Graduate School

Student Support

Postgraduate research students are allocated a supervisory team which includes their supervisor(s) and one or two independent members of academic staff. Together, this Graduation Day: PhD student and with her supervisorsgroup monitors student training, progress and advises on the direction of the project. Students meet with their supervisors formally on a monthly basis and with the supervisory team annually, although in most cases individuals meet much more frequently. Most supervisors will have an ‘open-door’ policy to encourage their students to discuss their latest experimental data.

There is a very active postgraduate community within the Faculty, with regular social events. These provide a good way for students to meet people from different research groups – a good way to obtain extra help and insight into your research project!

In addition, there are four Postgraduate Progression Tutors within the Faculty who oversee student progress. The Progression Tutors also act as pastoral advisors and can provide confidential and independent help and advice.

Biological Sciences Careers Networking Event The Faculty provides an extensive Professional Development Programme designed to develop essential research skills, networking skills, creative thinking, commercial awareness, innovation and employment in different sectors.

The Graduate Training and Support Centre supports the development of research skills and research careers.

The University Careers Centre can help you with all aspects of career planning, from deciding what to do to fine-tuning applications and everything in between.

Facilities and Technical Services

The Faculty has invested in extensive cutting-edge equipment and technical services to support world-class research, including specific equipment and expertise within individual research groups and technical research services available for use by investigators across the University of Leeds, including:

Investigators also have access to an impressive range of research and innovation facilities across the University. Browse the Biological Sciences facilities and University of Leeds Research and Innovation web pages for details.

Biological Sciences Research Community

Ranked 4th in the UK by the leading scientific journal Nature* based on RAE 2008

Our research activity and strategy is aligned around the "grand challenge" areas of translational biomedicine and sustainability.

Prof Alison Baker with a studentResearch excellence underpins our training and interdisciplinarity is very important; students benefit from interactions not only within the UK, but with academic communities around the globe. Ours is an extremely vibrant and dynamic environment, with supervision and teaching by top researchers, many world-class experts, who bring the latest cutting-edge research to students' learning.

The Faculty is home to more than 100 academic researchers with expertise right across the biological sciences spectrum.

Research Expertise:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Cardiovascular Biology
  • Cell & Development Biology
  • Disease Biology & Immunology
  • Ecosystems
  • Environmental Change
  • Membrane Biology
  • Molecular Contractility
  • Neuroscience
  • Signals & Genes in Plants
  • Sport & Exercise Sciences
  • Structural Biology
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Systems & Mathematical Biology
  • Virology

Research Communities

To faciliate interdisciplinarity we have established institutes rather than more traditional departments, allowing researchers to interact freely across traditional boundaries. The Faculty of Biological Sciences is made up of three research institutes:

Explore interdisciplinary research groupings:

To find the right supervisor for your PhD use our database to match your interests to our team of principal investigators.

*Nature Journal, 457 (2009) doi:10.1038/457013a) based on results of the 2008 RAE.

PhD students talk about their experiences

The Faculty of Biological Sciences is home to around 300 PhD and Masters students from all over the world, engaging in research right across the biological sciences spectrum.

Current students share their experiences below...

PhD student Laura Corns

Laura Corns: Studying for a PhD in spinal cord neurology supervised by Dr Susan Deuchars. Laura is involved in science outreach activities such as the Discovery Zone.


PhD student Rebecca Caygill Rebecca Caygill: Studying for a PhD supervised by Professor Paul Millner. Rebecca is interested in science communication and is currently doing an internship with Campus PR.


PhD student Scott JacksonScott Jackson: Studying for a PhD in molecular mechanisms of the secondary active transport membrane protein, Mhp1, supervised by Professor Peter Henderson.