We address key questions in the fundamental biology of ageing, animal welfare and food security. How and why does ageing occur and what are its impacts on health and well-being? How do animals cope with pollutants? How do we achieve sustainable animal production whilst protecting animal health and welfare?
Ageing affects almost all species, but the rate at which it occurs varies considerably among and within species. People are now living much longer than previous generations, with ageing being the major risk factor for many diseases. This has given rise to the concept of not only our ‘life span’ but also our ‘health span’ which is the length of a disease free life. We know that the environment we live in can influence how we age, it is now increasingly recognised that the aging process and its associated disease risk can be ‘set up’ or programmed by events experienced before we are born ‘prenatal programming’ or during post natal development ie pre and peripubertal as well as in adult life. Consequently, understanding why we age, how we age, the factors responsible for variation in ageing and longevity and the impact ageing has on health and wellbeing is a major challenge in science today.
We are uniquely placed to employ a highly integrative, comparative and collaborative approach for the study of ageing, health and animal welfare. We study ageing at the molecular, cellular and organism level, in the field and in the laboratory, and combine mechanistic, functional and applied perspectives. We currently use a range of interventions and techniques to examine key issues in both laboratory and field settings. Using these approaches we are interested in a range of factors (e.g. stress, pollution, chronobiology, diet, growth pattern, metabolism, reproduction, epidemiology, immunity), how they are affected by ageing and their impact on human and animal health.
Given the rapidly expanding human population, a second major societal challenge is the requirement to produce sufficient safe, nutritious, affordable and sustainable foodstuffs. We are particularly interested in ways to sustain efficient animal production in a manner which protects animal health and welfare, while mitigating against pests and disease and reducing environmental impact. We have expertise in the development and application of behavioural, physiological and neurophysiological approaches to welfare assessment in managed and wild animals.
Health of managed and wild animals, as well as of humans, is also at risk from processes and products that arise during food production, for example endocrine disruptors and animal and human digestive end products. We investigate effects of such substances and of various other pollutants and stressors in projects at the intersection of animal biology and veterinary medicine.
To achieve these overall aims this research theme actively collaborates with others in this university (e.g. biomedics, clinicians, veterinarians, Glasgow Polyomics facility) and elsewhere, including Government agencies (e.g. DEFRA), external institutes (e.g. The James Hutton Institute, Moredun Research Institute) and commercial partners.
PhD programmes in Ageing, Health and Welfare last 3-4 years, with individual research projects tailored around the expertise of principal investigators within the Institutes. A variety of approaches are used, including experiments in field and laboratory conditions, epidemiology, mathematical, computational and statistical modelling, bioinformatics, physiology, molecular biology, 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:
- Interplay between physiology, behaviour and life history
- Wild immunology
- Avian reproduction
- Mammalian reproductive physiology and neuroendocrinology
- Poultry science
- Environmental factors, chemical exposure and reproductive function
- Maternal smoking and development
- The effect of environmental stressors on ageing and longevity
- Evaluating stress in companion animals
- Organic production systems and animal welfare
- Physiology, ecology and migration of birds
- Annual and daily rhythms of wild organisms
- Biological clocks and response to environmental change
- Neuroendocrinology and steroid biochemistry
- Livestock and wildlife management
- Behavioural ecology, evolutionary ecology, life history strategies and environmental change
- Thermal biology of temperature regulation and cold adaptation in marine mammals and birds.
- Veterinary ethics and animal welfare assessment
- Welfare and wildlife conservation
- Ethics and welfare of wildlife interventions
- Behavioural, physiological and ecological impacts on ageing
- Maternal and transgenerational effects
- Causes and consequences of variation in metabolic rate, mitochondrial functioning and oxidative stressGenetic and environmental interventions that extend healthspan and lifespan: dietary restriction, insulin/IGF1, mTOR
- Resource allocation trade-offs
- Mechanisms of ageing in animals: mitochondria, oxidative stress,proteostasis, telomere biology, stem cell function
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.
2.1 Honours degree or equivalent
Applicants should submit:
- Transcripts/degree certificate
- Two references
- A one-page research proposal
English Language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English.
Fees and funding
- £4,260 UK/EU
- £20,150 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:
- Submission by a research student £480
- Submission for a higher degree by published work £1,200
- Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £300
- Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £680
- Research students registered as non-supervised Thesis Pending students (50% refund will be granted if the student completes thesis within the first six months of the period) £270
Depending on the nature of the research project, some students will be expected to pay a bench fee to cover additional costs. The exact amount will be provided in the offer letter.
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.
- £4,195 UK/EU
- £19,500 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:
- Fee for re-submission by a research student: £460
- Submission for a higher degree by published work: £1,050
- Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £250
- Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship: £730
- Research students registered as non-supervised Thesis Pending students (50% refund will be granted if the student completes thesis within the first six months of the period): £300
- Registration/exam only fee: £150
View a full list of our current scholarships
We have excellent facilities for lab, field and farm based research. This includes aquaria, aviaries, insectaries and labs for conducting analyses in
- cellular physiology
- developmental biology
- evolutionary biology
- 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.
The College of Medical, Veterinary and 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 over-arching 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
Our excellent facilities 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.
How to apply
Step 1: identify potential supervisors
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.
Step 2: check the entry requirements
Entry requirements for postgraduate research vary.
All Postgraduate Research applicants should normally possess one or more of the following:
- First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree or equivalent qualification (2:1 in the case of UK Research Council supported students).
- In some cases a Masters qualification or equivalent is required
Candidates whose first language is not English must show evidence of appropriate competence in English. You can find the specific requirements on our international students pages.
Please check the relevant entry in the A-Z list of subject pages to find out any specific entry requirements and application documents.
Step 3: search for funding and scholarships
Search for funding and scholarships
As a commitment to supporting students and rewarding excellence, the University of Glasgow offers a wide range of scholarships
- Scholarships and funding database
- Find A PhD advertised Projects, Programs & Scholarships
- College of Arts Graduate School funding opportunities
- College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Science Graduate School funding opportunities
- College of Science and Engineering Graduate School funded opportunities
- College of Social Sciences funding opportunities
Step 4: gather your documents
Before applying please make sure you gather the following supporting documentation:
- Final or current degree transcripts including grades (and an official translation, if needed) – scanned copy in colour of the original document
- Degree certificates (and an official translation, if needed): scanned copy in colour of the original document
- Two references on headed paper (academic and/or professional).
- Research proposal, CV, samples of written work as per requirements for each subject area. Please check the relevant entry in our A-Z of subjects for specific details.
To complete your application we will need two references (one must be academic the other can be academic or professional). Your references should be on official headed paper. These should also be signed by the referee. You can then upload these via the Applicant-Self-Service system 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.
If your referees would prefer to provide confidential references direct to the University then we can also accept the reference by email, from the referee’s official university or business email account to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then add these to your application.
Step 5: apply online
Once you have all your supporting documentation you can apply online through our Online Application System
I've applied. What next?
Once a decision has been made regarding your application the Research Admissions Office will contact you by email.
If you are made an unconditional offer
You can accept your offer through the Applicant-Self-Service by clicking on the ‘Accept/Decline link’ for your chosen programme under the ‘Admissions Section’ at the bottom of the Applicant Self Service screen.
Please make sure you accept your unconditional offer within 4 weeks of receiving your offer. If you are an international student your CAS will not be issued until you have accepted an unconditional offer.
If you are made a conditional offer
If you accept a conditional offer then the offer status on Applicant-Self-Service will change to ‘incomplete’ to indicate that the application is incomplete until such time as all the conditions are met.
Your offer letter will list all the conditions that apply to your offer and you can upload the required document(s) through Applicant Self Service. If you have met the conditions satisfactorily, you will automatically be sent an unconditional offer.
If your application is unsuccessful
If your application is unsuccessful then we will send you an email to inform you of this which will outline the reason why we have been unable to offer you a place on this particular programme. Please note that your application status will be updated to 'Cancelled' on Applicant Self Service if the offer is rejected.
Deferring your offer
If you want to defer your start date, please contact us directly at email@example.com. We need authorisation from your supervisor before we confirm your request to defer. Once we have this we will contact you by email to confirm.
How to register
After you have accepted an unconditional offer you will receive an email nearer to the start of your studies to tell you how to register online using the University's MyCampus website, the University’s student information system. That email will provide you with your personal login details and the website URL. Please ensure that your email address is kept up to date as all correspondence is sent via email.
For more information and a step by step guide can be found on our Registry site.
- If you have any questions about your application before you apply: contact our College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences Graduate School
- If you have any questions after you have submitted your application: contact our Admissions team
- Any references may be submitted by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Advice on visa, immigrations and the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) can be found on our International student pages