Postgraduate research 

Infectious Disease PhD

Close-up of gloved hands in lab

We take a highly interdisciplinary approach to the study of infectious disease that combines mathematical and statistical modelling with ecology, evolutionary biology, parasitology, immunology and bioinformatics and the social sciences.

Overview

The Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine has considerable strengths in epidemiology, particularly in the areas of quantitative modelling, genetic analysis, surveillance, immunology and vaccinology, antimicrobial resistance, vector ecology and one-health approaches to disease management. Much of our focus is on endemic and 'neglected' diseases, pathogens of veterinary importance, zoonoses, and studying the biology of these pathogens in their natural context, particularly in developing countries.

We take a highly interdisciplinary approach to the study of infectious diseases, recognising that epidemiology is very much the ecology of infectious diseases, and thereby benefiting greatly from overlap with strengths in spatial and quantitative ecology. Our modelling is developed in close proximity to data, and focused on estimation of parameters relevant to dynamics and control using innovative statistical methodologies. The advent of new sequencing technologies will revolutionise the way we study epidemiology, particularly regarding processes that influence disease transmission, which is usually a very 'hidden' process.

Individual research projects are tailored around the expertise of principal investigators within the Institutes. A variety of approaches are used, including ecology, epidemiology, mathematical, computational and statistical modelling, bioinformatics, parasitology, immunology and polyomics (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics). Basic and applied science projects are available for study, as are field-based projects with research programs underway in both the UK and overseas. Specific areas of interest include:

  • infectious disease dynamics in wild and domestic animal populations
  • wildlife diseases and conservation
  • network analysis of disease spread
  • phylodynamics
  • model-based statistical inference using Bayesian approaches
  • vector biology, ecology and control
  • life-history trade-offs and the sustainable control of malaria
  • vaccine development
  • quantitative approaches to vaccine selection
  • host-parasite interactions and immunogenetics
  • wild immunology
  • molecular ecology and evolution
  • zoonoses and neglected tropical diseases and the science of intervention
  • ecosystem and One Health
  • social and ecological impacts of disease
  • game theory and the design of disease control programs
  • antibiotic and anthelminthic resistance
  • design of vaccination programs
  • within-host pathogen dynamics
  • evolutionary game theory
  • theory of diversity measurement and its application
  • ecology and evolution of emerging infectious diseases
  • ecology of multi-host pathogens
  • ecology and evolution of vector-borne pathogens
  • environmental drivers of pathogen spread
  • micro and macro-parasitic infections

Study options

PhD

  • Duration: 3/4 years full-time; 5 years part-time

MSc (Research)

  • Duration: 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

Integrated PhD programmes (4 years)

  • Year 1: completion of taught Masters level modules 
  • Years 2 to 4: research degree

Completion of taught Masters level modules before entering a research PhD will provide you with a valuable introduction to academic topics and research methods, whilst providing key training in laboratory skills and the critical evaluation of research data.

Our ethos of research-led teaching will allow you to hone your research ideas and discuss these with potential PhD supervisors during year 1. Upon successful completion of the taught component, alongside students on our Masters programmes, you will progress to your research degree in year 2 and complete an examinable piece of independent research by the end of the programme. 

Entry requirements

PhD programmes

2.1 Honours degree or equivalent

Applicants should submit:

  • transcripts/degree certificate 
  • two references
  • a one-page research proposal
  • CV

Integrated PhD programmes

Upper Second-class Honours degree or international equivalent in a relevant subject area.

English Language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English.

Fees and funding

Fees

2020/21

  • £4,407 UK/EU
  • £21,920 outside EU

Prices are based on the annual fee for full-time study. Fees for part-time study are half the full-time fee.

Additional fees for all students:

  • Re-submission by a research student £525
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work £1,315
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £340
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £765

Depending on the nature of the research project, some students will be expected to pay a bench fee (also known as research support costs) to cover additional costs. The exact amount will be provided in the offer letter.

Alumni discount

A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni. This includes graduates and those who have completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at the University of Glasgow. The discount is applied at registration for students who are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No additional application is required.

Funding for EU students

The UK government has confirmed that EU nationals will remain eligible to apply for Research Council PhD studentships at UK institutions for 2019/20 to help cover costs for the duration of their study. The Scottish Government has confirmed that fees for EU students commencing their studies in 2019/20 and 2020/21 will be at the same level as those for UK students.

2019/20 fees

  • £4,327 UK/EU
  • £21,020 outside EU

Prices are based on the annual fee for full-time study. Fees for part-time study are half the full-time fee.

Additional fees for all students:

  • Re-submission by a research student £500
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work £1,250
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £320
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £730

Depending on the nature of the research project, some students will be expected to pay a bench fee (also known as research support costs) to cover additional costs. The exact amount will be provided in the offer letter.

Funding

View a full list of our current scholarships

Support

The College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences Graduate School provides a vibrant, supportive and stimulating environment for all our postgraduate students. We aim to provide excellent support for our postgraduates through dedicated postgraduate convenors, highly trained supervisors and pastoral support for each student.
 
Our overarching aim is to provide a research training environment that includes:

  • provision of excellent facilities and cutting edge techniques
  • training in essential research and generic skills
  • excellence in supervision and mentoring
  • interactive discussion groups and seminars
  • an atmosphere that fosters critical cultural policy and research analysis
  • synergy between research groups and areas
  • extensive multidisciplinary and collaborative research
  • extensive external collaborations both within and beyond the UK 
  • a robust generic skills programme including opportunities in social and commercial training

Resources

Our excellent facilities  for lab, field and farm-based research and dedicated staff, will equip you with training complementary to a range of career options, and you can tailor your study pathway to the precise aspects that suit your objectives. This includes aquaria, aviaries, insectaries and labs for conducting analyses in:

  • bioinformatics
  • cellular physiology
  • developmental biology
  • evolutionary biology
  • endocrinology
  • molecular ecology
  • physiological ecology

We also have:

  • a state of the art field research centre on Loch Lomond (SCENE)
  • a university farm (Cochno) and research centre North of Glasgow
  • excellent computing facilities
  • a vibrant and supportive community of researchers
  • access to additional specialist facilities through our wide network of collaborators in NGOs, communities, government agencies and research institutes worldwide.

How to apply

Identify potential supervisors

All Postgraduate Research Students are allocated a supervisor who will act as the main source of academic support and research mentoring. You may want to identify a potential supervisor and contact them to discuss your research proposal before you apply. Please note, even if you have spoken to an academic staff member about your proposal you still need to submit an online application form.

You can find relevant academic staff members with our staff research interests search.


Gather your documents

Before applying please make sure you gather the following supporting documentation:

  1. Final or current degree transcripts including grades (and an official translation, if needed) – scanned copy in colour of the original document
  2. Degree certificates (and an official translation, if needed): scanned copy in colour of the original document
  3. Two references on headed paper (academic and/or professional).
  4. Research proposal, CV, samples of written work as per requirements for each subject area.

Submitting References

To complete your application we will need two references (one must be academic the other can be academic or professional).

There are two options for you to submit references as part of your application.  You can upload a document as part of your application or you can enter in your referee’s contact details and we will contact them to request a reference.

Option 1 – Uploading as part of the application form

Your references should be on official headed paper. These should also be signed by the referee. You can then upload these via theOnline Application form with the rest your documents to complete the application process.

Please be aware that documents must not exceed 5MB in size and therefore you may have to upload your documents separately. The online system allow you to upload supporting documents only in PDF format. For a free PDF writer go to www.pdfforge.org.

Option 2 - Entering contact details as part of the application form

If you enter your referees contact details including email on the application form we will email them requesting they submit a reference once you have submitted the application form.  When the referee responds and sends a reference you will be sent an email to confirm the university has received this.

After submitting your application form

Use our Applicant Self Service uploading documents function to submit a new reference. We can also accept confidential references direct to rio-researchadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk, from the referee’s university or business email account.  


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