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. The programme focuses 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.
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 postgraduate researchers with backgrounds including bioscience, biomedical, mathematical and physical sciences. Your PhD thesis must be submitted within four years of starting the programme.
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.
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 postgraduate researchers 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 postgraduate researcher
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;
- analytical chemistry and bioprocessing;
- systematics and evolutionary biology;
- in vivo skills.
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.
Applications for 2022 entry
Please note that the University is launching a new application form on Monday 18 October. We'll start accepting applications for our funded PhD programmes from this date. In the meantime, you can review the projects available and contact project supervisors in advance.
We can also inform you when the Online Admissions Application Form is live. If you would like us to do this, please provide your details using our online form.
Application process from 18 October 2021
Please follow our instructions on how to apply for the BBSRC DTP programme.
Applications must be submitted by the deadline, as late applications will not be considered.
Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please ensure your application is complete and includes all required documentation.
- Application deadline: 21 January 2022
- Interviews: week commencing 7 March 2022
"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 postgraduate researcher
Postgraduate researcher support
You will be assigned a cohort tutor who will be responsible for your academic support and development throughout the programme.
Our postgraduate researcher reps also work with other postgraduate researchers and staff to ensure a well-balanced and satisfying DTP experience. Postgraduate researcher reps organise non-academic socials every few months, as well as an annual residential and DTP Conference.
This conference gives postgraduate researchers an opportunity to showcase their work by either presenting a poster or giving a talk, with prizes awarded for the best postgraduate researchers.
We also hold a PIPs networking event, where recruiting companies can showcase the placements on offer, and postgraduate researchers who have completed a placement can share their experiences for the benefit of other postgraduate researchers who are planning their placements.
You will also have the opportunity to meet potential future employers at the BBSRC DTP Careers Event.
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 2022 programme will be updated in due course.
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.