BBSRC Frontier Bioscience – Deadline: 6 Jan 2020


PIPS opportunity: Communicating the Impact of Genomics with the BBSRC Frontier Bioscience team.  

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a motivated PhD student to join the UKRI-BBSRC Frontier Bioscience team to work on increasing the profile of the long-term impacts that BBSRC’s legacy of investment in genomics has generated for science and society. This 3-month internship would suit a PhD student with interests in genomics, biotechnology, science communication (SciComm) or public engagement. This internship will involve gathering evidence from a range of sources, including key stakeholders both inside and outside of the organization, and working collaboratively with the UKRI Communications and Public Engagement team to develop and disseminate an accessible narrative. There will be ample scope to shape the direction of the project based on the candidate’s own skills and interests and you will also gain broad exposure to research strategy and programmes activities within UKRI-BBSRC.

Background to UKRI-BBSRC Frontier Biosciences

In 2019 UKRI-BBSRC published its new Delivery Plan outlining three high-level objectives which underpin its ambitious vision for UK bioscience, including Advancing the Frontiers of Bioscience Discovery. In order to deliver on the enabling potential of bioscience in tackling global challenges, strategic long-term support for cutting-edge, fundamental research at the frontiers of bioscience discovery is necessary to build the foundations for future impact.
The legacy of BBSRC support in genomics spans decades since its first establishment in 1994. Today, genomics is a rapidly advancing field which cuts across much of the > £300 million portfolio of investment curated by UKRI-BBSRC annually. Demonstrating how historical investments at the frontiers of genomics have laid the foundations for contemporary innovation and impact will help UKRI-BBSRC build the case for increased long-term investment to Government. It will also highlight the exciting potential for longer-term impact from recent and future investments at the contemporary frontiers of genomics to our wider stakeholder group, including the general public.

Role of the PIPS Intern

– Gather and curate evidence of the impact of past BBSRC investments in genomics using both data-driven analytical tools and personal engagement (e.g. interviews) with key stakeholders (e.g. academics, industry leaders).
– Work collaboratively with the UKRI Communications and Public Engagement team to write clear and concise descriptions of complex scientific concepts understandable by the general public.
– Contribute proactively to the wider work of the Frontier Bioscience Team

Additional Development Opportunities

– Attend continued professional development (CPD) training courses offered through UKSBS or externally.
– Travel to one or more of BBSRC’s strategically funded institutes (e.g. Rothamsted Institute, Roslin Institute) to gain first-hand familiarity with ongoing research programmes in genomics.
– Learn more about the work of the UK’s principal public funder of biosciences research, including potential to attend a UKRI-BBSRC grant panel meeting to experience of the peer review system.

Recruitment and Selection

This position is based at Polaris House, Swindon, and may also require occasional travel to off-site locations. Travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses for the duration of the
internship will be covered by UKRI-BBSRC, up to the amount of £1,000 per month.  (For White Rose BBSRC DTP students, this will not apply and you will qualify for the standard PIPS allowance.  (up to £2050 at the time of writing).

What past interns have had to say about their experience of working at BBSRC:

“I really enjoyed working with the team at BBSRC – everyone was very friendly and made me feel welcome.”

“It was great to gain an insight into how the BBSRC works as an organisation.”

Equality and Diversity

UKRI-BBSRC is committed to encouraging equality and diversity among our staff and
eliminating unlawful discrimination. The aim is for UKRI-BBSRC to be truly representative of
all sections of society and to showcase the strengths of an inclusive and diverse workforce.
We welcome applications from all sections of the community and promote equality of
opportunity in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.


Informal queries should be directed to Dr Kyle Martin at

How to apply

If you would like to apply for this PIPS placement, then please complete the attached application
form and return it to by 6 January 2020.

Interviews are to be held the week of 13 January 2020 by teleconference. You should be available to start your
placement between March-April 2020.