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Biological Sciences

School of Biological Sciences | MPhil
Entry Year
2020
Entry Requirements
2.1

Overview

COVID-19 UPDATE: The University is open and ready to take new postgraduate research students, though we are having to take precautions in the laboratory environments, involving social distancing and the mandatory use of Personal Protective Equipment (mainly gloves and masks) and strong hygiene measures to ensure safety. Please refer to Our Campus Commitment for further information: http://www.qub.ac.uk/our-campus-commitment/

The School of Biological Sciences provides PhD and MPhil (research degree) programmes in subjects ranging from basic biochemistry, molecular genetics and cancer research, to agricultural science, marine ecology and the economic evaluation of ecosystem services and food retailing. If you have a topic or research question in mind, please use the Find a Supervisor link (see Apply tab) to identify the most appropriate member of staff to support your idea. If not, don't worry, we regularly advertise funded projects and there is no harm in browsing our academic staff profiles for inspiration and then contacting whoever seems best: we are very open to applications from suitably qualified people interested in scientific research. In every case, a PhD or MPhil course provides the means of being part of a cutting edge scientific research team and contributing to genuine new discoveries or the development of new methods for practical use. If you cannot study full time, we offer pro-rata part time research degree programmes as well.

To help orientation, the School is organised into three research theme clusters:

- Ecosystem Biology and Sustainability
- Microbes and Pathogen Biology
- Food Safety and Nutrition

Ecosystem Biology and Sustainability:

In this cluster, you could research biodiversity and ecosystem services for environments ranging from tropical forests to deep oceans, using field techniques and skills such as wildlife tracking, taxonomy, geostatistics, molecular and genetic ecology, foodweb-analysis, microcosm and mesocosm experiments and mathematical/computational methods. Alternatively, you could study the behaviour and temperament of wild, agricultural or domestic animals and their implications for welfare and ability to respond to environmental change. Potential research projects include phylogenetic analysis of rare and newly discovered species, examination of ecological interactions in tropical systems, agricultural soils, or marine communities, using state-of-the-art genetic analysis, surveys using drones or satellite tagging, or experiments in tanks and field plots, including careful and ethical examinations of animal behaviour. Projects range from theoretical analysis of stability in ecosystems, through discovery of new species and mechanisms of interaction, or responses to climate change, to the assessment of EU agri-environment schemes, development of new methods for commercial fisheries management and economic evaluations of conservation measures. Projects very often have an international dimension and include collaboration with other researchers worldwide.

Microbes and Pathogen Biology:

This cluster covers a diverse array of research interests united by an emphasis on molecular approaches applied to both fundamental and applied questions over the range from molecular to ecological systems. These interests include biochemistry, food safety, microbiology and parasite control with applications in human and animal health, nutrition, plant and soil sciences, and agricultural development. We have a long-standing reputation in parasite biology and in applied microbiology (for example in clearing land of contamination) as well as strong contributions to fundamental methods in understanding cancer, developing veterinary vaccines and molecular detectors for toxins and diseases. The common thread is our strong molecular approach using and developing cutting edge genomic, transcriptomic/proteomic methods. Research students in this cluster enjoy a range of strong international links across Europe, Asia, North and South America.

Food Safety and Nutrition:

Research opportunities offered by this cluster span the entire food chain "from farm to fork" with a strong emphasis on food safety and nutrition, public health and food security. In this cluster you would conduct research under the supervision of leading scientists based in the Institute for Global Food Security and benefit from integration with business experts, helping you gain leadership positions nationally and internationally.

Biological Sciences Highlights
Industry Links
  • The School has a wide range of strong, international links with governments, academia and industry, into which postgraduate research students are integrated.
World Class Facilities
  • Students will have the full use of modern, world-class laboratories, equipped with state-of-the-art, highly advanced analytical instruments and facilitated by world-class field work provision.
  • Students studying in the Food Safety and Nutrition programme will gain excellent practical experience of advanced technology and bioanalytical techniques for food safety analysis and monitoring, including:

    1. GC, HPLC and UPLC separation platforms;
    2. ICP, IR, qToF and QqQ mass spectrometers;
    3. Microbiological research facilities;
    4. Antibody production and biomolecule binder development;
    5. Cell culture suite and bioanalytical assay detection systems;
    6. NMR, NIR and Raman spectrometers;
    7. Proteomic and metabolomic profiling tools RT-PCR;
    8. Transcriptomic profiling;
    9. Next-generation sequencing;
    10. Multiplex biosensor platforms and LFD development.
Key Facts

  • Over 80% of science jobs are in areas of Biological Sciences.
  • Most of the critical problems facing humanity - disease, climate change and food security - require biological understanding to solve them.
Brexit Advice

Information on the implications of Brexit for prospective students.

Course content

Research Information

PhD Supervisors
Information on the research interests and activities of academics in Biological Sciences can be accessed via the School website and the Find a Supervisor facility (see Apply tab).

Career Prospects

Introduction
Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Employment after the Course
Graduates have gone on to be professional research scientists, consultants, or hold technical and junior executive positions in commerce and government.

People teaching you

Dr Keith Farnsworth
Chair, School Postgraduate Research Committee
School of Biological Sciences
For a PhD you will have a principal and second supervisor who advise your independent studies and will be supported by a wider team from the academic staff - who they are, of course, depends on your project. For further details on any aspect of postgraduate research degrees within the School of Biological Sciences, contact: biosciences-pg@qub.ac.uk.

Learning Outcomes

A research degree offers students an opportunity to foster their capacity for independent research and critical thought. It also allows students to explore an area of interest and so understand and solve theoretical and practical problems within the field. Undertaking a research degree can enhance a student’s written and oral communication skills.

Course structure

0

Assessment

Assessment processes for the Research Degree differ from taught degrees. Students will be expected to present drafts of their work at regular intervals to their supervisor who will provide written and oral feedback; a formal assessment process takes place annually.

This Annual Progress Review requires students to present their work in writing and orally to a panel of academics from within the School. Successful completion of this process will allow students to register for the next academic year.

The final assessment of the research degree is both oral and written. Students will submit their thesis to an internal and external examining team who will review the written thesis before inviting the student to orally defend their work at a Viva Voce.

Feedback

Supervisors will offer feedback on draft work at regular intervals throughout the period of registration on the degree.

Facilities
Full-time research students will have access to a shared office space and access to a desk with personal computer and internet access.
Project name School Funding Subject Status Sort
Adaptive management of stochastic parasite challenge in animals under climate change
School of Biological Sciences | PHD agriculture, climate change, parasitology, veterinary medicine Professor Eric Morgan
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Archaeal polyphosphate cycling: novel enzymes to drive new technologies
School of Biological Sciences | PHD agriculture, biochemistry, bioinformatics, environmental, geochemistry, microbiology, molecular Dr Jason Chin
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Diet mediated metabolic-inflammation – mechanistic insights
School of Biological Sciences | PHD biochemistry, food science, health sciences, immunology, molecular biology, public health Professor Helen Roche
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Emerging Infectious Diseases – Surveillance and Biosecurity
School of Biological Sciences | PHD agriculture, health sciences, microbiology, molecular biology, pathology, public health, veterinary Dr Nikki Marks
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Enhancing young people’s cooking and food skills to investigate impact on food engagement, knowledge, skill confidence and diet quality
School of Biological Sciences | PHD data analysis, food science, health sciences, public health, statistics Professor Moira Dean
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Explore novel feeding strategies to reduce ammonia emissions from ruminants and improve their productivity
School of Biological Sciences | PHD agriculture, environmental science, food science, statistics, zoology, animal science Dr Katerina Theodoridou
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
Exposing drivers for parasite growth and virulence at the single cell level
School of Biological Sciences | PHD bioinformatics, health sciences, microbiology, parasitology, public health, virology Professor Aaron Maule
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Flavonoid metabolism and cardiometabolic health
School of Biological Sciences | PHD data analysis, food science, health sciences, medical, public health Professor Aedin Cassidy
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
13 January 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Food fraud risks in UK supply chain networks
School of Biological Sciences | PHD data analysis, food science, law Professor Saskia van Ruth
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Gene mining useful biocatalysts from paleosols
School of Biological Sciences | PHD bioinformatics, genetics, geochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology Professor Chris Allen
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
Genome scale evolution of biofilm contained Klebsiella pneumoniae in response to sub-lethal antibacterial stress exposure - development of novel biomarkers for near-patient testing
School of Biological Sciences | PHD bioinformatics, genetics, health sciences, medical science, microbiology, molecular, public health Professor Seamus Fanning
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
How does biodiversity contribute to multiple forms of stability in stressed marine invertebrate communities?
School of Biological Sciences | PHD bioinformatics, data analysis, ecology, environmental science, microbiology, molecular, statistics Professor Mark Emmerson
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
How does Clostridium difficile control the gut microbiome? Molecular dissection of nutrient control strategies
School of Biological Sciences | PHD health sciences, microbiology, molecular biology, pathology, public health, virology Professor Geoff McMullan
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Influence of farm hygiene standards and management practices on Johne’s disease progression in selected NI dairy herds
School of Biological Sciences | PHD agriculture, data analysis, microbiology Professor Irene Grant
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Innovative Diagnostics for Helminth Parasite Infections
School of Biological Sciences | PHD agricultural, molecular biology, parasitology, veterinary medicine Dr Paul McVeigh
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Investigating how the levels of queuine, a novel micronutrient, are associated with human ageing and brain health
School of Biological Sciences | PHD cell biology, food chemistry, food science, health sciences, medical science, public health Dr Brian Green
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Investigation and exploration of health and therapeutic benefits of plant-derived secondary metabolites
School of Biological Sciences | PHD analytical chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology, botany, health sciences, microbiology Dr Chen Situ
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Low-cost and rapid paper-based microfluidics for the detection of irradiated foods
School of Biological Sciences | PHD food chemistry, food science, health sciences, molecular biology, public health Dr Cuong Cao
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Mast cell dysregulation? Understanding the development of mastocytosis
School of Biological Sciences | PHD health sciences, medical science, molecular biology, public health Dr Ciaren Graham
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Microbial interactions in unique chemosynthetic ecosystems –an integrated ‘Omic approach
School of Biological Sciences | PHD bioinformatics, ecology, environmental, evolution, geochemistry, microbiology, molecular Dr Deepak Kumaresan
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
MicroRNAs in the Pathogenesis Adverse Cardiomyocyte and Endothelial Cell Remodelling in Insulin Resistance
School of Biological Sciences | PHD food science, health sciences, medical science, molecular biology, pharmacy, public health Dr Qiaozhu Su
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Mosquito control using native predators and other novel environmentally friendly methodologies
School of Biological Sciences | PHD public health, zoology, animal science Professor Jaimie Dick
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Optimising behaviour change initiatives for food waste prevention
School of Biological Sciences | PHD data analysis, ecology, economics, statistics Professor Alberto Longo
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
Quantifying the effects of environmental change using multi-level phylogenetically controlled meta-analyses
School of Biological Sciences | PHD data analysis, ecology, conservation, statistics, zoology Dr Hansjoerg Kunc
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Rewiring of host cell protein complexes by pathogen effectors - mass spectrometry-based methods and applications in infection biology
School of Biological Sciences | PHD cell biology, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, pathology, pharmacology, toxicology Dr Ben Collins
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
SAFENUT: Cold plasma as an Intervention technology to ensure a safe and nutritious groundnut supply
School of Biological Sciences | PHD analytical chemistry, food science, health sciences, microbiology, public health Professor Paula Bourke
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
Schistosome blood flukes and bacteria: How pathogens interact with other pathogens, and the host
School of Biological Sciences | PHD health sciences, microbiology, molecular biology, parasitology, public health Dr Geoff Gobert
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Sleep in the wild: reproductive benefits and health costs of natural sleep deprivation in fallow deer
School of Biological Sciences | PHD ecology, conservation, animal science, evolution, zoology, animal science Dr Isabella Capellini
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Systems analysis of the impact of microplastics in the marine environment
School of Biological Sciences | PHD biotechnology, data analysis, pollution, food science, health sciences, molecular, statistics Professor Gary Hardiman
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
Sustainable Wildlife Management: Socio-Economics Drivers & Implications of Conservation
School of Biological Sciences | PHD bioinformatics, data analysis, ecology, economics, environmental science, statistics, animal science Dr Martina Bozzola
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Targeting yeast epigenetics to combat anti-fungal resistance
School of Biological Sciences | PHD health sciences, microbiology, molecular biology, public health Dr Edel Hyland
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Temperature regulation of non-coding RNA and crop - rhizosphere interactions
School of Biological Sciences | PHD biochemistry, bioinformatics, biotechnology, botany, climate, microbiology, molecular, parasitology Dr Johnathan Dalzell
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
The effects of maternal stress on offspring survival in the fallow deer
School of Biological Sciences | PHD ecology, conservation, endocrinology, evolution, zoology, animal science Dr Domhnall Jennings
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
The extinction of the sexier? A global investigation of the role of sexual selection in modern amphibian declines
School of Biological Sciences | PHD ecology, conservation, environmental science, evolution, zoology, animal science Dr Daniel Pincheira-Donoso
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
13 January 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
The marine phosphorus cycle and the methane paradox
School of Biological Sciences | PHD analytical chemistry, biochemistry, geochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology Professor John McGrath
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
The relative importance of different species traits for predicting invasion success and impact - a sensitivity analysis approach
School of Biological Sciences | PHD bioinformatics, computer science, data analysis, ecology, environmental, mathematics Dr Keith Farnsworth
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
The rice paddy microbiome and its impact on plant mineral nutrition
School of Biological Sciences | PHD agriculture, bioinformatics, data analysis, food science, health sciences, public health, statistics Dr Caroline Meharg
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
The role of epigenetic mechanisms in the control of post-stress recovery of cancer cells
School of Biological Sciences | PHD cancer, cell biology, genetics, health sciences, medical science, public health Dr Konstantin Panov
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Uncovering the Hidden Human Milk Microbiome
School of Biological Sciences | PHD biochemistry, immunology, microbiology, statistics Dr Simon Cameron
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Understanding Biofilm Formation in the Domain Archaea
School of Biological Sciences | PHD biotechnology, cell biology, microbiology Dr Julianne Megaw
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
Use of remote sensing data to develop behavioural profiles for global change scenarios
School of Biological Sciences | PHD climate change, data analysis, ecology, environmental science, statistics, zoology, animal science Dr Mike Scantlebury
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
16 December 2019
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Using data analytics to identify best practices across the food supply chain that drive nutrition quality
School of Biological Sciences | PHD agriculture, computer science, data analysis, food science, health sciences, public health Dr Danielle McCarthy
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
14 February 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
What drives early-life “programming” in the rumen microbiome?
School of Biological Sciences | PHD bioinformatics, computer science, data analysis, genetics, microbiology, zoology Professor Chris Creevey
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
14 February 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
QUADRAT DTP CASE: The role of biodiversity in mitigating parasite impacts in farmed landscapes
School of Biological Sciences | PHD agriculture, climate change, ecology, environmental science, parasitology, zoology, animal science Professor Mark Emmerson
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
29 January 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Understanding and predicting the success of alien freshwater fish
School of Biological Sciences | PHD ecology, conservation, animal science, evolution, zoology, animal science Dr Isabella Capellini
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
QUADRAT DTP CASE: Understanding and predicting the success of alien freshwater fish
School of Biological Sciences | PHD ecology, conservation, animal science, evolution, zoology, animal science Dr Isabella Capellini
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
29 January 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
QUADRAT DTP: Can pollutant transfer through benthic elasmobranch food-chains be related to their feeding ecology?
School of Biological Sciences | PHD ecology, conservation, pollution, environmental chemistry, geochemistry, marine biology Professor Andy Meharg
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
29 January 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
QUADRAT DTP: Energetics and survival of an apex predator - the African lion - in a rapidly changing environment
School of Biological Sciences | PHD ecology, conservation, evolution, zoology, animal science Dr Mike Scantlebury
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
29 January 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
QUADRAT DTP: Genomics approaches to explore the secrets of remarkable plants: Soil/root microbiome interaction and edaphic stress adaptation
School of Biological Sciences | PHD bioinformatics, botany, plant science, ecology, conservation, environmental science, evolution Dr Caroline Meharg
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
29 January 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
QUADRAT DTP: Global profiles of species declines and success in the era of climate change
School of Biological Sciences | PHD climatology, climate change, ecology, conservation, environmental science, evolution, animal science Dr Daniel Pincheira-Donoso
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
29 January 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
QUADRAT DTP: Greening cities: how do street trees contribute to urban biodiversity and ecosystem functions?
School of Biological Sciences | PHD ecology, conservation, environmental science Dr Paul Caplat
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
29 January 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
QUADRAT DTP: Identifying Environmental Factors for Soil Transmitted and Food Borne Helminth Diseases in Border Regions of Northern Thailand
School of Biological Sciences | PHD agriculture, agronomy, soil science, ecology, food science, microbiology, parasitology Dr Geoff Gobert
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
29 January 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
QUADRAT DTP: Microbial social lives: A multi-scale systems approach to decode microbial metabolic networks
School of Biological Sciences | PHD biochemistry, bioinformatics, climate change, ecology, environmental science, geochemistry Dr Deepak Kumaresan
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
29 January 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
QUADRAT DTP: Temperature regulation of crop - rhizosphere ecology
School of Biological Sciences | PHD biochemistry, bioinformatics, biotechnology, botany, climate, microbiology, molecular, parasitology Dr Johnathan Dalzell
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
29 January 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
QUADRAT DTP: The effects of maternal stress on offspring survival in the fallow deer
School of Biological Sciences | PHD ecology, conservation, endocrinology, evolution, zoology, animal science Dr Domhnall Jennings
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
29 January 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
QUADRAT DTP: Tropical Marine Biodiversity: Solving the taxonomic bottlenecks to environmental impact assessments
School of Biological Sciences | PHD ecology, conservation, evolution, marine biology, zoology, animal science Dr Julia Sigwart
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
29 January 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
QUADRAT DTP: Unravelling the freshwater microbial phosphorus cycle
School of Biological Sciences | PHD biochemistry, bioinformatics, climate, ecology, environmental, geochemistry, hydrology, molecular Professor John McGrath
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
29 January 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Valuing ecosystem services
School of Biological Sciences | PHD valuation, environmental economics, experimental economics, behavioural economics Professor Alberto Longo
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
The evolution of vertebrate parental care diversity
School of Biological Sciences | PHD parental care, life history theory, phylogeny, vertebrates, behaviour, evolution Dr Isabella Capellini
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
The evolution of placental diversity: between cooperation and conflict
School of Biological Sciences | PHD parental care, life history theory, phylogeny, vertebrates, behaviour, evolution Dr Isabella Capellini
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
A human body map of bisphenol-A (BPA) exposure: Systems level analysis of genomic and epigenomic alterations in primary human cells
School of Biological Sciences | PHD bisphenol-A, systems level analysis, genomics, cells Professor Gary Hardiman
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
Genome-wide analysis of genetic alterations in prostate cells in response to soy chemicals
School of Biological Sciences | PHD genomics, genetics, cells, soy Professor Gary Hardiman
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
A Novel Data Integration Framework for Modeling the Adverse Outcome Pathway
School of Biological Sciences | PHD endocrine disruptors, biostatistics, computational biiology, toxicology, systems biology Professor Gary Hardiman
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
Investigate the nutritional potential, for ruminants, of different by-products as an alternative feed supplement for incorporation into animal feed
School of Biological Sciences | PHD by-product, ruminant, tannin, methane, ammonia Dr Katerina Theodoridou
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
Making the most of product code pattern recognition for food fraud prevention
School of Biological Sciences | PHD food, fraud, integrity, criminal, criminology, machine learning, algorithms Professor Saskia van Ruth
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
Vibrio species in Irish waters
School of Biological Sciences | PHD molecular epidemiology, whole genome sequencing, human health risk factors Professor Seamus Fanning
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
A study of the emergence of Clostridium difficile from across the farm-to-fork continuum
School of Biological Sciences | PHD molecular epidemiology, whole genome sequencing, human health risk factors, toxin genes Professor Seamus Fanning
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
Phenotypic & molecular characterization of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) markers; dissemination mechanisms of AMR in bacteria of food-animal origin; whole genome & plasmid sequencing; bioinformatics
School of Biological Sciences | PHD molecular epidemiology, whole genome sequencing, human health risk factors Professor Seamus Fanning
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
A study of the transcriptomic responses elicited by Salmonella to humectants used in food production - do bacteria have a memory?
School of Biological Sciences | PHD low-moisture conditions, RNA-seq, flow cytometry Professor Seamus Fanning
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
The role of the histone lysine demethylase KDM4A in post-stress recovery and its utility as a target in breast and prostate cancer
School of Biological Sciences | PHD epigenetics, cancer, BCa, PCa, transcriptome, NGS, transcription Dr Konstantin Panov
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
Development of novel approaches to study changes in chromatin structure and investigation of the role of rDNA chromatin in malignant transformation
School of Biological Sciences | PHD epigenetics, cancer, histones, rDNA, chromatin, NGS, transcription Dr Konstantin Panov
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
Investigation of the mechanism of accrued resistance to Pol I inhibitors in blood cancers
School of Biological Sciences | PHD blood cancer, Pol I inhibitor, topoisomerase, transcription, drug resistance Dr Konstantin Panov
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
Evaluation of natural plant based botanicals as alternative to therapeutic antibiotics
School of Biological Sciences | PHD botanicals, antimicrobial resistance, antibiotics, medicinal plants, microbiology, biochemistry Dr Chen Situ
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
Bovine TB: Reconstructing the molecular evolution of Mycobacterium bovis
School of Biological Sciences | PHD agicultural sciences, bioinformatics, data analysis, molecular biology, epidemiology, statistics Professor Paulo Prodohl
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
29 May 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
FOODBIOSYSTEMS - Understanding the ecology and coevolution of aphids and parasitoids to improve natural biocontrol measures in field crops
School of Biological Sciences | PHD ecology, parasitoids, agriculture, phylogeny, climate change Dr Isabella Capellini
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
6 March 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Understanding the ecology and coevolution of aphids and parasitoids to improve natural biocontrol measures in field crops
School of Biological Sciences | PHD ecology, parasitoids, agriculture, phylogeny, climate change Dr Isabella Capellini
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
FOODBIOSYSTEMS - Willow (Salix spp): The potential of a tannin-rich tree fodder to reduce ammonia emissions and improve productivity of dairy cattle
School of Biological Sciences | PHD ammonia, dairy, agriculture, animal nutrition, microbiology, metagenomics, metabolomics Dr Katerina Theodoridou
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
6 March 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
FOODBIOSYSTEMS - Can many biomarkers make light work of liver fluke parasite diagnostics?
School of Biological Sciences | PHD biomarkers, liver fluke, parasitology, omics, bioinformatics, molecular biology, biochemistry Dr Paul McVeigh
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
6 March 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
FOODBIOSYSTEMS - Nitrosamine formation and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk in processed meats: investigating the role of nitrites, extraneous nitrates and possible nitrite replacers
School of Biological Sciences | PHD nitrites, cancer, processed meats, food science, nutrition, health Dr Brian Green
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
6 March 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
FOODBIOSYSTEMS - Temperature regulation of microRNAs and crop - rhizosphere interactions
School of Biological Sciences | PHD microRNAs, agriculture, rhizosphere, plant science, microbiology, biotechnology, bioinformatics Dr Johnathan Dalzell
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
6 March 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
FOODBIOSYSTEMS - Integrating plant and animal responses to parasite infection under climate change
School of Biological Sciences | PHD climate change, parasitology, epidemiology, agriculture, plant science, food security Professor Eric Morgan
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
6 March 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
FOODBIOSYSTEMS - What are the mechanisms driving niche specialisation within rumen plant associated microbiomes?
School of Biological Sciences | PHD rumen, microbiome, microbiology, agriculture, computational science, biochemistry, bioinformatics Professor Chris Creevey
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
6 March 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Exploring the Application of REIMS to Bovine Health Monitoring and Milk Quality Analysis
School of Biological Sciences | PHD agriculture, biochemistry, immunology, microbiology, veterinary, analytical chemistry Dr Simon Cameron
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
31 March 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
A proteomic map of host cell rewiring by pathogens
School of Biological Sciences | PHD analytical chemistry, biochemistry, bioinformatics, immunology, microbiology Dr Ben Collins
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
31 March 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
What are the lifetime beneficial effects of early life “programming” in the rumen microbiome?
School of Biological Sciences | PHD agricultural science, animal science, biology, microbiology, environmental science Professor Sharon Huws
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
28 February 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Develop Biological Control Methods for Devastating Panama Disease of Banana
School of Biological Sciences | PHD organic fungus control, banana fungus, biological control, chitinase, biochemistry, microbiology Dr Fuquan Liu
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
31 March 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Advancing a Single Cell-Approach to Understand Metazoan Parasitism
School of Biological Sciences | PHD parasitology, metazoan biology, stem cells, parasite control Professor Aaron Maule
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
31 March 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Furthering our understanding of microbial community dynamics through antimicrobial-driven dysbiosis
School of Biological Sciences | PHD antimicrobial resistance, bioinformatics, microbiology, computational biology Professor Chris Creevey
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
30 June 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Investigation of the limits of niche specialisation and plasticity in the rumen microbiome
School of Biological Sciences | PHD rumen, microbiome, microbiology, omics Professor Sharon Huws
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
30 June 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Modelling and optimising the microbial biorefinery process to enhance waste transformation for the promotion of a circular bioeconomy
School of Biological Sciences | PHD biogeochemistry, waste, microbial physiology, biochemistry, molecular microbiology, machine learning Professor John McGrath
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
31 March 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Modelling and optimising microbial nutrient cycling for the promotion of a circular bioeconomy
School of Biological Sciences | PHD biogeochemistry, waste, microbial physiology, biochemistry, molecular microbiology, machine learning Professor John McGrath
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
30 June 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Temperature regulation of non-coding RNA networks and plant-microbe communication in the rhizosphere
School of Biological Sciences | PHD microbiology, plant science, parasitology Dr Johnathan Dalzell
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
31 March 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Understanding and combating blackhead disease in poultry
School of Biological Sciences | PHD agricultural sciences, animal science, microbiology, veterinary medicine, bioinformatics, poultry Professor Sharon Huws
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
30 June 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Understanding dairy cow behaviour to improve production and welfare in robotic milking systems
School of Biological Sciences | PHD agricultural sciences, veterinary medicine, zoology, animal behaviour, animal welfare Dr Gareth Arnott
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
30 April 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
The effects of gut microbiome metabolites in modulating enteroendocrine cell function and gut hormone secretion
School of Biological Sciences | PHD metabolites, hormones, microbiome, metabolism, enteroendocrine Dr Brian Green
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
Blending traditional and new animal health solutions to support agro-pastoral livelihoods under climate change
School of Biological Sciences | PHD animal health, climate change, agriculture, ecology, economics, environmental science, food science Professor Eric Morgan
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
29 May 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
Studies of the human malaria parasite transportome
School of Biological Sciences | PHD Malaria, membrane proteins, transporters, drug efflux Dr Chris Law
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
Diet in the prevention of chronic diseases: Really so important or overrated?
School of Biological Sciences | PHD diet, nutrition, prevention, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, mortality, epidemiology, data science Dr Tilman Kuhn
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Biological Sciences Unfunded Biological Sciences Open 2
CITI-GENS DTP: Investigating the importance of queuosine (Q) as a novel micronutrient in human ageing and brain health
School of Biological Sciences | PHD Micronutrients, human health, nutrition, metabolism, ageing, brain health Dr Brian Green
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
10 July 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2
CITI-GENS DTP: Chemical Profiling of E-Cigarette Products to Address Safety and Potential Repositioning as Antibiotic Delivery Devices
School of Biological Sciences | PHD e-cigarettes, analytical chemistry, microbiology, mass spectrometry, respiratory health, antibiotics Dr Simon Cameron
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
10 July 2020
School of Biological Sciences Funded Biological Sciences Closed 2

Entrance requirements

Graduate
The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required (*taken within the last 2 years).

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.

  • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) £4,407
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £4,407
Other (non-UK) EU £4,407
International £21,300

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Biological Sciences costs

Students may incur additional costs for small items of clothing and/or equipment necessary for lab or field work

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may also be other extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies . Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £100 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, and library fines. In undertaking a research project students may incur costs associated with transport and/or materials, and there will also be additional costs for printing and binding the thesis. There may also be individually tailored research project expenses and students should consult directly with the School for further information.

How do I fund my study?
1.PhD Opportunities

Find PhD opportunities and funded studentships by subject area.

2.Doctoral Training Centres at Queen's

Queen's has eight outstanding competitive Doctoral Training Centres, with each one providing funding for a number of PhD positions and most importantly a hub for carrying out world class research in key disciplines.

3.PhD loans

The Government offers doctoral loans of up to £26,445 for PhDs and equivalent postgraduate research programmes for English- or Welsh-resident UK and EU students, £10,000 for students in Scotland and up to £5,500 for Northern Ireland students.

4.International Scholarships

Information on Postgraduate Research scholarships for international students.

Funding and Scholarships

The Funding & Scholarship Finder helps prospective and current students find funding to help cover costs towards a whole range of study related expenses.

How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Find a supervisor

If you're interested in a particular project, we suggest you contact the relevant academic before you apply, to introduce yourself and ask questions.

To find a potential supervisor aligned with your area of interest, or if you are unsure of who to contact, look through the staff profiles linked here.

You might be asked to provide a short outline of your proposal to help us identify potential supervisors.