Virology PhD

Qualification name
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Fact file

PhD Virology
3-4 years
Entry requirements
2:1 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject
7.0 (no less than 6.5 in each element) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
Please contact the school
University Park/Medical School
Other requirements



The Virus Research Group investigates the pathology, natural history and molecular biology of persistent viral infections.

Current research programmes focus on the pathology and treatment of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infections. The group’s research aims to provide a better understanding of virus-host interactions, and to develop novel anti-viral interventions.

It shares close links with clinical virologists at the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and is part of the Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre Biomedical Research Unit, which translates laboratory research findings directly into the clinical research environment. This research programme is currently developing novel treatments for viral hepatitis.

Major research themes are directed towards understanding the natural history and treatment of HCV infection, the molecular biology of virus envelope glycoproteins, mechanisms of virus entry, and the role of humoral immunity in preventing virus infection. In addition the Disease Modelling Group’s programme of research is aimed at the development of novel tissue engineering models of viral pathogenesis. communication.



Analytical Chromatography 

Biological sample preparation for chromatography including liquid and solid phase extraction, centrifugation, rotary evaporation and speedvac concentration are available. The analytical laboratory houses high pressure liquid chromatography equipment with autosampling linked to UV, diode array and refractive index detectors as well as a Bruker ion trap mass spectrometer with electrospray and chemical ionisation.

Contact Nigel Halliday 


A combination of single and twin BIOSTAT B 1L and 2L fermentors are available for pilot and ‘omics bacterial’ growth experiments. 

All growth parameters are computer controlled via SCADA Software (MFCS/DA, B. Braun Biotech International) enabling data acquisition, process visualisation and control as well as evaluation and data export.

Contact Miguel Cámara and Nigel Minton

Flow Cytometry

Fluorescence activated cell sorters (BeckmanCoulter Altra and MoFlo XDP) and an analysis only cytometer (Beckman Coulter FC500) are available.

Contact Adrian Robins

Genomics facility (CBS Building)

Dedicated to microarray and real time qRT-PCR analysis. Instrumentation available includes an Agilent DNA Hybridisation Station, an Axon 4000B microarray and access to GeneSpring GX analysis software. For qRT-PCR, an Applied Biosystems AB7500 permits relative quantification, absolute quantification, allelic discrimination, plus/minus assays and basic melt curve analysis. In addition, a Roche Lightcycler 480, offers high resolution melt analysis.

Contact Victoria Wright

Post-genomics facility (QMC Campus)

This facility offers fluorescent probe generation and large scale microarraying of DNA, protein (Including Reverse-phase protein arrays) and other biomolecules (Genomic solutions Microgrid II 600 robot with both steel and silicon split pin configurations). Quality control support is available (Nanodrop Spectrophotometer and Agilent Bioanalyser), along with customisable slide surface chemistries and automated sample hybridisation capabilities (Tecan HS4800 24 place station). Analysis of both fluorescently and colorimetricaly labelled microarrays is available with a four laser automated slide scanner (Genepix 4200AL) and high resolution white light scanner.

Contact Paddy Tighe

Light and Fluorescence Microscopy

These include a Zeiss LSM 700 laser scanning confocal with an Axio Observer inverted microscope, a Nikon Eclipse TE200 and a fluorescent/phase contrast Nikon Labphot-2 microscope fitted with digital cameras.

Contact Steve Atkinson

Protein purification and X-ray crystallography

Protein purification using an automated AKTA system employing a range of solid phases, Protein samples are used to set up 96 well plate crystallisation screens using a Hydra II robotic system. The crystals obtained are subjected to X-rays generated by a Rigaku RAXIS IV++ X-ray area detector to produce diffraction data.

Contact Chris Penfold

Animal Imaging Facility

Specialist expertise in pre-clinical imaging of model organisms, using a state of the art facility run under the reduction, replacement and refinement ethos. The facility contains a Mediso Nano-pet/ct, Mediso Nano SPECT/CT and an optical Ivis Spectrum. Also available within this facility is a dedicated Radio-chemist for radio-nuclide labelling of novel compounds.


The Greenfield Medical Library

The University library service provides access to more than a million books and journals.

The Greenfield Medical Library houses a broadly based collection of biomedical, nursing and healthcare related books and periodicals and holds current subscriptions to 780 journals, reports and series titles. In addition to the print versions housed in the library, the majority of journals can be accessed electronically 


Research support

A number of University support services exist to assist you during your time at Nottingham and beyond. The Postgraduate Students' Association (PGSA) is a particularly important source of support.

Graduate School

The Graduate School supports all postgraduates and early career researchers at the University of Nottingham. 

We offer dedicated facilities, resources and development opportunities including training courses, seminars, paid placements, travel and mobility awards and public engagement opportunities. Researchers in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences also have access to a dedicated training programme delivered by academics and researchers from the faculty or by researcher development professionals from the Graduate School and other professional services. It provides a broad and comprehensive range of research training courses, in line with the requirements set out by the UK Research Councils.

Medicine and Health Sciences Graduate Centre

The Medicine and Health Sciences Graduate Centre is a hub for postgraduate and research only staff networking and aims to promote a sense of community and enhance the research environment.

Facilities include:

  • study and social space 
  • networked computers
  • a bookable seminar room
  • kitchen facilities
  • a programme of social events



Find a supervisor

We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area. Visit our research projects page to find a supervisor whose expertise match your own research interests.

Fees and funding

Home/EU students

At least 20 PhD students are recruited annually, 10-12 of which are fully funded by MRC, BBSRC, EU and industry. These are usually advertised in January/February at: The University of Nottingham Human Resources site and on

The school often has scholarships available. These will be advertised on the School’s website as well as the Jobs in Research website and at the University of Nottingham's vacancies website.

The University Graduate School operates two schemes of its own to help support current postgraduate research. The Graduate School Travel Prize and Universitas21 funding.

The Graduate School also holds a list of other sources of funding and Studentship opportunities are also available. 

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of research scholarships for outstanding international and EU students.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your research course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.



Average starting salary and career progression


In 2017, 94.9% of postgraduates from the school who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £21,400 with the highest being £40,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.


Career prospects and employability

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.



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Get in touch

+44 (0)115 951 5559
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This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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