The White Rose universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York

White Rose BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) in Mechanistic Biology

Who we are

Our Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) brings together the research of world-class molecular and cellular bioscience centres at the White Rose universities of Leeds, She􀀁eld and York. The collaboration has attracted three major investments from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) which is currently supporting 130 PhD studentships.

Our mission is to train excellent bio-scientists who understand how living systems work and can innovate to address global challenges, such as, the impact of climate change, a healthier old age, and sustainable food production, land use and energy production.

What is on offer?

For entry in October 2024, we are offering standard studentships and i-CASE (industry partner) studentships.

Join us and you will receive a 4-year, funded PhD programme of research and skills training, with cross-disciplinary supervision, plus a structured programme of cohort-wide training and networking events. A highlight is the annual symposium, which is planned and delivered by students.

A unique part of your training will be the Professional Internships for PhD Students (PIPS), where you will spend three months at a host organisation of your choosing, gaining experience of work in a professional environment, and acquiring transferable skills that will be beneficial in your future career.

Appointed candidates will be fully funded for 4 years:

  • Tax-free annual stipend at the UKRI rate. The rate for starters in 2023/24 was £18,622
  • UKRI tuition fees
  • A Research Training and Support Grant
  • An allowance for Fieldwork/Conference/Travel
  • A Professional Internship for PhD Students (PIPS) allowance

Not all projects will be funded; the DTP will appoint a limited number of candidates via a competitive process.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

The interdisciplinary nature of this programme means that we welcome applications from students with backgrounds in any biological, chemical, and/or physical science, or students with mathematical backgrounds who are interested in using their skills in addressing biological questions.

Applicants must hold at least a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent.

The studentships are available to UK and international students. We are able to offer a limited number of studentships to international applicants. Further information about student eligibility can be found here.

There are language requirements for international students.

How to apply

Search through the projects to decide which one(s) you wish to apply for and follow the instructions in the individual project advert. You can apply for more than one project.

For standard studentships, the closing date for applications: Sunday 7th January 2024.

Interviews will be held either Friday 2nd and Monday 5th to Friday 9th February, or Monday 19th to Friday 23rd and Monday 26th February 2024, in-person at Leeds, Sheffield and York, with a panel representing all 3 Universities. Shortlisted candidates will be notified of a specific time/date to attend.

If you have applied for more than one project and are selected for interview, you will be interviewed only once.

For i-CASE studentships, see the individual project advert for details of the application and interview process.


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