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Professional Internships for PhD Students (PIPS)

Are you a BBSRC-funded PhD student looking for a work placement experience? Visit our funding page to apply.

Having a well-rounded skill set is a great way to enhance your CV. Undertaking an internship can provide context for your doctoral research in relation to the wider regulatory and professional environment while also providing you with additional skills. The Professional Internship for PhD Students (PIPS) is a key component of our Doctoral Training Partnership programme.

This 3-month integrated placement provides BBSRC-funded DTP PhD students the opportunity to carry out a work placement unrelated to their doctoral research during their PhD. Such experience is important both to help early career researchers understand the context of their research and to expose them to the range of opportunities in which they can apply their PhD skills and training after they graduate.

Your DTP Programme is responsible for arranging your PIPS placement, though specific opportunities are available at BBSRC.

Opportunities at BBSRC Swindon Office

We provide up to eight 3-month placements a year at BBSRC Swindon Office for students to undertake their PIPS and gain experience. The scheme is open to all BBSRC-DTP PhD students and placements are awarded competitively. If you are interested in a placement email us using the contact below and we will send you details of:

  • Potential internship projects
  • How to apply
  • The assessment process

Case study: PIPS placement at BBSRC Business Interaction Unit

Claudia MacLean, a third year PhD student at the University of Leeds, completed her 3 month PIPs placement at BBSRC within the Business Interaction Unit. The purpose of her project was to do a piece of analysis on the Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst, a relatively new collaborative funding competition run by BBSRC, EPSRC and Innovate UK.

Claudia MacLean
PhD student in neuroscience at the University of Leeds

This project involved understanding the nature of the Industrial Biotechnology sector and the goals of the funding mechanism, developing the methods of analysis and presenting the outputs of this analysis to a number of audiences including the Industrial Biotechnology Strategy Advisory Panel. Whilst on the placement she also had the opportunity to attend a number of conferences, where she was able to learn more about the science area and experience some aspects of facilitating a scientific conference and network with the community.

“The PIPS placement at BBSRC was both enjoyable and highly useful. Through this experience I gained new perspectives to apply to my PhD work as well as specific skills, particularly data analysis and data presentation. In a broader sense, this opportunity also gave me a greater understanding of how funding of research works and some of the types of job roles that exist within the field of academic science, outside the lab itself.”

Claudia’s supervisor at BBSRC, Senior Business Interaction Manager Charlotte Bell, said, “Having Claudia in the team for the 3 months PIPs placement brought new perspectives to our data analysis approach. Her project has been continued and the outcomes will be used to informed strategic decisions within this important area of BBSRC’s portfolio in the future.”


Professional Internships for PhD Students