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Cambridge Biosciences DTP PhD Programme




Programme Structure

The programmes are four years in duration and are studied on a full-time basis.

Standard BBSRC DTP Students you will make an application to a certain theme and choose rotation and PhD projects from within this theme, under exceptional circumstances students may be allowed to transfer between themes. 

Targeted BBSRC DTP Students you will make an application to a specific PhD project. These projects have already been allocated a theme and the rotation projects a student completes prior to starting their PhD will be from within this theme.

Year 1

The first six months are spent completing training in Statistics, Computational and Systems Biology, and Research Skills and undertaking two 10-week rotation projects, either at the University or at one of the Partner Institutes. During this time standard BBSRC DTP students will select their PhD project and complete a project proposal. Targeted students will also complete a PhD proposal to provide more information about their project.

Years 2-4

You will spend the remainder of the four years completing a research project for the award of PhD. You will also undertake further research skills training and subject-specific training during Years 2-4 of the Programme and spend three months undertaking a Professional Internship for PhD Students (PIPS).

Choosing Your Rotation/PhD Projects 

Before beginning the course, you will be able to contact supervisors in different Departments/Institutes to discuss possible rotation/PhD projects.   Students are encouraged to undertake rotations in different locations. You can conduct one rotation outside of your chosen Theme, but if you decide to carry on that project for your PhD (thus changing Theme) it would have to be approved by the DTP Research Committee.

The Programme allows students to undertake research in any of the DTP Partnership Departments or Institutes (subject to the scope of the relevant Theme). Thus, any academic associated with a Department or external Partner Institute within the DTP Partnership may request to be listed as potential DTP supervisors for consideration by incoming DTP students.

Professional Internships for PhD students

Standard and Targeted students undertake a 3 month (60 day) internship in an organisation of their choice. This internship has been designed to give DTP students the opportunity to experience working outside of an academic/ lab environment and as such provides an excellent chance to consider what may interest you as a career should you decide to leave academia upon completion of your PhD.

Further information about PIPS can be found here

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 rotation and PhD projects, 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 projects. 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.