Skip to Content

Postgraduate Research

Pharmacy

School of Pharmacy | PhD
Entry Year
Academic Year 2023/24
Entry Requirements
2.1

Overview

The School of Pharmacy (SoP) focuses its research activities on key areas of the pharmaceutical sciences, clinical and primary care aspects of pharmacy. Our research spans a wide range of scientific and professional disciplines. Multidisciplinary sits at the core of many of our internationally-connected research programmes, ultimately delivering impactful research designed to benefit patients.

The School of Pharmacy is committed to research excellence. This is achieved through ambitious target setting, a key feature of our School Strategy, feeding into the broader University Strategy 2030. We will continually strive for research excellence, strategic recruitment and encourage/enable impactful internal and external collaborations. The SoP has as a broad portfolio of high quality research income and staff within the School publish widely in leading journals and present their work at national and international conferences.

Our research focuses on making real-world improvements for patients through our expertise in pharmaceutical science and practice. Research programmes are grouped into five key themes, which are mainly funded by UK/European Government sources, leading medical charities and importantly the pharmaceutical industry.

1.NANOMEDICINE AND BIOTHERAPEUTICS

This area focus on the development of novel technologies and targeted therapies for advanced healthcare solutions including anticancer therapeutics, nanoparticles and nano-delivery of macromolecules; proteases in disease and natural peptides.

http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofPharmacy/Research/ResearchThemes/NanomedicineandBi

2.PHARMACEUTICAL MATERIALS SCIENCE AND FORMULATION

This activity centres on the design, development and industrial translation of novel systems for patient-focused administration of difficult-to-deliver drugs including; HIV prevention and multipurpose prevention technologies; solid dosage forms and microneedles.

http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofPharmacy/Research/ResearchThemes/PharmaceuticalMate

3.DRUG DELIVERY AND BIOMATERIALS

The area investigates the development of materials which interface with the body, providing enhanced functionality. Applications include improved drug delivery, infection resistance or monitoring of levels of drug or host markers. The three main areas are: photoactive biomaterials, polymeric medical devices and sensor development.

http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofPharmacy/Research/ResearchThemes/DrugDeliveryandBio

4.INFECTION AND ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE

This research theme consists of both basic and clinical research to improve the prevention, detection and treatment of infection, in particular for respiratory infectious diseases, antimicrobial stewardship and novel antimicrobials and anti-infective biomaterials

http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofPharmacy/Research/ResearchThemes/InfectionandAntimicr

5.HEALTHCARE DELIVERY AND MEDICINES OPTIMISATION

Reaearch within heath care delivery and medicines optimisation encompasses the development and implementation of interventions that improve the health outcomes for patients in primary and secondary care. This includes systems of healthcare delivery; quality of care in vulnerable populations and clinical paediatrics

https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofPharmacy/Research/ResearchThemes/HealthcareDeliveryandMedicinesOptimisation/

Subject Summary

Research within the School of Pharmacy covers a broad range of disciplines, ranging from material science, to drug discovery and clinical pharmacy. As such prospective students will have the benefit of working within a multi-disciplinary environment, with access to world class facilities and global leaders in their respective research areas.

Pharmacy Highlights
World Class Facilities
  • The Graduate School is a dedicated, University wide facility designed to connect postgraduate students from across all disciplines. It is located on the main site, within the recently renovated Lynn Library. The Graduate School provides an array of valuable training opportunities, tailor built to meet the needs of our postgraduate community. Importantly, courses are designed to provide support for core generic skills and for subject specific topics. Additionally, areas with the Graduate School can be reserved by postgraduate providing an idyllic retreat for those times which require intense focus.

    More information about the Graduate School, can be found below:
    https://www.qub.ac.uk/graduate-school/
Internationally Renowned Experts
  • These unique research programmes are delivered by numerous leading international academic experts in specialist fields including drug delivery, medical devices and nanotechnology. Details of specific staff, with links to their areas of research expertise can be located below:
    https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofPharmacy/Research/
Student Experience
  • 89% of current PhD students with the School of Pharmacy agree that the supervisory support and feedback equips them with the knowledge and experience to complete their research degree (PRES 2021).
Key Facts

I felt the course struck the right balance between knowledge and application, and afforded us all with the skills needed to pursue careers in either academia or industry.

Erin Magee
PhD Pharmacy

Course content

Research Information

Associated Research
School of Pharmacy works closely with both local and global pharmaceutical companies. This ensures a successful pipeline for the development of novel emerging healthcare technologies, designed specifically to deliver patient benefit.

Research Themes
NANOMEDICINE AND BIOTHERAPEUTICS

Research in this theme is focused on the development of novel technologies and targeted therapies for advanced healthcare solutions. Activities are concentrated on the development of unique genetic therapies and delivery systems that can be applied for the detection and treatment of various disease condition, design and commercial translation of novel nanomedicines with a focus on cancer treatment, the detection, characterisation and inhibition of proteases implicated in chronic diseases, the isolation and characterisation of bioactive peptides for potential therapeutic use and computational biology for drug design and molecular modelling.

Research Themes
PHARMACEUTICAL MATERIALS SCIENCE AND FORMULATION

Research in this theme is focused on the design, development and industrial translation of novel systems for patient-focused administration of difficult-to-deliver drugs. Activities are concentrated on the development of formulations to address major global issues around sexual and reproductive health, use of hot melt granulation and polymer extrusion/injection moulding technologies to produce solid dosage forms, multi-layered and targeted drug delivery systems, the use microneedles for transdermal drug delivery, patient monitoring and vaccine delivery, implantable delivery systems and ocular therapeutics.

Research Themes
DRUG DELIVERY AND BIOMATERIALS

Research in this theme is focused on the development of materials which interface with the body and provide enhanced functionality, such as drug delivery, infection resistance or monitoring of levels of drug or host markers. Activities are concentrated on the development of new methods for fabricating materials for medical device manufacture including biomaterials with enhanced anti-infective and biocompatibility properties. Sensor research focuses on sensors immobilised in biocompatible scaffolds, blood-free diagnosis/patient monitoring using microneedles and developing point-of-care tests for microbial infection.

Research Themes
INFECTION AND ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE

Research in this theme is focused on improved prevention, detection and treatment of infection. Activities are concentrated on preventing the development of antimicrobial resistance through improved antimicrobial stewardship, improved detection of infection using molecular and sensor based technology, prevention of infection using novel anti-infective biomaterials and enhanced infection prevention and control strategies and improved treatment of infection through discovery of novel antibiotics and antibiotic adjuvants and markers for better evidence-based decisions on antibiotic selection.

Research Themes
HEALTHCARE DELIVERY AND MEDICINES OPTIMISATION

Research in this theme is focused on the development and implementation of interventions that improve the health outcomes of patients in primary and secondary care. Activities are concentrated on improving systems of patient care in all health care sectors with a focus on the appropriateness of prescribing in chronic disease and in care home residents with dementia, and medication adherence in children.

Research Themes
The School of Pharmacy at Queen’s is widely acknowledged as a leading centre for Pharmacy teaching and research in the UK. We are currently ranked 2nd School of Pharmacy in the UK for Pharmacy and Pharmacology Research
(The Complete University Guide 2022)

PhD opportunities are available in:
•Nanomedicine and biotherapeutics
•Pharmaceutical materials science and formulation
•Drug delivery and biomaterials
•Infection and antimicrobial resistance
•Healthcare delivery and medicines optimisation

Research Themes
Our research focuses on making real-world improvements for patients through our expertise in pharmaceutical science and practice. REF 2021 showed that 97% of the School’s submitted research fell within the highest quality 4* and 3* categories, with 43% classed as world- leading 4* research.
The School of Pharmacy has a long-standing track record in undertaking research which has had impact on healthcare and wellbeing for the population. Our work has led to the development of a local anaesthetic cream formulation, the creation of several spin-out companies (e.g. ProAxsis, pHion Therapeutics, Re-Vana Therapeutics), devices to help prevent the spread of HIV and a new type of pharmacy-led service which improves the prescribing of medication for older people. We constantly strive to do research which will positively impact society and improve the delivery of health care. One example of our high impact research includes the BREATH project led by Professor Lorraine Martin (https://www.breath-copd.org).

Research Projects
Materials & Advanced Technologies for Healthcare (MATCH) is an interdisciplinary research initiative comprising leading researchers from the Schools of Pharmacy, Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Biological Sciences, Medicine, Dentistry & Biomedical Sciences and Nursing & Midwifery.

Our research is based on one key question: “How can we use advanced technologies to significantly improve healthcare outcomes?” We connect researchers along the development pathway and follow a unique “Molecule to Patient” approach. Currently, single-stranded strategies are applied to development and use of new healthcare products. Without a holistic approach, medicines are wasted, patients suffer avoidable adverse effects, or go untreated. Greater interaction between those involved in identifying novel therapeutic targets, drug discovery, materials science, pharmaceutical formulation, manufacture, diagnosis, prescribing and medicines utilisation is a significant unmet need. If addressed, this stands to have major impact in the care of all patients, but especially the very young and old, representing the populations in which medicines may present the greatest risk, but have maximum benefit. We take an innovative dual approach, firstly by developing the underpinning technologies, secondly by exploiting the possibilities that these technologies present to maximum clinical and commercial advantage by selecting the best target areas and understanding patient factors.

Research Success
The research profile produced by the 2021 UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) showed that 97% of the research outputs with our combined Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy submission fell within the highest quality 4* and 3* categories, with 51% classed as world-leading 4* research, confirming our reputation as an internationally-leading research centre. Excellence across the School of Pharmacy is evidenced by our consistent ranking as one of the top pharmacy schools within the UK. We are very proud that in 2022 our School was ranked by the QS World Rankings in the top 15% (55th) globally for Pharmacy and Pharmacology.

Career Prospects

Introduction
Many of our PhD graduates have moved into academic and research roles in Higher Education while others go on to play leading roles within the pharmaceutical industry. Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits from facilities within the School, but also from wider University initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus, both of which bolster candidate employability.

Employment after the Course
Queen’s University offer extensive career development opportunities to PhD students. Further details can be accessed via the link below.
https://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/careers/

People teaching you

Dr Jonathan Coulter
PGR Director
Pharmacy
Applications considered throughout the year from applicants who have secured external funding or are willing to self-fund the project.

Learning Outcomes
A research degree offers students an opportunity to develop their capacity for independent research and critical thought. A PhD allows students to explore in-depth an area of interest, developing skills to solve theoretical and practical problems within the field. Undertaking a research degree will enhance a student’s written and oral communication skills, providing the essential skills required for academic and industry leadership positions.
Course structure

There is no specific course content as such. You are expected to undertake 30 days of formal training which includes demonstrator training, laboratory techniques, annual progress review preparation etc. All students are closely supported by the School and supervisors to obtain quantitative and qualitative data using a range of research methods. You will be expected to carry out your own research under the guidance of your supervisor and postdoctoral team.

Over the course of study you can attend postgraduate skills training organised by the Graduate School.

You will normally register, in the first instance, as an ‘undifferentiated PhD student’ which means that you have satisfied staff that you are capable of undertaking a research degree. The decision as to whether you should undertake an MPhil or a PhD is delayed until you have completed ‘differentiation’.

Differentiation takes place about 9-12 months after registration for full time students and about 18-30 months for part time students: You are normally asked to submit work to a panel of up two academics and this is followed up with a formal meeting with the ‘Differentiation Panel’. The Panel then make a decision regarding your progress and the viability of your research project. Annual progress reviews, with the same panel will occur both during 2nd and 3rd year.

To complete a doctoral qualification you will be required to submit a thesis and to attend a viva voce [oral examination] with an external and internal examiner to defend your research.

A PhD programme runs for 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time. Students can apply for a writing up year should it be required.

The PhD is open to both full and part time candidates and is often a useful preparation for a career within academia or industry.

Full time students are often attracted to research degree programmes because they offer an opportunity to pursue in some depth an area of academic interest.

If you meet the Entry Requirements, the next step is to check whether we can supervise research in your chosen area. We only take students to whom we can offer expert research supervision from one of our academic staff. Therefore, your research interests should align with those of our academic staff. Full details can be found via the website.

https://www.qub.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate-research/find-a-phd-supervisor/

Application Process

If you identify a potential PhD supervisor, select the “Make a PhD enquiry” tab, and complete the required fields. Your potential supervisor or the admissions team will aim to respond within a working week.

Following initial discussions, and assuming you meet the eligibility criteria, potential students will need to make a formal application for PhD study via the link below. This application will require a brief outline of the proposed research project. This can be agreed with your potential supervisor during initial discussions.

https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/user/u_login.php

If you have difficulty identifying or contacting an appropriate supervisor, please contact Dr Jonathan Coulter (j.coulter@qub.ac.uk) or Adam Ringland (a.ringland@qub.ac.uk) who will be happy to help.

Application from full-time self-funding students will be accepted at any point throughout the academic year.

Scholarship awards: Funded PhD positions (UK and EU students) will be advertised via the School of Pharmacy website, typically around November, with interviews held during January/February.
International students are eligible to apply for a range of scholarships, full details of which including closing dates can be found at the link below:

https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofPharmacy/Research/PostgraduatePositions/


https://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International- students/International-scholarships/postgraduate-research- scholarships/

Prospective international students should also discuss scholarship options with potential PhD supervisors.

Assessment

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, termed the Annual Progress Review (APR).

APR requires students to present their work in both the written and oral format to a panel of academics from within the School. Successful completion of this process will allow students to register for the next academic year.

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, termed the Annual Progress Review (APR).

APR requires students to present their work in both the written and oral format 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 doctoral degree is both written and oral. 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 PhD students will have access to a shared office space and access to a desk with personal computer and internet access.

Learning and Teaching

This is a research degree

-
-

Project name School Funding Subject Status Sort Timestamp
AVACTA (All-island Vaccine Research and Training Alliance) Mucosally delivered vaccines containing novel ESKAPE antigens
School of Pharmacy | PHD Vaccine, nasal, inhaled, nanoparticles, drug delivery, mucosal, pharmaceutical, antigen, bacteria Dr Vicky Kett
Supervisor
Dr Vicky Kett
Funding
Funded
Irish Higher Education Authority North-South
Application deadline
31 January 2023
School of Pharmacy Funded Pharmacy Open 2 1675123200
Microneedle delivery of non-ribosomal antimicrobial peptides to treat multidrug-resistant Gram-negative infections
School of Pharmacy | PHD Antibiotics; peptide synthesis; antimicrobial peptides; microneedles; organic synthesis Professor Ryan Donnelly.
Supervisor
Professor Ryan Donnelly.
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Chemical Tools to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance
School of Pharmacy | PHD Antibiotics; peptide synthesis; chemical probes; organic synthesis; chemical biology Professor Gerd Wagner.
Supervisor
Professor Gerd Wagner.
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
ENERGY - Enhanced Nanoparticles Engineered fRom Gold for multi-modal therapY
School of Pharmacy | PHD Nanomedicine, Cancer, SERS, radiotherapy, photothermal therapy Dr Jonathan Coulter.
Supervisor
Dr Jonathan Coulter.
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Novel poly(acrylic acid) complexes for enantioselective drug delivery and chiral separation
School of Pharmacy | PHD Drug Delivery, Materials Science, Analytical Chemistry Professor Karl Malcolm.
Supervisor
Professor Karl Malcolm.
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
High resolution solid state NMR as a tool for analysis of polymeric controlled release drug delivery systems
School of Pharmacy | PHD Drug delivery, materials science, analytical chemistry, polymers, solid state NMR Professor Karl Malcolm.
Supervisor
Professor Karl Malcolm.
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Investigating the impact of electronic cigarette vapour on respiratory microbiota and inflammation.
School of Pharmacy | PHD Electronic cigarettes, smoking, vaping, microbiology, respiratory, infection Dr Deirdre Gilpin
Supervisor
Dr Deirdre Gilpin
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Monitoring antimicrobial resistance in wastewater in Northern Ireland.
School of Pharmacy | PHD Microbiology, infection, antimicrobial resistance Dr Deirdre Gilpin
Supervisor
Dr Deirdre Gilpin
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
To investigate novel interacting drug combinations in the treatment of Ovarian Cancer
School of Pharmacy | PHD Ovarian Cancer, cell biology, cell signalling, pharmacology, drug action Dr Fiona Furlong
Supervisor
Dr Fiona Furlong
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Utilising data linkage to estimate antimicrobial resistance burden in paediatric populations
School of Pharmacy | PHD Pharmacoepidemiology, data linkage, antimicrobial resistance, children Dr Yingfen Hsia
Supervisor
Dr Yingfen Hsia
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Treatment of infections caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative infections through microneedle delivery of antimicrobial peptides
School of Pharmacy | PHD Antibiotics, peptide synthesis, antimicrobial peptides, microneedles, organic synthesis Prof Ryan Donnelly
Supervisor
Prof Ryan Donnelly
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Production of super small nanocrystals for drug delivery to target tissues
School of Pharmacy | PHD Drug nanocrystals, media milling, infectious diseases, nanoparticle, targeting Dr Alejandro J. Paredes
Supervisor
Dr Alejandro J. Paredes
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Antibiotic Resistance and Biofilm Formation in Clinical Isolates of Enterococcus faecium – a WHO High Priority Pathogen
School of Pharmacy | PHD Microbiome, extremophile, enzymes, biocatalysis, biotechnology Professor Brendan Gilmore
Supervisor
Professor Brendan Gilmore
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Measurement of outcomes for medicines management interventions for people living with dementia in primary care
School of Pharmacy | PHD Dementia, core outcome set, interventions, outcome measurement instruments, systematic review Professor Carmel Hughes
Supervisor
Professor Carmel Hughes
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Self-regulating, self-cleaning biomaterials
School of Pharmacy | PHD Drug delivery, antimicrobial, AMR, polymer, materials science, surface modification, surface chemist Professor Colin McCoy
Supervisor
Professor Colin McCoy
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Supervisor
Dr Carole Parsons
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Antibiotic use and lower respiratory tract infections burden in children during Coronavirus (COVID-19)
School of Pharmacy | PHD Pharmaco-epidemiology, children, machine learning, infection disease, COVID-19 Dr Yingfen Hsia
Supervisor
Dr Yingfen Hsia
Funding
Funded
Department for the Economy
Application deadline
30 November 2022
School of Pharmacy Funded Pharmacy Open 2 1669766400
Microfluidic technologies for the production of Nanomedicines
School of Pharmacy | PHD Drug Delivery, Microfluidics, Nanomedicine, Biopharmaceutics Professor Dimitrios Lamprou
Supervisor
Professor Dimitrios Lamprou
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
3D & 4D printing in cancer management
School of Pharmacy | PHD 3D Printing, 4D printing, Bioprinting, Drug Delivery, Cancer treatment, Implants Professor Dimitrios Lamprou
Supervisor
Professor Dimitrios Lamprou
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Supervisor
Dr Eneko Larrañeta
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Peptide-based nanoparticles for brain targeted gene delivery
School of Pharmacy | PHD Cell Penetrating Peptides, Gene Delivery, Gene Therapy, Nanomedicine, Targeted Treatments Dr Emma McErlean
Supervisor
Dr Emma McErlean
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Development of antifungal nanotherapeutics containing AmB+ drug combinations using an advanced continuous manufacturing technology
School of Pharmacy | PHD Antifungal, Pharmaceutical Technology, nanomedicine, liposomes, polymeric nanoparticles Professor Gavin Andrews
Supervisor
Professor Gavin Andrews
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Development of paediatric-centred anti-malaria nanotherapeutic formulations using an advanced continuous manufacturing technology
School of Pharmacy | PHD ACT, Malaria, Pharmaceutical Technology, nanomedicine, nanoparticles, continuous manufacturing Professor Gavin Andrews
Supervisor
Professor Gavin Andrews
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Development of Innovative Diabetic Foot Ulcer Treatment Strategies using Photodynamic Therapy + Combination Delivery Systems
School of Pharmacy | PHD Diabetes, Diabetic Foot ulcer, Pharmaceutical Technology, Photodynamic therapy Professor Gavin Andrews
Supervisor
Professor Gavin Andrews
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Developing magneto-electric nanoparticles for advanced drug delivery of therapeutic agents for the treatment of neurological tuberculosis and HIV
School of Pharmacy | PHD Nanomedicine, Nanotechnology, Nanomaterials, Nanoparticles, Central nervous system, Drug delivery Professor Gavin Andrews
Supervisor
Professor Gavin Andrews
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Development of Solid-state Therapeutic Protein Formulations for Oral Delivery via Advanced and Continuous Manufacturing Technologies
School of Pharmacy | PHD Therapeutic proteins, solid-state protein formulations, oral protein delivery, hot melt extrusion Professor Gavin Andrews
Supervisor
Professor Gavin Andrews
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Development of Variable Dose Combination Products Using FDM 3D Printing
School of Pharmacy | PHD Personalised medicine, precision medicine, stratified therapy, fixed dose combination Professor Gavin Andrews
Supervisor
Professor Gavin Andrews
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Supervisor
Professor Gavin Andrews
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Enzyme-responsive peptide hydrogel as in situ forming long-acting drug delivery implants
School of Pharmacy | PHD Drug Delivery, Peptides; Hydrogels; Controlled Release Dr Garry Laverty
Supervisor
Dr Garry Laverty
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Chemical glycoengineering of therapeutic antibodies
School of Pharmacy | PHD drug design, chemical biology, medicinal chemistry, organic synthesis, antibodies Professor Gerd Wagner
Supervisor
Professor Gerd Wagner
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Novel P2Y receptor ligands for drug discovery
School of Pharmacy | PHD drug design, chemical biology, medicinal chemistry, organic synthesis, nucleoside, nucleotide, GPCR Professor Gerd Wagner
Supervisor
Professor Gerd Wagner
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Supervisor
Professor Gerd Wagner
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
The role of carers in medicines management for people living with dementia
School of Pharmacy | PHD Older people, dementia, carers, primary care, healthcare professionals, medicines management Dr Heather Barry
Supervisor
Dr Heather Barry
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Development of a multi-antigenic mRNA vaccine for Glioblastoma
School of Pharmacy | PHD Nanoparticles, mRNA, Vaccines Professor Helen McCarthy
Supervisor
Professor Helen McCarthy
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Structure-based design of allosteric modulators for G protein-coupled receptors using molecular modelling and pharmacology experiments
School of Pharmacy | PHD computational biology, protein-coupled receptors, molecular modelling Dr Irina Tikhonova
Supervisor
Dr Irina Tikhonova
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Investigating the role of USP17 in EMT
School of Pharmacy | PHD Protease, ubiquitin, deubiquitinase, USP17 Dr James Burrows
Supervisor
Dr James Burrows
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Countering the proteinase-activated receptor 1 (PAR-1) pro-tumour phenotype using a novel nanotherapeutic approach
School of Pharmacy | PHD Cancer biology, Nanomedicine, Drug Delivery, metastasis Dr Jonathan Coulter
Supervisor
Dr Jonathan Coulter
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Digital design and advanced processing technologies for antimicrobial nanotherapeutics
School of Pharmacy | PHD Antifungal, antibacterial, nanomedicine, liposomes, Dr Justin Tian
Supervisor
Dr Justin Tian
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
High throughput screening models for intracellular delivery of antimicrobial nanotherapeutics
School of Pharmacy | PHD Antifungal, antibacterial, liposomes, polymeric nanoparticles, rational design, Dr Justin Tian
Supervisor
Dr Justin Tian
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Dexamethasone-releasing cochlear implants for fibroblast growth inhibition
School of Pharmacy | PHD Drug delivery; pharmaceutics; medical devices Professor Karl Malcolm
Supervisor
Professor Karl Malcolm
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Novel poly(acrylic acid) complexes for enantioselective drug delivery and chiral separation
School of Pharmacy | PHD Drug delivery, materials science, analytical chemistry, polymers, solid state NMR Professor Karl Malcolm
Supervisor
Professor Karl Malcolm
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Dip-coating as a strategy to modify drug release from silicone elastomer drug delivery devices
School of Pharmacy | PHD Drug delivery, materials science, analytical chemistry, polymers, drug release kinetics Professor Karl Malcolm
Supervisor
Professor Karl Malcolm
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Multifunctional Biomaterials to Combat Infection and Modulate Inflammation
School of Pharmacy | PHD Biomaterials, Medical Device, Infection, Biofilm, Inflammation, Immunomodulatory, Implant, Regenerat Dr Louise Carson
Supervisor
Dr Louise Carson
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Selective targeting of proteases for the treatment of chronic airways disease.
School of Pharmacy | PHD Chronic airways diseases to include protease biochemistry & airway physiology. Professor Lorraine Martin
Supervisor
Professor Lorraine Martin
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Investigation of novel protease-antiprotease imbalances associated with chronic airways disease.
School of Pharmacy | PHD lung, respiratory, airways, COPD, proteases, cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, electrop Professor Lorraine Martin
Supervisor
Professor Lorraine Martin
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Supervisor
Dr Laura Sherrard
Funding
Unfunded
Microbiome, biofilm, infection, intensive care
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Relationship between antibiotic therapy and development of antimicrobial resistance in patients with bronchiectasis and COPD
School of Pharmacy | PHD Infection, antimicrobial resistance, PCR, next-generation sequencing, metagenomics Professor Michael Tunney
Supervisor
Professor Michael Tunney
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) for rapid antibiotic susceptibility testing
School of Pharmacy | PHD Infection, antimicrobial resistance, antimicrobial susceptibility testing Raman spectroscopy Professor Michael Tunney
Supervisor
Professor Michael Tunney
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Designing next-generation urinary catheter materials for clean intermittent self-catheterisation through control of the urinary microbiome
School of Pharmacy | PHD Biomaterials, urinary catheters, stimuli-responsive, infection, device coatings Dr Matthew Wylie
Supervisor
Dr Matthew Wylie
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Development of carbohydrate-functionalised materials for detection and prevention of medical device-associated infections
School of Pharmacy | PHD Materials science, glycochemistry, medical devices, antimicrobial coatings Dr Matthew Wylie
Supervisor
Dr Matthew Wylie
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Advanced manufacturing of paediatric formulations with poorly water soluble drugs
School of Pharmacy | PHD Advanced manufacturing; poorly water-soluble drugs; in situ amorphization; paediatric formulation Dr Min Zhao
Supervisor
Dr Min Zhao
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Developing novel therapeutic strategies to better treat Triple Negative Breast Cancer
School of Pharmacy | PHD Breast Cancer, biomarkers, personalised medicine Dr Niamh Buckley
Supervisor
Dr Niamh Buckley
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Investigating the clinical and molecular significance of the microbiome in breast cancer
School of Pharmacy | PHD Breast cancer, personalised medicine, microbiome, biomarkers, novel therapies Dr Niamh Buckley
Supervisor
Dr Niamh Buckley
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
3D printing of drug delivery implants
School of Pharmacy | PHD Bone, biomaterials, hydroxyapatite, additive manufacturing, 3D printing Dr Peter Boyd
Supervisor
Dr Peter Boyd
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Assessing the molecular mechanisms by which Cathepsin V promotes breast cancer growth and metastasis.
School of Pharmacy | PHD Cancer, Proteases, Cathepsins, Therapeutics, Personalised Medicine Dr Roberta Burden
Supervisor
Dr Roberta Burden
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Microneedle delivery systems for next-generation antibody therapeutics
School of Pharmacy | PHD Microneedles, antibodies, advanced therapeutics, drug delivery Professor Ryan Donnelly
Supervisor
Professor Ryan Donnelly
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Development of long-acting injectable (LAI) drug delivery systems to treat ocular diseases
School of Pharmacy | PHD long-acting drug delivery, sustained release, polymer implants, glaucoma, ocular drug delivery Professor Raghu Raj Singh Thakur
Supervisor
Professor Raghu Raj Singh Thakur
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Polymer-engineering nanocages for protein delivery
School of Pharmacy | PHD Protein delivery, biotherapeutics, stimuli-responsive polymers, bioconjugation, nanocages, polymer Dr Sheiliza Carmali
Supervisor
Dr Sheiliza Carmali
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Enhancing Protein Thermal Stability for Melt Processing
School of Pharmacy | PHD Proteins, biotherapeutics, hot-melt extrusion, continuous manufacturing, bioconjugation Dr Sheiliza Carmali
Supervisor
Dr Sheiliza Carmali
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Investigating the role of the microbiome in infection and health outcomes following renal transplantation
School of Pharmacy | PHD Microbiome, antimicrobial resistance (AMR), infection, clinical, renal Dr Stephen Kelly
Supervisor
Dr Stephen Kelly
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Mechanochemical synthesis of polymer-drug conjugates via reactive extrusion
School of Pharmacy | PHD Polymer-drug conjugates, solvent-less mechanochemical conjugation, mechanochemistry Dr Shu Li
Supervisor
Dr Shu Li
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Supervisor
Dr Shu Li
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Bio-inspired liquid-like coatings for medical devices to combat biofilms and associated infections
School of Pharmacy | PHD Biomaterials; Infection; Surface; Medical devices Dr Shuai Zhang
Supervisor
Dr Shuai Zhang
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Safer, scalable, and modifiable polymer-based lipid nanocapsules for drug delivery
School of Pharmacy | PHD Lipid nanocapsules, drug delivery, nanotechnology, green chemistry, polymer science. Dr Taher Hatahet
Supervisor
Dr Taher Hatahet
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Supervisor
Dr Timofey Skvortsov
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Improved delivery of bacteriophages and phage-derived antibacterial agents
School of Pharmacy | PHD Bacteriophage, endolysins, skin, biofilms, deep eutectic solvents, formulation Dr Timofey Skvortsov
Supervisor
Dr Timofey Skvortsov
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Nanoparticle delivery of antibiotics for treatment of pulmonary infection
School of Pharmacy | PHD inhaled, nanoparticles, drug delivery, mucosal, pharmaceutical, bacteria Dr Vicky Kett
Supervisor
Dr Vicky Kett
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Self-Navigating Nanocarriers for Intracellular Protein Delivery
School of Pharmacy | PHD Biologics, protein delivery, nanomedicine, intracellular delivery Dr Wafa Al-Jamal
Supervisor
Dr Wafa Al-Jamal
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
In-cell quantification of drug concentrations by using advanced nano-sensor
School of Pharmacy | PHD Nanomedicine, Nanotechnology, Nanomaterials, Sensing, Senor, Biosensor, Bioengineering Dr Yi Ge
Supervisor
Dr Yi Ge
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Developing cost-effective and eco-friendly antiviral nano-agents
School of Pharmacy | PHD Nanomedicine, Nanotechnology, Nanomaterials, Biomaterials, COVID-19, Antiviral agents, Virus Dr Yi Ge
Supervisor
Dr Yi Ge
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 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.

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 6.0, with not less than 6.0 in writing, and not less than 5.5 in listening, speaking and reading, 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.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,596
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,596
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £4,596
EU Other 3 £23,850
International £23,850

1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. The NI/ROI, GB and Isles fees relate to academic year 2022-23 and will be updated to 2023-24 rates once they have been confirmed. All fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Pharmacy costs

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.

Bench fees

Some research programmes incur an additional annual charge on top of the tuition fees, often referred to as a bench fee. Bench fees are charged when a programme (or a specific project) incurs extra costs such as those involved with specialist laboratory or field work. If you are required to pay bench fees they will be detailed on your offer letter. If you have any questions about Bench Fees these should be raised with your School at the application stage. Please note that, if you are being funded you will need to ensure your sponsor is aware of and has agreed to fund these additional costs before accepting your place.

How do I fund my study?

1.PhD Opportunities

Find PhD opportunities and funded studentships by subject area.

2.Funded Doctoral Training Programmes

We offer numerous opportunities for funded doctoral study in a world-class research environment. Our centres and partnerships, aim to seek out and nurture outstanding postgraduate research students, and provide targeted training and skills development.

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.

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 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.

Download Postgraduate Prospectus