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Master’s by Research projects in cell and developmental biology


Warwick Medical School’s MSc by Research (Medical Sciences) degree gives you the opportunity to address significant and exciting questions within the field of cell and developmental biology. This is a one-year full time research degree during which you will be able to undertake a project which matches your research interests and career objectives. This programme will act as a stepping stone to a career in research in academia or industry.

Why study with us?

Warwick Medical School is one of the best places in the UK to undertake research in cell and developmental biology. The Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology provides an interdisciplinary research environment with access to state-of-the-art light microscopy systems, from single molecule optical tweezers to lattice light sheet imaging. Our supervisors have been trained in world-class research centres around the world and will guide you through challenging research projects at the forefront of science.

Course content and project titles

You will work on a research project for 12 months and take part in regular cohort activities where you will receive training in research integrity, science communication and critical appraisal of the literature. Projects are available in a range of topics within cell and developmental biology such as cell migration, chromosome segregation, motor protein dynamics, intracellular transport, endometriosis and T-cell signalling.

Project titles include:

  • Rebuilding the cell surface, a watchmakers approach to understand the plasma membrane-cortex interface Supervisor: Darius Koester

  • Directing intracellular transport: how posttranslational modifications of tubulin affect the bidirectional cargo transport mediated by KIF1C and dynein
    Supervisor: Anne Straube

  • Probing the mechanics of nucleosome assembly using in vivo crosslinking strategies
    Supervisor: Andrew Bowman

  • Physical influences on collective cell migration
    Supervisor: Michael Smutny

  • Dissecting the biochemical & mechanical regulation of immune cell migration
    Supervisor: Aparna Ratheesh
  • Determining the forces driving chromosome segregation in human cells
    Supervisor: Andrew McAinsh

  • Advanced microfluidics assay for kinesin-dependent microtubule dynamics and mechanics
    Supervisor: Rob Cross

  • Exploring T cell signalling using optogenetics
    Supervisor: John James

  • Exploring tissue-identity signals in endometriosis
    Supervisor: Erin Greaves
  • CRISPR/Cas tools for in vivo imaging of RNA
    Supervisor: Karuna Sampath

  • Revisiting the neck linker model for force generation by kinesin
    Supervisor: Masanori Mishima


Students will undertake an independent research project and submit a thesis of less than 40,000 words. The thesis will be assessed by an internal and an external examiner who will decide whether a viva is required. 

Entry requirements

Applicants should hold at least an upper second class (UK honours) degree or equivalent. If you hold an international qualification, please consult the International Office webpages for information on UK equivalents.

If you were not educated in English, you will be expected to obtain one of the following recognised English Language qualifications:

  • IELTS (British Council International Testing System) overall score of at least 6.05 (with no minimum component scores below 6.0)
  • TOEFL (iBT) overall score of at least 92 (with minimum component scores of Reading 22, Listening 21, Speaking 23, Writing 21)

For further information, please visit the Graduate School English Language Information and Entry Requirements webpage.

Fees and funding

Your host laboratory will fund the research costs for the project. Travel grants are available to students, up to £500. The from and travel fund policy can be found here.

Students are responsible for paying the academic fees. For 2019/2020 these are: Home/EU students: £4,347 and Overseas students: £22,860.

How to apply

Students are encouraged to contact supervisors regarding projects of their interest before application. Students are advised to provide two choices of potential research projects. The final choice will be guided by the student’s interest, previous research experience and project availability.

Applications should be made online at

You will apply for the course: RMDA-A35P MSc by Research (Medical Sciences)


The deadline for applications is Monday 1 July 2019 and interviews would likely take place the week beginning Monday 8 July 2019. Project allocation is expected to be around Friday 19 July 2019.


Programme Director
Aparna Ratheesh


One year full time.


The deadline for applications is Monday 1 July 2019 and interviews would likely take place the week beginning Monday 8 July 2019. Project allocation is expected to be around Friday 19 July 2019.