Optical Biology PHD Programme At UCL

About the Optical Biology PhD Programme

Optical Biology is an interdisciplinary field which involves developing new optical technology for studying the interaction of light (i.e. photons) with biological organisms, tissues, cells, and molecules in order to solve fundamental open questions in biology.

Why study Optical Biology at UCL?

The Optical Biology 4-year Wellcome PhD programme at UCL combines scientific excellence with a commitment to improving the culture of the research environment. There will be a strong focus on personalised development planning and transition support for students. It is the first UK PhD programme offering multidisciplinary training in the state-of-the-art optical techniques that are transforming all areas of biomedical research. The programme brings together neuroscientists, cell biologists, physicists, chemists and computational scientists at UCL, with world-leading industrial and academic partners, to deliver an integrated training programme in the most advanced optical methods and analysis tools.

Programme highlights

Key dates

  • Applications open | 2 November 2023
  • Application deadline | 2 January 2024
  • Interviews | February 2024

Eligibility and suitability

Students from diverse backgrounds, including neuroscience, cell biology, physics, chemistry, and engineering, are encouraged to apply. We also welcome applications from those with relevant industry experience. Successful applicants will have, or should expect to get, a UK 1st class or high upper second-class degree, or the foreign equivalent of this.

Training culture

We are committed to being part of a positive and inclusive research environment. We believe scientific excellence must be accompanied by an improved work environment and career support for trainees. Our PhD programme provides:

  • A supportive research environment
  • High quality student-supervisor relationships
  • A student-centered approach
  • An evolving community of researchers who develop and share best practices.

What we offer

The 4-year PhD studentship in Optical Biology provides support for:

  • A highly competitive stipend
    • Year 1: £25,954
    • Year 2: £26,572
    • Year 3: £27,190
    • Year 4: £27,808
  • PhD registration fees at the UK student rate
  • Research expenses
  • Transferable skills training
  • Travel costs (including registration fees and childcare or other caring responsibility cost)
  • Transition costs at the end of the studentship to help you move to the next stage of your career.
  • In addition to Wellcome funding, scholarships to join the programme are occasionally available by funding through UCL Overseas Research Scholarships (UCL-ORS), the Optical Biology scholarship for Black British Caribbean, Black British African, Black British other and mixed Black British applicants, the UCL Research Opportunities Scholarship (UCL-ROS) and via the EPSRC.

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