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Cambridge Biosciences DTP PhD Programme




The iCASE studentships are a collaboration between an academic institute/ department and an industrial partner/company. 

The Programme is four years in duration students must submit their thesis no later than 48 months after their start date. 

Programme Structure

All iCASE research students must spend between 3-18 months on placement with the partner company - during this time they will participate in projects that are closely related to their research area. In addition to experience of an industrial research environment, the student should receive business-related training, for example, in project-management, business strategy, and/or finance.

Year  1           

The first six months are spent completing training in Statistics, Computational and Systems Biology, and Research Skills, these will be undertaken with the Standard and Targeted students.  

Years 2-4                                             

You will spend the remainder of the four years completing a research project for the award of PhD. During the final 3 years of your PhD you will undertaken an internship lasting a minimum of 3 months with the industrial partner of your PhD project.

Previous industrial partners

Here are a sample of the industrial partners previous iCASE projects have been in collaboration with.

  • AstraZeneca
  • Bayer CropScience
  • Cambridge Animal Technologies Ltd
  • Cambridge Epigenetix
  • Coca Cola
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Entomics
  • ​GlaxoSmithKline plc
  • Heptares Therapeutics
  • MedImmune Ltd
  • Microsoft Research Ltd
  • Royal Horticultural Society 
  • Syngenta Ltd
  • Unilever

Training and networking

As a member of the BBSRC DTP you will take part in a structured training and networking programme which runs along side your PhD project. The majority of the training takes place during the first 6 months of the programme but there are also sessions taking place less frequently during the remaining three and a half years. The traning sessions provide you with relevant knowledge and skills to get the most out of your project. The networking opportunities are often joined with training in more general areas such as public engagement but also provide you with the opportunity to spend more time with fellow DTP students. More information about training can be found here.

Student Testimonial

Dhaval Joshi - DTP Student, Department of Chemistry

"I personally was very excited to take on the iCase research project because I have very little perspective on what scientific research is like, especially within the context of neuroscience in an industrial setting in the pharmaceutical industry. I would absolutely recommend an iCase studentship to people considering applying for PhD because it's a way to get a new perspective on your research project, what its potential is, and what its applicability is beyond the scope of just a self-contained research project.  It can also be added motivation to a lot of people to stay in research after finishing their Doctoral training. On top of that, carrying out the industrial placement is another opportunity to develop technical skills, as well as transferable skills that you won't necessarily be able to develop in your lab or with the lab that you're working with, so it's it's a way to become a more well-rounded researcher."