The mission of KGI’s 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. The 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.

Program Description

KGI offers two PhD Program Tracks:

  • Applied PhD track – The student is conducting PhD studies on KGI premises under supervision of School of Applied Life Sciences or School of Pharmacy 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.
  • Industry – Sponsored PhD track – The student is sponsored by a Biotechnology or Pharma company. This track involves student conducting studies at the company site, periodically visiting KGI. In addition to the company research advisor, the student must be supervised by a KGI faculty advisor.

Program Schedule and Format

  • Students complete a Master’s degree in the applied sciences at KGI or similar Master’s program with comparable learning objectives.
  • Completion of the PhD portion of the program is anticipated to require an additional three years of full-time study, with the possibility for extension depending on the particular research project.
  • PhD program start term can be either Fall or Spring.

For more information, please consult the PhD student handbook.

Selection of Thesis Research Advisor(s) and Mentoring Team: 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. At the beginning of the PhD program, each student will select a mentoring team consisting of the primary research advisor, additional research advisor(s) (optional), an academic advisor not involved in the student’s research efforts, and an external advisor from industry. The research advisor(s) will supervise the student’s thesis work. The academic advisor will guide the student in matters of professional development. These dual advisory roles will keep the students’ career development potentials relatively independent of immediate interests of the research supervisors. The external advisor will be a link to the bioscience industry.

View a PDF of the PhD thesis formats. 

Coursework: With the exception of the current topics colloquium series, all formal course requirements will be fulfilled through the MBS curriculum. During the MBS portion of the program, students gain an interdisciplinary foundation in the three scientific core areas at KGI as well as knowledge and appreciation of the business, management and ethical issues encountered in the applied life sciences. Industry relevance is conveyed through the summer internship and the Team Master’s Project. In certain cases, a research advisor in consultation with the mentoring team may recommend additional coursework beyond completion of the MBS program. Occasionally, with applied projects, students may be involved in additional Team Masters Projects during their PhD years.

Learning Outcomes

1. MBS learning outcomes

2. Students must show prowess in research methods.

3. Students can conduct relevant scientific research.

4. Students can communicate effectively.

5. Students have knowledge of scientific fields.