PhD in Applied Life Sciences

The mission of KGI’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Applied Life Sciences is to endow a select group of students with expertise in research areas relevant to applied bioscience, with the ability to use interdisciplinary tools and approaches to solve problems, and with the motivation to translate knowledge to beneficial applications to advance new horizons in the applied biosciences.

Before entering the PhD program, students must first identify a faculty member and an area of research that matches their skills and interests. Once encouraged by a KGI faculty member to apply, all applicants must have completed a master’s degree focused on applied life science.

Students enrolled in this program will:

  • Learn to draw upon the unique interdisciplinary and applied educational foundation as they continue their studies.
  • Gain competence in the methods of scientific inquiry by conducting and communicating original research for their theses.
  • Become adept in the translation of discoveries in science and engineering into beneficial products and processes through exposure to industry issues and applied problems.

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PhD Program Tracks

KGI offers two PhD Program Tracks:

  1. Applied PhD track – The student conducts PhD studies on KGI premises under supervision of Henry E. Riggs School of Applied Life Sciences or School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences faculty. To foster interdisciplinary research, the student may have one or more research advisors. One advisor must be a KGI faculty member; additional advisors may be from collaborating institutions.
  2. Industry – Sponsored PhD track – The student is sponsored by a biotechnology or pharma company. This track involves the student conduct studies at the company site while periodically visiting KGI. In addition to the company research advisor, the student must be supervised by a KGI faculty advisor.

Residential vs. Non-Residential Options

In response to the evolving research landscape and COVID-19 response, KGI embraces several mechanisms for students to pursue a PhD. Residential students in KGI labs must follow approved methods that include social distancing, cleaning protocols, and some staggered work-shifts. Students working on theoretical and/or computational work, as well as corporate-hosted students, are not expected to attend in-person activities.

Interested in the PhD program?

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"After graduating from KGI’s MBS program in 2013 with dual focus-tracks in bioprocessing and business, I had the opportunity to work at Baxter Healthcare and Genentech before joining BioMarin as a research associate. Based on my interest in pursuing a PhD degree coupled with support from BioMarin’s management, I was selected for KGI’s PhD program. Though the research journey was intellectually stimulating and daunting, the support from my immediate supervisors at BioMarin and KGI in every step made it possible for me to successfully complete and defend my PhD thesis to receive my diploma."
Michael Amadi
Process Development Scientist
PhD, '19

PhD Program Videos


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