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Life as a PhD student

You will join a vibrant and diverse doctoral community within the School of Biological Sciences, working alongside postdoctoral researchers and academic staff. 

Our doctoral students are publishing their research in high-impact journals, presenting at international conferences, organising outreach and public engagement activities, and making a difference in society.

A PhD student presenting her research with a poster

Supervision and group sessions

Typically, students receive supervision in one-to-one or small group sessions with academic colleagues and students with similar research interests. This provides opportunities to critique the latest research in your field and discuss your own research project.

PhD events in the School

Each year, students present their work at the School of Biological Sciences PhD symposium, where we highlight and celebrate the research and accomplishments of all our doctoral students.

Read Matthew's story

I undertook my PhD because of an interest in butterflies. Walking through the campus meadows or woodland during the summer, surrounded by hundreds of butterflies, reminds me why I'm doing my PhD. Hopefully I'll be making a positive difference to the future of some of these species.

Matthew Greenwell

PhD student

'How to Butterfly'

Matthew  shows us ‘How To Butterfly’ in this film he made to provide an insight into his biological sciences research at the University of Reading.

His film premiered at the Doctoral Research Conference in June 2019, winning the Research Film Competition.

Join the University's doctoral community

In addition to offering training and support to doctoral researchers, Doctoral and Researcher College coordinates a range of activities that bring students together from across the University.

The annual Doctoral Research Conference showcases the variety and excellence of postgraduate research taking place at Reading. The conference features a number of competitions and presentations including the PhD Researcher of the Year award.

The Fairbrother Lecture is an annual public lecture delivered by a current or recent PhD student. This is a fantastic opportunity for a wider audience to hear about high quality doctoral research taking place at Reading and has previously featured students from the School of Biological Sciences.

PhD students presenting their research at a poster event

Why study with us?

As a PhD student in our School, you'll be able to make fascinating discoveries that address global challenges. Our campus provides a rich environment for biological scientists.

How we support you

You'll receive support from the School of Biological Sciences and the Doctoral and Researcher College, which is the University of Reading's hub for all doctoral activity.
A bird on a beach next to a littered can

PhD opportunities

Discover PhD opportunities in ecology and evolutionary biology and biological sciences.
Athena SWAN Silver Award