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Ph.D. in Life Sciences 

The program is unique in Kazakhstan because of its interdisciplinary focus and integrated research approach centered around quantitative approaches (experimental research techniques, computational, statistical) to generate, analyze and interpretate data in life sciences. Research fields might encompass all life sciences, from molecules to ecosystems.

Starting from the first semester students interact closely with faculty and will become members of a research team. Guided by the supervisor, co-supervisor and an external supervisor who act also as a research advisor, the student will be immersed in an educational, teaching (Graduate Teaching Assistant), and research program supported by core courses in structural and molecular biology in health and disease, life sciences oriented statistics that will enable students to analyze data. Other courses in applied bioinformatics, advanced biotechnology, and cellular biophysics and various electives offer students the necessary theoretical knowledge and methodological skill set for specialization.

Milestones of the program consist of comprehensive exam (before the start of the second year), the research proposal and its defense (usually in the third semester of the second year), the dissertation and its defense in the eights semester of the fourth year, and research article publication requirements.

During the research phase students will have the potential opportunity to take part in a research internship or at an external research institution. The potential host supervisor and supervisory team at NU will maintain communication with the student throughout the student’s stay.


General information: 

Campus: Astana, Kazakhstan

Language: English

Delivery mode: Full time, on-campus

Duration: 4 years

Total ECTS credit: 240



Year 1

  • DENG 782 Research Methods & Ethics*
  • BIOL 720 Statistical Methods in Life Sciences*
  • BIOL 750 Structural and Molecular Biology in Health and Disease*
  • BIOL 799 Thesis Research
  • Graduate Elective Course 1**
  • BIOL 791 Cellular Biophysics*
  • BIOL 780 Applied Bioinformatics*
  • BIOL 799 Thesis Research
  • Graduate Elective Course 2**
  • Graduate Elective Course 3**
  • BIOL 799 Thesis Research

Year 2-4

  • BIOL 899 Thesis Research

Year 4

  • BIOL 899 Thesis Research/BIOL 800 Doctoral Thesis

(*) Courses may be waived according to the Regulatory Framework for Graduate Programs and Courses for NU graduates who have completed coursework at EQF level 7 or 8 with a minimum grade of B+ and replaced by EQF level 8 courses (core or elective) selected in consultation with the student’s academic advisors supervisory and approved by the departmental curriculum committee.

(**) All participating Schools and Departments with EQF level 8 courses.



Graduates of the program will be highly qualified life sciences professionals who are expected to enter careers in academia, education or research and development in the private industry or government organizations.


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