How to Apply


Looking to start a PhD in October 2022?

Applications for entry in October 2022 are now open.

Please read the information below then search and apply.

The closing date for applications is 5pm Friday 7th January 2022.

Applications are now closed for 2022 entry for standard studentships.



Our vision is to train researchers of the future so that they are equipped to address and solve fundamental and strategic biological questions of national and global importance in the Biology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s (BBSRC) core areas of:

  • Bioscience for sustainable agriculture and food
  • Bioscience for renewable resources and clean growth
  • Understanding the rules of life
  • Transformative technologies
  • (Reference Forward Look for UK Bioscience, BBSRC pub 2019)

White Rose BBSRC DTP annual student symposium Dec 2019Our DTP programme builds on the excellent track records of the Universities of Leeds (The Faculties of Biological Science, Maths and Physical Science), Sheffield (Faculty of Science) and York (Departments of Biology and Chemistry) as leading centres of research and training in molecular and cellular biosciences.

What is on offer?

White Rose BBSRC DTP annual student symposium December 2019 poster competitionWe offer a 4-year, fully-funded programme of integrated research and skills training, with cross-disciplinary supervision and a 3 month Professional Internship For PhD Students (PIPS) with an external organisation.  These projects are competitive studentships based at the University of Leeds, Sheffield or York and are funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).  

Appointed candidates will be fully-funded for 4 years. The funding includes:

  • Tax-free annual UKRI stipend (£15,609 for 2021/22 starts. Awards increase every year, typically with inflation).
  • UK tuition fees (Around £4,500 per year)
  • Research Training and Support Grant (RTSG)
  • Conference and Professional Internships for PhD Students (PIPS) allowances
  • Centrally organised training and networking opportunities, including an annual student symposium

We aim to support the most outstanding applicants from inside and outside the UK.  We are able to offer a limited number of bursaries that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants. These full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme.

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

Equality, diversity and inclusion

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The White Rose BBSRC DTP and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found here: equality statement link.

Requirements for applicants

  • At least a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent. 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.
  • The studentships are available to UK and international students.  Further information about student eligibility can be found here.  The new UKRI eligibility requirements for international students (published Oct 2020) can be found here. 
  • There are language requirements for international students.

How do I apply?

White Rose DTP studentships will be offered by the host universities of Leeds, Sheffield or York.  You will need to apply directly to the University offering the specific PhD project(s) in which you are interested.  You can apply for more than one project but you must submit a separate application for each one. 

Projects are advertised at the bottom of this page.  They will also be advertised on the three university postgraduate websites (Leeds, Sheffield and York) and can be found on Find-A-PhD. We are currently exploring advertising on BBSTEM.  Projects will be advertised in October each year, with a closing date of early January for entry the following October.

Note: The project search includes both core DTP studentships, as described above, and i-CASE industry partner studentships, (although i-CASE studentships may be added slightly later than the standard DTP studentships). For more information about i-CASE studentships, click here

What happens next?

Candidates will receive confirmation of receipt of their application from the host university for the project they have applied for. Candidates will be informed as soon as possible if they have been shortlisted for interview. Interviews for 2022 entry will be held week commencing Monday 13th September by a cross-DTP panel. If successful at interview, individual students will be issued with an offer letter from their host university. The expected start date is the beginning of October 2022.


If you have any questions or queries about your application, please contact the person for the University which is advertising your project of interest.

University administration staff are currently working from home and therefore may not be contactable using the usual telephone numbers. Please contact via email in the first instance.

Leeds email:     Tel: +44 (0)113 343 8186

Sheffield email:     Tel: +44 (0)114 222 2750

York email:


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