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BBSRC South West Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership (SWBio DTP)

The BBSRC-funded SWBio DTP involves a partnership of world-renown universities, research institutes and industry, based mainly across the South West and Wales.

This partnership has established international, national and regional scientific networks, and widely recognised research excellence and facilities.

We aim to provide you with outstanding interdisciplinary research training within the following themes, underpinned by transformative technologies:


You will be recruited directly to a broad, interdisciplinary project, supported by a multidisciplinary supervisory team, with many cross-institutional projects available.

There are also opportunities to:

Programme structure

Our structured training programme will ensure you are well equipped as a bioscience researcher, supporting careers into academia, industry and beyond.

First year

We provide a broad awareness of the fundamental research approaches in life sciences and how they could be applied to real-life situations through:

  • two rotation projects - both allied with but in different disciplinary areas related to the PhD project.
  • three taught units - training in Statistics, Bioinformatics, coding, experimental design, innovation and understanding the impact of your research.

You will need to successfully complete the first year to progress into your second year of studies. Also, if you are unable to continue your PhD, an MRes exit route is available upon successful completion of the first year.

Second to fourth years

The remaining years will be more like a conventional PhD, where you will focus on your PhD project.

The PhD thesis must be submitted within 4 years (full-time equivalent) of starting the programme.


To help broaden your career horizons, you will undertake

  • a 3-month placement of your choice, outside of an academic research environment - examples include working within policy, science communication, industry and scientific publishing.
  • or a 3-18 month industry placement with your CASE partner – CASE studentships only

These are to provide you with highly desirable skills, experience and knowledge that can be applied to many career sectors.

Cohort activities

You will have the opportunity to join many partnership cohort activities, such as student conferences, workshops and outreach events. Here you will meet students across the partnership, giving you access to a multidisciplinary and supportive student network.

Funding and eligibility

A fully-funded four year SWBio DTP studentship will cover

  • a stipend* (at the standard Research Council UK rate; currently £18,622 per annum for 2023-24)
  • research and training costs
  • tuition fees (at the standard Research Councils UK rate)
  • additional funds to support fieldwork, conferences and a 3-month internship.

*An enhanced stipend is available for students with a recognised veterinary degree qualification (£24,789 per annum for 2022-2023). There may also be enhanced stipends associated with projects that have a CASE partner (CASE projects are highlighted as *CASE in the project lists).

Visit the SWBio DTP website for full details on funding and eligibility requirements.

Supporting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

Our aim as the SWBio DTP is to support students from a range of backgrounds and circumstances.  Where needed, we will work with you to take into consideration reasonable project adaptations (for example to support caring responsibilities, disabilities, other significant personal circumstances) as well as flexible working and part-time study requests, to enable greater access to a PhD.  All our supervisors support us with this aim, so please feel comfortable in discussing further with the listed PhD project supervisor to see what is feasible.

For further information, please look at Our SWBio DTP EDI statement and How we support our diverse student cohort.

Application deadline

23:59 Monday 4 December 2023.

How to apply and projects available.

Find out more

Please visit our DTP website for more details.

If you have any questions, or would like to indicate your interest in this funding or further studentships that are published under this scheme, please visit our 'Ask a question' page.

You can also search our studentships or find out more about funding.

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