Award Type and NFQ level : RESEARCH PH.D. (10)

CAO/PAC code : MHD02 (FT), MHD03 (PT)

CAO Points :

Students entering the Structured PhD Programme in Biology will be under the supervision of an experienced researcher. All academic staff members in the Biology Department are experienced and active researchers and can supervise PhD students. Information about their research can be found on the Biology Department Website ( and interested students should initially contact researchers directly to discuss potential PhD projects.

In most but not all instances, your stipend, university fees, consumable, equipment and travel costs will be paid from a research grant from a national or international grant agency or charity. Your supervisor usually competitively obtains this grant, but students can also obtain their own scholarships, such as from the Irish Research Council (IRC). Scholarship awards, such as the John Hume Scholarship, are also available from Maynooth University via an annual call. There is usually no support available for extra time required to complete your degree, so you should try and manage your research and thesis writing to take place within the allocated timeframe (usually 3-4 years).

Upon entering the programme each student will be assigned two additional mentors, an Advisor and an Assessor. The Advisor provides additional mentorship for the student throughout the four-year programme and is someone the student can discuss issues with in addition to their supervisor. The Assessor is a member of staff who will provide an annual constructive critique of the students work programme and will aid, together with the Advisor, in outlining possible future research plans.

In addition to the research project, training is provided through compulsory attendance of a variety of generic and transferable skills as well as subject specific modules. For example, the established Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning will provide research students with experience in practical class demonstrating and teaching and learning methodologies. Training in subject specific skills is provided through modules offered either through the Biology Department or through other third level institutions.  Finally, research students will be encouraged to attend at least one international conference during their four-year programme, at which they will be expected to present an oral or poster presentation.

Closing date
Research applications are generally accepted at any time


Applicants must have a recognised primary degree that is considered equivalent to Irish University primary degree level. Usually a first or upper second class honours degree in a relevant biological subject is required. Additional qualifications such as an MSc degree or relevant work experience may also be taken into consideration.

Minimum English language requirements:

  • IELTS: 6.5 minimum overall score
  • TOEFL (Paper based test): 585
  • TOEFL (Internet based test): 95
  • PTE (Pearson): 62

Maynooth University’s TOEFL code is 8850

Dr Ozgür Bayram

Fungal genetics and secondary metabolism

Dr Marion Butler

Cell signalling

Dr James Carolan

Proteomics and molecular biology

Dr Paul Dowling

Clinical proteomics

Prof Sean Doyle


Dr Karen English

Cellular Immunology

Dr David Fitzpatrick

Genome evolution

Dr Emmanuelle Graciet

Plant biochemistry

Prof Christine Griffin

Behavioural ecology and biocontrol

Dr Andy Hogan

Metabolic immunology

Prof Kevin Kavanagh

Medical microbiology

Prof Bernard Mahon

Immunology and cell biology

Dr Joanne Masterson

Allergy, inflammation and remodelling

Dr Eoin McNamee

Mucosal Immunology

Dr Conor Meade

Molecular ecology

Dr Sinead Miggin

Immune signalling

Prof Paul Moynagh

Molecular immunology

Dr Jackie Nugent

Plant molecular biology

Dr Shirley O’Dea

Epithial immunobiology

Prof Kay Ohlendieck

Muscle biology

Dr Rebecca Owens

Chemical microbiology

Dr Mark Robinson

Chronic disease immunology

Dr Martina Schroeder

Host-pathogen interaction

Dr Fiona Walsh

Antimicrobial resistance & microbiome research

Information about research interests of Biology staff members can be found on the Biology Department Website:

A student’s research programme will be decided upon after consultation with the project supervisor. During the duration of the programme, and in addition to their research project, students take a minimum of 15 credits of taught modules in generic and transferrable skills and a minimum of 15 credits in taught modules covering advanced/specialist and subject-specific skills.

Course Duration: 4 years Full-time, 6 years Part-time

Postdoctoral research in academic research labs in Ireland or worldwide, positions in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industries, Teaching, Scientific writing, etc. Modules available for PhD students at Maynooth University provide transferrable skills for careers in both academic and industry settings.

Online application only

PAC Code
MHD03 Part-time

The following information should be forwarded to PAC, 1 Courthouse Square, Galway or uploaded to your online application form:

Certified copies of all non-Maynooth University qualifications listed MUST accompany the application. Failure to do so will delay your application being processed. Non-Maynooth University students are asked to provide two academic references and a copy of birth certificate or valid passport.

Important: Before applying to PAC, you must contact the head of the laboratory you wish to apply to.





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