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Our fully-funded studentships enable you to undertake a four-year BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) project in the biological, biomedical, mathematical and physical sciences, with a focus on interdisciplinary training, new ways of working and developing niche skills.

Why undertake a BBSRC DTP PhD?

  • Get cross-disciplinary experience and training through project rotations early in the programme.
  • Go on a three-month placement in an area unrelated to your project to learn about different careers and improve your employability.
  • Opportunity to spend two years at an overseas partner institution (Dual Award) or complete a research placement in industry of up to 12 months.
  • Access bespoke graduate skills training, in-house systems biology maths training and the BBSRC’s SysMic programme.
  • Have the opportunity to take up CASE studentships offering enhanced training with an industrial partner, which are also available as part of the BBSRC DTP.

BBSRC DTP Student Experiences


The programme structure will be tailored to your own background and training needs, as well as the nature of your research project.

All BBSRC DTP projects are designed to provide multidisciplinary challenges for students with backgrounds including bioscience, biomedical, mathematical and physical sciences. Your PhD thesis must be submitted within four years of starting the programme.

View projects

Professional internship placements

In Year 2 or 3, you will be required to undertake a three-month professional internship placement (PIP) in an area independent of your research project. This will help you to learn about different career pathways and postgraduate employability – for example business, industry, education, health, policy and the media.

Benefits of the placements include:

  • having the opportunity to explore and develop career options and aspirations;
  • gaining transferable skills;
  • being able to enhance your CV;
  • exploring the wider context and impact of your research area;
  • establishing links with potential future employers.

We have a dedicated PIPS academic lead and administrator who will help guide you in selecting the most fulfilling placement during your PhD.

If you are from an organisation interested in hosting a BBSRC DTP intern, please get in touch.

Researchers in the lab

CASE studentships

CASE studentships are linked with an industrial partner and offer enhanced training specific to the project.

We have a number of CASE studentships available each year that form part of the Manchester BBSRC DTP.

CASE students are not required to undertake the formal lab rotations or PIPS, as they will spend time at the associated company during their programme.

“My project relies on collaborations between industry (C4XD) and academia, meaning I get valuable experience working with both. Hopefully, this will make deciding whether to pursue a future career in academia or industry a bit easier.”

Rebecca Dodd / BBSRC DTP student


Our graduate skills training programme is designed to provide research and transferable skills linked to academic progression, personal development and career aspirations.

You will spend time in the labs of the supervisory team undertaking training via formal rotations, enabling you to gain valuable skills and techniques to complete your project.

We also provide in-house training in mathematical methods and analysis, as well as the opportunity to undertake an online programme developed by the BBSRC to enhance your systems biology knowledge and expertise (SysMic).

Additional training will be made available in subject-specific areas such as:

  • bioinformatics and next generation -omics;
  • bioimaging;
  • analytical chemistry and bioprocessing;
  • systematics and evolutionary biology;
  • in vivo skills.
Researcher in the lab

Making an application

Applicants must have obtained or be about to obtain a First or Upper Second class UK honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science, engineering or technology.

If you wish to be considered for a BBSRC DTP studentship and/or CASE studentship and meet our eligibility criteria, you must complete a single online application.

Full details on eligibility and residence criteria are available on the How to apply page.

Please follow our instructions on how to apply for the BBSRC DTP programme.

How to apply

Key dates

  • Application deadline: 22 January 2021
  • Interviews: week commencing 8 March 2021

“My first year has definitely demonstrated that a PhD is a difficult journey. However, it has also shown that hard work and dedication pay off, and the sense of achievement when an experiment goes well is amazing. Being on a DTP means that you meet people from a wide range of disciplines, so it’s great to be able to meet up at the pub and talk about these problems!”

Harry Potter / BBSRC DTP student

Student support

You will be assigned a cohort tutor who will be responsible for your academic support and development throughout the programme.

Our student reps also work with students and staff to ensure a well-balanced and satisfying DTP experience. Student reps organise non-academic socials every few months, as well as an annual residential and DTP Conference.

This conference gives students an opportunity to showcase their work by either presenting a poster or giving a talk, with prizes awarded for the best students.

We also hold a PIPs networking event, where recruiting companies can showcase the placements on offer, and students who have completed a placement can share their experiences for the benefit of students who are planning their placements.

You will also have the opportunity to meet potential future employers at the BBSRC DTP Careers Event.

Students in tutor group

Undergraduate summer placements

We offer research placements within the BBSRC DTP to undergraduate students from across the UK.

The placements are an excellent way to experience research activity and determine your suitability and aptitude for further research.

The placements are funded and last for up to 10 weeks.

Information on our 2021 programme will be updated in due course.

Find out more

Contact us

For queries regarding the application process, the projects on offer or your eligibility, please contact the Doctoral Academy.

Tel: +44 (0)161 275 5608

You may wish to contact supervisors directly about projects. You can find the name of the supervisor on each project, and their contact details in the University’s online directory.

For more information please open this link

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