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Postgraduate researcher in a lab.

How to apply

There are a number of projects available for entry in September 2022.

How to apply

We recommend that you apply as soon as possible.

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

Complete the form following the instructions below.

If you are interested in a CASE Studentship, you can include this as one of your three project choices on your online application form. Just make this clear on the form (see below for instructions on how to list your project choices).

Key dates

  • Application deadline: 21 January 2022
  • Interviews: week commencing 7 March 2022

To apply for undergraduate summer research experience placements, see the undergraduate summer placements page.


Application instructions

Step 1: Check you are eligible to apply

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.  Applicants for dual award projects must meet the entry requirements of both The University of Manchester and The University of Melbourne. See The University of Melbourne admissions criteria.

These studentships are available to UK nationals and provide funding for tuition fees and stipend at the UKRI rate, subject to eligibility, for four years.

For full details on eligibility, including qualifications and residence criteria, visit the UKRI website.

International applicant eligibility requirements

We aim to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK.

Funding will cover tuition fees and stipend only. This scheme is open to both UK and international applicants. However, we are only able to offer a limited number of studentships to applicants outside the UK. Therefore, full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates due to the competitive nature of this scheme.

International applicants must ensure they meet the academic eligibility criteria (including English language) as outlined on the University's country-specific information page.


Step 2: Choose a project

Decide on the project(s) that are most relevant to your research interests from the list of available projects. You may apply for up to three projects of interest on your application form. You do not need to submit a separate application for each project.

At this point, you are strongly encouraged to make direct contact with potential project supervisors to discuss their project and to arrange a meeting between October 2021 and January 2022. You can find the name of the supervisor on each project, and their contact details in the University’s online directory.

It is your responsibility to arrange meetings with supervisors. Invitations to our interview days are dictated by supervisor nominations, so you are unlikely to be nominated by a supervisor unless you have made contact with them, in addition to submitting an online application

The University will hold a virtual postgraduate research open week between 1 and 5 November 2021, including a session specifically for the BBSRC programme. At this event, you can ask us any questions about the programme. It would also be a good opportunity for you to arrange to talk with prospective supervisors that day. You should arrange any meetings with supervisors directly.


Step 3: Register to apply

Go to the Online Admissions Application Form and ensure you read all the instructions carefully.

If you have not already registered for an account, do this first. You can then make separate applications under this account for the DTP studentships, and any other studentships you may be interested in. Please remember that you should only submit one DTP application for the BBSRC programme, with up to three project choices listed.


Step 4: Create a new application

Create a new application for the BBSRC DTP studentship. Select 'Postgraduate Research' as the ‘Level of Study’ on the application form. Under Academic Programme, search for and select 'BBSRC DTP PhD Programme'. Work your way through the application form, including all details as requested.

For Section 6 – 'Research Details', you must state the name of the project supervisor and project title in the format below. You can indicate up to three supervisors here listing the lead supervisor and project title in order of preference. 

  1. Name of Supervisor – Project Title
  2. Name of Supervisor – Project Title
  3. Name of Supervisor – Project Title

For Section 9 – Funding Sources, you must select the details as follows:

  • Select 'Yes' from the drop-down.
  • Type of Funding: 'Research Council'.
  • Awarding Body: BBSRC DTP Studentship.
  • Status of Funding – Awarded.
  • Funding Covers – Fully Funded.
  • Leave the remaining boxes blank.

Step 5: Supporting documents

Your application form must be accompanied by a number of supporting documents.

  • Supporting statement

This should be a maximum of 500 words summarising your motivation for PhD study, outlining any research experience and why you want to do a postgraduate research degree at Manchester.

  • References

We require two references from people who have knowledge of your academic ability

These are usually academic references, from a lecturer or professor at your current or previous university. You will need to provide details of your referees in section 10 of the online form. Your referees will be contacted directly after you submit your application and directed to complete our online reference form.

Email addresses

It is recommended that the email address you provide for your referees is related to the academic institution or organisation to which they belong, rather than a personal use email (for example,

If a personal email address is provided, it may cause delays to your application, as extra steps may be required to verify this.

  • Certificates and transcripts

These should be from all your current/previous degrees, including official translated copies where applicable.

  • Official English Language certificate

This should be a valid English language qualification, where applicable. See step 6 below for further information.

  • Curriculum vitae (CV)

Ensure your CV is current and up to date.

Please note, your application must be complete and contain all required supporting information at the time of submission, as incomplete applications will not be considered.


Step 6: Language requirements

In Section 5 of the online application form, you will be asked to provide details of how you meet the English Language requirement. 

We mainly accept IELTS or TOEFL tests. Please note IELTS and TOEFL are only valid for two years.

We require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall or TOEFL (iBT) 90. Each component of the English test should meet the minimum requirement of IELTS 5.5 in all components, TOEFL (iBT 22). For the writing component, we expect you to have achieved a minimum of 6.0 (IELTS).

If your IELTS or TOEFL expires before the start of your programme, you will need to take another official English test before we can issue you with a CAS for your visa application. This is a requirement of UKVI.

The University accepts a number of English language tests. For more information, see: English language requirements.


Step 7: Acknowledgement

Once submitted, you will receive an acknowledgement that your application has been received.

After we have received all of your supporting documents, your application will be reviewed by the BBSRC DTP Recruitment Committee and circulated to your preferred supervisor(s).


Step 8: Interview

You will be kept informed of the progress of your application throughout the application process.

We will contact you directly if we wish to invite you to one of our interview days following supervisor nominations in February 2022.

If you are invited to one of our interview days, you will be notified directly by email. Interviews for this recruitment cycle will be conducted via Zoom.

The BBSRC DTP Recruitment Committee will assess applicants based on CV, academic record and references. Interview panels will consist of up to three academic staff from across the University. You will be required to give a short presentation (not exceeding 10 minutes) outlining any research experience you may have (e.g. an undergraduate project) or on the BBSRC DTP project you are interested in. Presentations can be made in PowerPoint format or verbally.

If you have any queries about this if you are invited to interview, please contact

If you are not nominated by a supervisor for a panel interview, we will notify you directly that your application is unsuccessful.


Contact us

For queries regarding the application process, the projects on offer or your eligibility.

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.