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Dr Michael Cox

Research Interests

Dr Cox's research focuses on:

  • Using microbial ecology to understand the function of the respiratory microbiome
  • Translating microbiome research for clinical benefit in respiratory diseases
  • Expanding our understanding of the respiratory microbiome beyond bacteria to other groups of microorganisms

Dr Cox collaborates with the Birmingham Acute Care Research Group and with clinical researchers in the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the Birmingham Women and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

Supervision Style

In three words or phrases: Inclusive, supportive, student-centred.

Provision of Training

My group works as a team, initially you’ll be supported to learn techniques by myself and other group members and as your confidence and abilities grow, you’ll be encouraged to find and develop more methods yourself with the aim of becoming an independent researcher in the final year of your PhD.

Progression Monitoring and Management

We will have weekly 1:1s, and group lab meetings where we can discuss and manage progress. However, I also encourage PGRs to come to me when you need help or with troubleshooting. Monthly meetings are more formal and are where we discuss targets for the next month and where you might need support. I tailor my approach to each PGR as each has different needs and expectations.


We use a group slack channel to manage day-to-day communication. I am always available there, but expect PGRs and other lab members to have this muted during weekends, evenings and holidays. I have an open door policy.

PhD Students can expect scheduled meetings with me:

In a group meeting

At least once a week

In year 1 of PhD study

At least once a week

In year 2 of PhD study

At least once a week

In year 3 of PhD study

At least once a week

These meetings will be a mixture face to face or via video chat or telephone. I am usually contactable for an instant response on every working day.

Working Patterns

The timing of work in my lab is flexible, and other than attending pre-arranged meetings, I expect students to manage their own time.

Notice Period for Feedback

I need at least 1 week's notice to provide feedback on written work of up to 5000 words.