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Impact of probiotic bacteria on gut epithelial cells.
Outline
Bifidobacteria are a group of strictly anaerobic bacteria often associated with the human gut microbiome. This project will investigate the impact of these bacteria and their products on the health and immunology of human gut epithelial cells.
Eligibility
The PhD is available to any graduates with a good honours degree in biology. An excellent command of spoken and written English is also a requirement.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £xx per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Insights into mammalian genome integrity and its evolution from protists and early-branching metazoa.
Outline
We propose to study the DNA damage response in early-branching animals and protists, to develop simple models reflecting mammalian genome integrity. Simple model animals may include multicellular Trichoplax, through to more complex cnidarians, ctenophores and porifera, or early branching unicellular protists such as choanoflagellates. The project will include a significant proportion of bioinformatics and genomics, alongside molecular biology and protein biochemistry methods.
Eligibility
Good (2.1 or better) honours degree in Biochemistry or a related subject.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Investigating the role of the epigenome upon post-lingual congenital non-syndromic hearing loss.
Outline
Deafness affects a large section of the population in different ways. A significant section of these are people who become deaf later in life (post-lingual) and have the gene for deafness. This project explores the factors that makes such a genetic predisposed individual actually become deaf. One strategy is thought to be influenced by the epigenome.
Eligibility
First class BSc or Distinction in MSc or equivalent in a biologically related discipline.
Funding
No funding is available for this project. Applicants must be self-funding. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £15,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Investigation of the evolution and polymorphic variation of molybdoflavoenzymes
Outline
The project will explore the evolution and polymorphic variation of molybdoflavoenzymes, aldehyde oxidase and xanthine dehydrogenase involved in drug and xenobiotic metabolism in diverse species using genetically engineered cell lines / organisms, bioinformatics, structural biology and enzyme kinetics.
Eligibility
Suitable for UK, EU or International applicants holding, or about to obtain the equivalent a Bachelor’s degree in Bioscience at the First Class level.
Funding
There is currently no funding for this project and we encourage interested self-funding students to apply. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £8,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Investigation of the evolution and polymorphic variation of vitamin K epoxide reductases
Outline
The project will explore the evolution and polymorphic variation of vitamin K epoxide reductases involved in coagulation, bone development and protection against oxidative stress in diverse species using genetically engineered cell lines and organisms, bioinformatics, structural biology and enzyme kinetics.
Eligibility
Suitable for UK, EU or International applicants holding, or about to obtain the equivalent a First Class Bachelor’s degree in Bioscience.
Funding
There is currently no funding for this project and we encourage interested self-funding students to apply. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £8,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Isolation and characterisation of novel, extreme microbial eukaryotes
Outline
Protists and fungi account for the vast bulk of eukaryotic biodiversity, but our understanding of this microbial diversity is rudimentary. Using molecular and biochemical approaches our interests are identification of novel microbes from alkaline, heavy metal-contaminated, anaerobic, or nutrient-limited environments plus molecular characterisation of adaptive changes that facilitate survival and growth of complex microbial communities within these extreme environments. Exploitation of adaptations that facilitate ‘extreme’ survival can potentially be applied in the areas of biotechnology and bioremediation.
Eligibility
Home/EU/International students with a minimum of a upper second class or first class BSc Honours degree in Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or another appropriate life science subject.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £8,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Isolation, characterization and exploitation of novel enzymes for use in biotechnology
Outline
Microorganisms from extremophilic environments (thermophiles, halophiles etc.) have long been an excellent source of novel enzymes for the biotechnology and chemicals industries. We aim to isolate and characterise novel proteins from known and uncharacterised extremophilic bacteria, archaea, fungi or viruses, that potentially act in DNA metabolism and other related processes. The project may include microbial ecology, molecular biology, biochemistry and structural biology approaches.
Eligibility
Good (2.1 or better) honours degree in Biochemistry or a related subject.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Mechanisms of cell death in carcinoma cells and their exploitation as novel cancer therapy targets
Outline
Members of the Tumour Necrosis Factor Receptor (TNFR) family regulate epithelial cell growth / proliferation as well as cell death and autophagy pathways. Our previous work has demonstrated for the first time how members of the TNFR family, such as CD40, regulate growth versus apoptosis in normal, malignant and ‘para-malignant’ cells with defined genetic alternations. Understanding the precise mechanisms underlying the actions of these receptors will allow the design of novel, tumour-specific anticancer therapies.
Eligibility
A First or Upper Second class honours degree or the overseas equivalent in a Biology-related subject. In certain circumstances a Lower Second class honours degree supplemented by a Masters degree or appropriate relevant work experience may be acceptable.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £12,500 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Microbial Studies of Radioactive Waste Disposal
Outline
Microbiology has an impact on a range of processes that impact the safe disposal of radioactive wastes. We have a long running interest in the degradation of cellulose based radioactive wastes at high pH and the fate of gases such as methane, hydrogen and carbon dioxide.
Eligibility
The PhD is available to any graduates with a good honours degree in biology, geochemistry or earth sciences. An excellent command of spoken and written English is also a requirement.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £5,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Pathways for cell adhesion and their role in skin integrity
Outline
Using human disorders of keratinisation as a model, the role of keratinocyte adhesion for the function of the epidermis will be studied. Rare genetic skin diseases are pathophysiologically heterogeneous; disturbed cell adhesion based on faulty protease pathways is major mechanism of these disorders. We want to study these mechanisms to understand the importance of proteases and protease inhibitors in the etiology of skin diseases and reveal signalling pathways involved in these processes. Keratinocytes will be analysed in primary and organotypic cell culture and their alterations characterised in particular disorders.
Eligibility
BSc with first-class honours in a relevant field of biology or life science. Applicants must have a strong interest in molecular biology and human genetics. Knowledge in primary cell culture and/or stem cell research is of advantage.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £12,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Pre-clinical biological and pharmacological screening and evaluation of novel compounds for potential anti-cancer activity.
Outline
The focus of this PhD is the pre-clinical screening and evaluation of different classes of novel compounds for potential anti-cancer activity. These compounds are available to test as part of a number of continuing and new collaborations with international chemistry research groups (in the UK and overseas). Key objectives are:- 1) phenotypic screening for toxicity against a range of cancer cell lines 2) analysis of selectivity towards cancer cells versus non-cancer cells and selection of lead compounds for further investigation. 3) analysis of activity against hypoxic cancer cells and other typically resistant cancer cells that are priority targets. 3) mechanism of action studies and target deconvolution of lead compounds.
Eligibility
First Class or 2.1 Honours BSc degree in a relevant area of biological sciences and/or pharmacology from an EU university. Experience in cell culture and related techniques would be advantageous. Individuals who have some previous relevant research experience as part of a research placement or a further degree (eg. MRes) are particularly encouraged to apply.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £8,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Seasonal coat colour change in Mustela nivalis weasels
Outline
There are two subspecies of least weasels in north–eastern Poland. Mustela nivalis nivalis and Mustela nivalis vulgaris live in relative sympatry (M. n. vulgaris is a recent invader from the south) and are similarly-looking during most of the year. However, when the days start to get shorter, the coat of the M. n. nivalis changes to completely white, providing it with camouflage and increased survival on snow cover, whereas the coat of the M. n. vulgaris stays a similar shade of brown during the entire year. With our collaborators in several EU countries, we aim to investigate both the molecular mechanisms responsible for the seasonal coat colour change (a phenomenon studied much less than the permanent colour patterns in mammals), as well as genomic signatures of selection around those coat colour loci. We also hope to elucidate potential hybridisation between the two subspecies, again thanks to genome–wide SNP markers.
Eligibility
Master’s degree (research) in evolutionary genetics, evolutionary ecology, molecular genetics, molecular biology and/or bioinformatics. Computer scientists with strong interests in biology and/or ecology are also encouraged to apply. In certain cases no formal MSc degree may be required, depending on experience.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £15,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Structural biochemistry of ETS transcription factor complexes and their role in neoplastic transcriptional networks
Outline
ETS transcription factors are key regulators of many developmental pathways during cellular differentiation. When deregulated in certain cancers ETS factors can exhibit diverse effects, partly due to their overlapping DNA binding specificities. This project will attempt to discover novel interacting ETS partners which help direct their specific functions, and biochemically and structurally characterise novel and known interactions. This will further shed light on ETS biology, but also potentiate attempts to targets these factors in specific cancers.
Eligibility
Good (2.1 or better) honours degree in Biochemistry or related subject.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Structural genomics of Borrelia species, emerging tick-borne pathogens causing Lyme Disease
Outline
Borrelia, the causative agent of Lyme disease, is not only increasing in prevalence in the northern hemisphere, but causes pernicious disease often with few symptoms. We intend to further study Borrelia biology by applying structural biochemistry and molecular biology approaches to characterise novel proteins that could act as pathogenicity determinates. The project will focus on proteins involved in DNA metabolism, potentially leading to new drug targets or vaccine candidates.
Eligibility
Good (2.1 or better) honours degree in Biochemistry or a related subject.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Studies on the role of mono- and poly(ADP)-ribosylation in DNA transactions in health and disease
Outline
ADP-ribosylation is an enigmatic protein modification derived from the cellular metabolite NAD+, whose role is relatively poorly studied in cell biology. We aim to characterise novel factors involved both mono- and poly-(ADP)-ribose modification and recognition, particularly those associated with cancer and the DNA damage response. Characterisation will use biochemical, structural and cell biological approaches.
Eligibility
Good (2.1 or better) honours degree in biochemistry or related subject.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Targeting cancer’s metabolic re-wiring - potential opportunities to selectively kill cancer cells?
Outline
The focus of this PhD is on the metabolic re-wiring of cancer cells which is now recognised as one of the hallmarks of cancer and is a potential rich source of new therapeutic targets. Specific aims are:- 1) to investigate cancer cell response to targeting specific molecular targets associated with metabolic re-wiring 2) to investigate heterogeneity in cellular response and potential biomarkers of response 3) to perform metabolic profiling of cancer and non-cancer cells and analyse how they respond to specific molecular targeting to provide insight into metabolic adaptability and dependency.
Eligibility
First Class or 2.1 Honours BSc degree in a relevant area of biological sciences and/or pharmacology from an EU university. Experience in cell culture and related techniques would be advantageous. Individuals who have some previous relevant research experience as part of a research placement or a further degree (eg. MRes) are particularly encouraged to apply.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £8,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
The impact common biocides on Gram negative biofilm forming pathogens.
Outline
Gram negative pathogens have good environmental survival in part due to their ability to form biofilms. Another aspect of this survival is the ability to resist common biocides. This project will investigate the impact of sub-lethal concentration of common biocides on the survival of Gram negative pathogens and their antibiotic resistance.
Eligibility
The PhD is available to any graduates with a good honours degree in biology/microbiology/biochemistry. An excellent command of spoken and written English is also a requirement.
Funding
There is currently no external funding for this project. Candidates need to be able to cover the university’s tuition fees and a £6,000 per annum bench fee.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
The importance of cannabinoids for epidermal cells
Outline
Cannabinoids can modulate the development of epidermal cells and are potential drugs for a range of skin diseases. Their activity depends on their interaction with certain cannabinoid receptors of keratinocytes, the molecules involved in these mechanisms are not well studied though. Keratinocytes have a clearly defined spatio-temporal differentiation pattern, which is represented by corresponding gene expression profiles. We want to study this interaction in a collaborative project by investigating effects of various cannabinoids on the development of the epidermis and the role of known cannabinoid receptors. Keratinocytes will be analysed in primary and organotypic cell culture and changes in their proliferation, differentiation, expression profiles and active pathways will be characterised. These studies have an impact on the prospective use of cannabinoids in therapies for inflammatory and other complex disorders.
Eligibility
Applicants should have a minimum of a first-class honours degree in a relevant field of biology or life science. They must have a strong interest in molecular biology, pharmacology and human genetics. Knowledge of primary cell culture and/or stem cell research is of advantage.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,500 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
The role for ceramide synthase 3 in epidermal differentiation
Outline
Impairment of the epidermal barrier function is a pathophysiological feature of severel genetic skin diseases. Recent work has demonstrated that the barrier is compromised because of lack of long chain ceramides in cases of congenital ichthyosis. Here we want to study the role of ceramide synthase 3 in epidermal development. Enzyme function is studied by characterising the impact of functional domains on enzyme activity, its activation and downregulation and potential binding partners. The role of ceramide synthase activity in normal and pathological epidermal differentiation will be determined with a focus on the permeability barrier integrity.
Eligibility
BSc (Hons) and MSc in a relevant field of biology or life science. Applicants must have a strong interest in molecular biology and human genetics. Knowledge in primary cell culture and/or stem cell research is of advantage.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. in addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £12,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
The role of microbial biofilms in the modulation of intestinal epithelial function
Outline
The normal function of the epithelial cells that line the intestinal mucosa is dependent on their close interaction with the vast and complex micro-flora that resides in the intestine. Most in vitro research in this area has concentrated on the effects of individual bacterial species grown as platonic cultures. This project will investigate the role of biofilms which is more representative of conditions found in the native intestine.
Eligibility
Candidates should have a good honours degree in biology. An excellent command of spoken and written English is also a requirement.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £15.000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
The role of outer membrane vesicles in the pathogenesis of Gram negative bacteria
Outline
Outer membrane vesicles which are actively secreted from the outer membrane of Gram negative bacteria could have an important role in mediating the host’s response to a range of bacteria. This project will use a variety of in vitro cell models to help understand the cellular processes which drive these potentially pathogenic responses.
Eligibility
Candidates should have a good honours degree in biology. An excellent command of spoken and written English is also a requirement.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £15,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
The role of polyphosphates in mammalian cells
Outline
The principle substrate for energy transfer in mammalian cells is ATP, although other nucleotide phosphates play vital roles in specific processes. Some bacteria are capable of using alternative sources of energy such as long chain polyphosphates, and some can use both ATP and polyphosphate as phosphoryl-donors. Certain mammalian cell types contain significant amounts of polyphosphate concentrated in to specific organelles but its role or purpose in these sites is not known. The proposed PhD project is aimed at investigation of these polyphosphates to attempt to establish whether they have a metabolic function or activity, how they are synthesized and how they are bound in particular organelles. The project will use a variety of cell biological and molecular techniques as required, including high resolution NMR to study the metabolism of known polyphosphate substrates.
Eligibility
Applicants should have a good relevant first degree or Masters.
Funding
Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £6,000 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Topical protein delivery for the treatment of genetic skin diseases
Outline
The aim of the project is an efficient and targeted transport of functional proteins into the viable epidermis using innovative drug delivery systems. Using congenital ichthyosis as an example, options for topical treatment of skin diseases will be studied. Suitable cellular model systems including reconstituted skin have to be developed. Skin models will be assessed for the therapeutic outcome by analysing protein uptake, cell interactions, cellular localisation, biological availability, and the fate of the substituted protein in differentiating keratinocytes and skin.
Eligibility
BSc (Hons) and MSc in a relevant field of biology or life science. Applicants must have a strong interest in molecular biology and human genetics. Knowledge in primary cell culture and/or stem cell research is of advantage.
Funding
External grant funding is available that covers a bursary and tuition fees.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Understanding the mechanisms of carcinogenesis in epithelial cells using physiologically-relevant in vitro models.
Outline
We have previously shown how specific genetic alterations implicated in cancer (over-expression of human telomerase, inactivation of p53 and p16 tumour suppressors, constitutive activation of receptor tyrosine kinases, RTKs, abrogation of cell adhesion by functional inactivation of E-cadherin) alter epithelial cell life-span, growth, cell:cell adhesion and responses to death signals. Unravelling the influence of these changes in epithelial cell behaviour at the molecular level, and studying the role of cancer-driving signalling pathways such as those triggered by RTKs, Wnt/beta-catenin and p63 family proteins, will a) help us improve our understanding of the process of carcinogenesis, b) allow better disease prognosis and c) permit the design of tailored, patient-specific therapies.
Eligibility
First or Upper Second class honours degree or the overseas equivalent in a Biology-related subject. In certain circumstances a Lower Second class honours degree supplemented by a Masters degree or appropriate relevant work experience may be acceptable.
Funding
Prospective students who have secured government sponsorships/scholarships are welcome to apply as are self-funded applicants. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £12,500 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply
Use of physiologically-relevant in vitro skin models for the design of medical devices to target pathological skin-related conditions and disease.
Outline
A main theme of our research is to understand the precise cell signalling mechanisms that dictate epithelial cell behaviour and fate, ranging from cell proliferation / growth, molecular and functional specialisation (cytodifferentiation), to induction of cell death (e.g. apoptosis). Our aim is to understand how these processes are inappropriately regulated in pathological conditions / disease. More specifically, our skin-related research involves using physiologically relevant biological models to explore, at the cellular and molecular level, the underlying mechanisms of a) defective wound healing and b) chemotherapy-induced alopecia. This will permit the improvement of existing medical devices to a) improve wound healing in the clinic, and b) reduce chemotherapy induced hair loss, one of the most distressing side effects of cancer chemotherapy), as well as the design of novel technologies with the aim to provide improved relevant therapeutic intervention strategies. For these projects we have major industrial collaborations with a) Avita Medical (http://www.avitamedical.com) and b) Paxman (http://paxman-coolers.com).
Eligibility
First or Upper Second class honours degree or the overseas equivalent in a Biology-related subject. In certain circumstances a Lower Second class honours degree supplemented by a Masters degree or appropriate relevant work experience may be acceptable.
Funding
Prospective students who have secured government sponsorships/scholarships are welcome to apply as are self-funding applicants. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £12,500 per annum are required.
Deadline
Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th
How to apply

You are advised to take time to investigate the University's website to find out more details about the research we conduct. Please visit the Research section of the website to take a look at the information there.

To find out about the staff in this subject area please visit the subject area page, or alternatively, to look at profiles of any of our academic staff, you can visit our academic staff profile page.

You should enter the project title and supervisor in the online application form.

No research proposal is necessary in your application.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes to aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

How much will it cost me?

In 2017/18, the full-time tuition fee for UK and EU postgraduate research students at the University of Huddersfield is £4,165 (see Fees and Finance for exceptions).

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are interested in studying with us on a part-time basis, please visit our Fees and Finance pages for part-time fee information.

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.

Scholarships

Please visit our webpages to check if you are eligible for the Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship for University of Huddersfield graduates.

The University offers a limited number of full and partial fee waivers. If you wish to be considered for a scholarship, please read through the scholarship guidance and include the name of the scholarship on your online application.

Additional Programme costs

Additional programme costs (sometimes known as bench fees) may be charged for research degrees in which there are exceptional costs directly related to the research project. For some subject areas, such as Science and Engineering, these costs could range from £3,000 - £16,000 per year, dependent upon the research project. If you wish to know if these costs will apply to the course you’re interested in, please email the Admissions and Records Office who will direct your query to the relevant department.

Examples of exceptional costs include:

  • Equipment maintenance costs
  • Equipment hire
  • Access costs to specialised equipment
  • Patient/volunteer expenses
  • Tissue/cell culture
  • Special reagents/materials
  • Purchase of laboratory consumables
  • Purchases of additional special permanent laboratory equipment
  • Photography and film processing
  • Video tape filming, recording, CD archiving
  • Specialised computation
  • Travelling costs - where this is integral to the research, it would not normally cover conference attendance except in special circumstances
  • Access to specialist facilities/resources
  • Special statistical packages
  • Access to special databases
  • Data collection costs (eg. postage, envelops and stationary, questionnaire administration)
  • Interview translation and transcription costs.

International

All Postgraduate research students who do not have specific timetabled teaching sessions are required to maintain regular engagement with the University under the Attendance Monitoring Policy.

Information for overseas students with a Tier 4 visa: The University also requires that all overseas students with a Tier 4 visa comply with the requirements set out below:

•  Students are expected to remain in the UK at the address notified to the University until the official end of the academic year.

•  Students are expected to be able to demonstrate, to the University's reasonable satisfaction, that their domestic living arrangements, including their residential location, are conducive to their full engagement with their studies and to their ability to comply with Home Office and University attendance requirements for full time students.

How to apply

To make a formal application, complete the online application form.

This normally includes the submission of a research proposal. Read through the proposal guidelines first to make sure you cover all the information needed, and ensure you include the proposal (if required) when submitting your online application. You can check whether the degree you are applying for requires a proposal by checking the specific course entries.

If you wish to be considered for a scholarship, please read through the scholarship guidance and include the name of the scholarship on your online application.

Applications are assessed based upon academic excellence, other relevant experience and how closely the research proposal aligns with Huddersfield's key research areas.

Research community

The University of Huddersfield has a thriving research community made up of over 1,350 postgraduate research students. We have students studying on a part-time and full-time basis from all over the world with around 43% from overseas and 57% from the UK.

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through undertaking research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills which are current and relevant to your specialist area.

Find out more about our research staff and centres

Research programme

Individuals working towards the award of PhD are required to successfully complete a programme resulting in a significant contribution to knowledge.

You are expected to work to an approved programme of work including appropriate programmes of postgraduate study (which may be drawn from parts of existing postgraduate courses, final year degree programmes, conferences, seminars, masterclasses, guided reading or a combination of study methods).

Research skills training

The University of Huddersfield has an exciting and comprehensive Researcher Skills Development Programme available to all postgraduate researchers. The Researcher Skills Development Programme supports our researchers to broaden their knowledge, allowing them to access tools and skills which can significantly improve employability, whether in academia or industry. It's important to develop transferable personal and professional skills alongside the research skills and techniques necessary for your postgraduate study and research. The programme is also mapped onto Vitae's Researcher Development Framework (RDF), allowing researchers at the University of Huddersfield to benefit from Vitae support as well as our own Programme.

We offer skills training through a programme designed to take advantage of technology platforms as well as face-to-face workshops and courses. The University has subscribed to Epigeum, a programme of on-line research training support designed and managed by staff at Imperial College London which will be accessed via UniLearn, the University's Virtual Learning Environment.

Research supervision

You will be appointed a main supervisor who will normally be part of a supervisory team, comprising up to three members. The research supervisor will advise and support you on your project.


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