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UKRI-BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnerships

Copyright: shironosov/iStock/Thinkstock

Call status: Closed
Previous call: 14 January 2019 - 1 May 2019

Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP) logo

We are pleased to announce the third call for Doctoral Training Partnerships.


Investments in doctoral training are a key component of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council’s (UKRI-BBSRC) overarching goals to develop research talent and skills. UKRI-BBSRC‘s vision is for an innovative, inclusive and outcomes-focussed programme of doctoral training to build and maintain the capacity of bioscience disciplines, and deliver skills for impact across the UK economy.

UKRI-BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP) provide PhD training in areas of research relevant to UKRI-BBSRC’s remit and priority research areas. DTPs also provide a breadth of professional development training opportunities to enhance the capabilities of doctoral candidates and develop a world-class, highly skilled workforce for the UK.

Building on the two previous DTP programmes (see related links), institution-level or multi-institution bids are invited to apply to the third phase of UKRI-BBSRC DTPs. The objectives of the scheme are to:

  • Build and maintain the capacity of core disciplines in biotechnology and biological science to advance the frontiers of bioscience and to respond to strategic challenges
  • Develop highly-skilled people with the specialist understanding and technical capability to produce, manage, interpret, disseminate and use new knowledge and technologies relevant to cutting edge bioscience
  • Produce a cohort of researchers with the capability, awareness and openness to work collaboratively across disciplines, sectors and internationally to understand and address academic, economic and societal challenges. Partnerships will provide opportunities and encouragement for doctoral candidates to seek out these experiences
  • Create an inclusive and supportive training environment for doctoral candidates
  • Deliver evidence-based impact from its public investment.

Number of awards and funding available

It is anticipated that up to 15 DTPs will be awarded. Total funding of £170 million is available to support up to 340 four-year studentships per annum, including at least 90 CASE studentships, for five consecutive intakes, the first being in 2020-2021 and the final cohort commencing in 2024-2025. The first three intakes are guaranteed; the final two intakes will be dependent on the outcome of a mid-term review. Awards will be made in the form of single profiled training grants. The normal flexibility of UKRI training grants will apply, enabling institutions to part-fund studentships from other sources.

Partnerships will be able to apply for an allocation of standard and collaborative studentships, fully justifying how these studentships will be utilised. The panel will judge each bid for these separately as part of the allocation process.

The funding for each four-year studentship will include £5,000 p.a. research training support costs, as well as student stipend and fees at standard research council levels. Each doctoral candidate will take a three-month internship during their PhD, to experience working in an area not directly related to their PhD project.


All UK based research organisations, or consortia, that are eligible to receive UKRI funding for research, have the infrastructure in place to deliver doctoral training and hold a summed minimum of £20 million UKRI-BBSRC research grant spend over the three year period of 2015/16 to 2017/18, will be eligible to submit a proposal for a DTP.

UKRI-BBSRC is keen to see the training of doctoral candidates in broad-based centres of research excellence which promote and facilitate inter- and multidisciplinary working and expose doctoral candidates to a wide range of expertise. To this end, UKRI-BBSRC will only award institutional-level and multi-institutional level partnerships, and wishes to encourage multi-institutional bids between research organisations in addressing its training priorities. Through this approach, UKRI-BBSRC expects integrated plans for research and training which meet UKRI-BBSRC’s strategic priorities, address vulnerable capabilities and foster inter-disciplinarity.;

Non-eligible institutions/organisations may be included as ‘Associate Partners’ on a DTP application, providing the partnership can demonstrate that there is significant added value/benefit to the inclusion of these ‘Associate Partners’ within the partnership. Further details are available in the full call text.

BBSRC research grant spend from non-eligible institutions/Associate Partners will not count towards the minimum threshold.

Research organisations may only submit one proposal as lead applicant. A DTP must include at least one degree-awarding research organisation within the partnership.


The assessment of proposals to become a UKRI-BBSRC DTP, which will include an interview with the management team of the proposed partnerships, will be scheduled for 10-11 July 2019 and announcements regarding the allocation of funding are likely to be made by October 2019.

How to apply

This call is closed to applications.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to read in full the call text and all supporting background information in order to better address the requirements of the call. All documentation is available on this webpage to download.

Proposals must be submitted using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system by 1 May 2019, 16:00.

Application downloads (for reference only)


Doctoral Training Partnerships

Related calls: skills and training partnerships people