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Announcement of Opportunity: UKRI-BBSRC Collaborative Training Partnerships

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Call status: Open
Application deadline: 9 July 2020, 16:00

UKRI-BBSRC are pleased to announce the second call for BBSRC Collaborative Training Partnerships (CTP2). 


The UKRI-BBSRC Collaborative Training Partnerships (CTP) scheme is a doctoral training programme directed at industrial research challenges and delivered by consortia led by businesses in collaboration with Research Organisations. Its ambition is to build capacity and address strategic skills challenges in the UK bioeconomy[1] at doctoral level and provide candidates with the research, innovation and transferable skills needed to be competitive for high-quality jobs in the labour markets of the bioeconomy, academia and beyond. We define the bioeconomy as:

“All economic activity derived by bio-based products and processes which contributes to sustainable and resource-efficient solutions to the challenges we face in food, chemicals, material, energy production, health and environmental protection."

To address this ambition, the objectives of CTP2 are to:

  1. Build the capacity of the research and innovation workforce at doctoral level across sectors and industries of the UK bioeconomy to support their productivity and growth;
  2. Support businesses and business-led consortia to deliver doctoral programmes that address sector and industry based strategic skills challenges;
  3. Develop cohorts of enterprising and entrepreneurial doctoral graduates equipped with the research, innovation and transferable skills they need to compete for high-quality jobs in the bioeconomy and beyond;
  4. Ensure accessibility to doctoral training for candidates from diverse backgrounds and personal circumstances;
  5. Ensure the physical and mental wellbeing of candidates is protected;
  6. Create an outcomes-focussed programme capable of evidencing its progress and impact.

CTP is complementary to the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) scheme in underpinning UKRI-BBSRC’s goal to build the foundation of people and skills for UK bioscience (see the UKRI-BBSRC ‘Forward Look for UK Bioscience’), and with the additionality of aiming to support the aspirations of the government’s Industrial and Bioeconomy strategies as they relate to the workforce.

Partnerships applying to this call must demonstrate how their proposal will address and meet the objectives above. A set of FAQs will be available at

Number of Awards and Funding Available

It is anticipated that up to 10 CTPs will be awarded.  Total funding of £22.5M is available to support up to 75 four-year studentships per annum, for three consecutive intakes, the first being in 2021-2022 and the final cohort commencing in 2023-2024. 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.

Lead applicants should indicate the maximum number of studentships the company/consortia can support per year although the number awarded to each partner may be fewer.

The funding for each four-year studentship will include £5k p.a. research training support costs, as well as student stipend and fees at standard Research Council levels. 


Managing a UKRI-BBSRC CTP is a significant undertaking and each potential applicant should consider carefully the benefits versus obligations. It is possible for those non-academic organisations not in receipt of CTP funding to still be awarded individual CASE studentships through collaboration with UKRI-BBSRC DTP organisations.

UKRI-BBSRC is keen to see the training of doctoral candidates in centres of research excellence which promote and facilitate inter- and multi-disciplinary working and expose doctoral candidates to a wide range of expertise.

CTPs must be led by industry and have a UK research and/or manufacturing base and the lead applicant should not be eligible for UKRI-BBSRC grant funding.

CTPs may be led by a single company, but where relevant we encourage multi-partner bids involving two or more companies, assuming collaborative agreements are in place. In some instances, it may be appropriate for a defined network to be awarded an allocation of studentships to distribute (either competitively or strategically) on behalf of a consortium of companies, providing that details of how the resultant cohort will be managed are acceptable. Through this approach, UKRI-BBSRC expects integrated plans for research, innovation and training which meet UKRI-BBSRC’s strategic priorities, address sector skills challenges and foster inter-disciplinarity.  Further details are available in the call guidance.

An industry organisation may only submit one proposal as lead applicant. There is no limit to the number of organisations within the Partnership. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact UKRI-BBSRC for advice if they are considering being part of more than one Partnership.


The assessment of proposals to become a UKRI-BBSRC CTP, which will include an interview with the management team of the proposed Partnership, will be scheduled for July 2020 (date to be confirmed) and announcements regarding the allocation of funding are likely to be made by October 2020.

How to Apply

Applicants are strongly encouraged to read in full the Call Guidance 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. The call will be available on Je-S from 5th February 2020. The deadline for receipt of proposals is 4pm on 9 July 2020.  Applications will not be accepted following this deadline.


Application deadline: 9 July 2020

Further Information

For other queries relating to the requirements of the competition, please contact

Related calls: partnerships