Cutting edge research aimed at understanding the human body, how it functions, and its response to infection and disease.

An exciting range of PhD opportunities are available across all the research interests of our Institute of Medical Sciences, including:

Bone and Musculoskeletal, Cancer Medicine, Cell and Developmental Biology, Immunology, Imaging, Microbiology, Neurobiology, Physiology and Pharmacology, Systems Biology, Translational Medicine, and Cardiovascular research.

We welcome applications from self-funded students at any time.

Our Research

The Institute of Medical Sciences is home to principal investigators who lead cutting edge molecular and cell biology research in a variety of fields.

Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Medicine

The Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Medicine Research Programme consists of a team of scientists and clinicians working together to seek a better understanding of bone, cartilage and muscle biology and physiology in health and disease. By combining basic molecular and cell biological research with patient studies, we seek to develop new or better ways of diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal disorders.

Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology

The Cell and Developmental Research Programme investigates the Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Cell Physiology that is unique to cells in multicellular organisms. Current research has shown that many of the molecular pathways and mechanisms used during embryonic development are re-deployed in the adult to regulate stem cell maintenance and differentiation in wound healing, regeneration and tissue repair.

Immunity, Infection and Inflammation

The Immunity, Infection and Inflammation Research Programme is a diverse and thriving organisation. The University of Aberdeen hosts cutting-edge research, which has expanded to develop successful collaborations in the commercial sector.

Metabolic and Cardiovascular Health

The Metabolic and Cardiovascular Health research programme is focused on understanding the complex processes that are involved in the development of heart and blood vessel disease and the underlying risk factors.


At Aberdeen, molecular and cell biologists, clinical scientists, epidemiologists and environmental microbiologists are working together to address key questions about the basic biology of micro-organisms, how they interact with the environment and how they interact with human hosts to cause infectious disease.

Translational Neuroscience

The translational neuroscience programme at Aberdeen consists of one of the fastest growing neuroscience groups in the UK. The programme places particular emphasis on bridging the gap between the biochemistry of the brain and the behaviour of the brain - how the molecular events that control function of neural cells set up the firing outputs of neuronal networks, reading out as the brains control of behaviour.

Fees and Funding

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Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Research Impact

Aberdeen scientists are working towards halting the progression of Alzheimer’s, dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases in world leading research.

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PhD Perspective

PhD student Obinna C Ubah describes his research in the field of molecular biology and genetic engineering.

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There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

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