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Microbiology (Research)

Newcastle University
6 years
Doctorate / PhD
On campus
Newcastle upon Tyne
Contact school for start dates

Program description

World-class microbiological research takes place in Newcastle in medical sciences, biological sciences, and civil engineering and geosciences. We welcome MPhil, PhD and MD research proposals in all three of these fields. We are well funded and this creates a vibrant and dynamic environment for postgraduate study.

We offer MPhil, PhD and MD supervision in:

Medical sciences:

The Centre of Bacterial Cell Biology researches fundamental aspects of the cell biology and biochemistry of bacteria, providing scientific insights crucial for the discovery and development of new antibiotics, as well as providing solutions to a huge range of industrial and environmental problems. Other research interests include:
•chromosome replication and segregation
•transcription and translation
•protein structure, function and engineering
•cell envelope, growth and division
•synthetic biology, development and gene regulation
•bacterium-host interactions.

Biological sciences:

The Applied and Environmental Microbiology Group researches:
•microbial biology in a range of habitats
•discovery of natural products, eg antibiotics
•reduction of food spoilage
•production of biofuels, bioremediation of polluted environments
•pathogens and host–pathogen interactions in a range of diseases including those in plants and coral reefs.

Civil engineering and geosciences:

The multidisciplinary research of Civil Engineering and Geosciences contributes fundamental advances in:
•microbial ecology
•environmental microbiology
•environmental engineering and Earth systems
•microbiological aspects of engineered and natural environments
•anaerobic crude oil degradation in petroleum reservoirs
•engineered biological treatment systems
•the microbial ecology of climatically significant processes such as methane cycling.

Our research involves collaboration with mathematicians and modellers to develop underlying methods and theories that unite fundamental and applied aspects of the microbiology of environmental engineering and Earth systems. We have particular expertise in linking measured geochemical processes directly to the size and diversity of the microbial communities that mediate them.

A number of successful spin off companies have been created by staff. For example, Demuris Ltd is a drug discovery company that develops novel therapeutics, including new antibiotics that will combat the threat from emerging diseases and the rise of antibiotic resistance. This is testimony to our intellectual and innovative capacity, and our ability to translate biosciences research to the industrial setting.

In addition to subject-specific research training, our Medical Sciences Graduate School and Science, Agriculture and Engineering Graduate School will provide you with a comprehensive research training programme. This includes training in professional skills and research techniques, and support for personal development. They each have a thriving postgraduate research culture, with additional support for international students. You are encouraged to present your work in Newcastle and at scientific meetings.


The Intern Scholarship Scheme provides you with the opportunity to develop your skills by working in industry, the public sector or a charity. These internships are available following submission of your thesis.

Some UK research council-funded studentship programmes, such as CASE studentships and DTP studentships, offer industrial or other work experience training as an integral part of the programme.

A number of case studies showcase the range of collaborations between the University and industry.


Our research is supported by a wide range of facilities, allowing a broad range of research to be explored from nanotechnology to whole cell function.

Admission requirements

For more information about this program, please contact the school directly.

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About this institute

Newcastle University

Newcastle University is a world-class research and teaching university, ranked in the top 200 of the world’s best universities. We are proud to have been awarded Gold status by the UK government in the Teaching Excellence Framework in recognition of our provision of consistently outstanding teaching,...

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