PIPS Paperwork

What paperwork do I need to complete for PIPS?  

It is expected that students will plan their PIPS with their academic supervisor and University PIPS Contact, and key contact at their chosen host organisation.

We advise you to read all the following information before you go on your PIPS, so that you are fully aware of what is required and what information you need to collect whilst you are there in order to complete the reports when you come back.

The following paperwork is required:

Before PIPS

1/ Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

This needs to be completed before you start your PIPS.  It is a signed agreement between your host organisation, yourself and your university.  It ensures that you and your host are in agreement as to what you will be doing during your placement and what outputs and outcomes will be achieved.  Work together with your contact at the host organisation to complete all sections.

Download the MOU template here:

PIPS Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

2/ Health and Safety Checklist 

This document also needs to be completed before you start your PIPS.  It is your responsibility to ensure that your host has completed and returned it to your PIPS Contact.

For Leeds and York students, download the Health and Safety Checklist here:

PIPS Host Health and Safety Checklist

3/ Learning Gain Tool

This needs to be completed for the first time before you go on your PIPS.  The Learning Gain Tool is an online skills assessment tool that is specifically designed to help both you and your host organisation get the most from this opportunity.

You complete a short questionnaire twice – before and after your PIPS.  It allows you to see the impact of your placement on a number of key skills and competencies. You will be able to print out and keep a copy of your results.  It might be useful for you to use this in the future to demonstrate how you have acquired skills which are considered valuable by employers.

Previous students have told us that the Learning Gain Tool results have been extremely useful when they are applying for jobs – It has allowed students to clearly demonstrate that they have developed or enhanced particular skills/competencies:

“I completed the Learning Gain Tool immediately after my internship ended, I didn’t take much notice of the results at the time because I was keen to get back to laboratory work. However, upon re-visiting my results several months later, I realise what an invaluable tool it is for enhancing my self-awareness of the transferable skills gained from my internship. In particular I was surprised to see how much my internship had enhanced my professional skills (personal effectiveness) and upon reflection, I have taken a more professional approach to my research after my PIPs experience. The Learning Gain Tool has also helped me realise how much immersing myself in a charity environment for 3 months enhanced my commercial awareness and networking abilities. I will use the results of the Learning Gain Tool in development of my CV and in future job applications as I complete my PhD here in Sheffield. The skill sets on the Learning Gain Tool are helpfully subdivided so know when I can experiences gained during my internship as an example of where I developed specific work-based skills. The results from the Learning Gain Tool can also act as triggers to help me remember what I achieved on my internship”.

“In doing the review it highlighted to me just how much my role within a science communications agency raised my commercial awareness and understanding of infrastructure within a company. It also made it very clear to me that my oral and written communication skills were being improved during my role. The review process highlighted to me, before I started the position, areas that were weaker and that I could focus on improving during my PIPS. In terms of CV and interview for future employment, seeing my learning gain in various areas made it clearer where I had improved and allowed me to demonstrate my skills and evidence exactly how I have developed them with examples from the PIPS”.

Log-in details

You need to ask the DTP Co-ordinator, Catherine Liddle for your individual login details.

Email: c.m.liddle@leeds.ac.uk

CLICK HERE to log into the on-line Learning Gain Tool

Links to information explaining how to log onto the Learning Gain Tool and how to use your own data:

2-minute video explainer

Learning Gain Tool poster

During PIPS

4/ Finance forms

Make sure you collect claim forms from your Finance Office or PIPS Contact before you go on your placement and keep all receipts and other proof of expenditure whilst you are on your placement.  See finance questions and answers for more information about your PIPS allowance and how to claim it.

5/ Photographs 

Whilst you are on placement, collect as many photographs as you can.   We need ‘action pictures’ – of you and your host supervisor / other members of your team engaged in the work on PIPS.  Make sure the photographs are as high quality as possible – they may end up on this website or in other publicity material for the DTP!  You can use your mobile phone camera… or why not ask if your host company has a marketing department or a professional photographer who could come and take some pictures?

Always seek permission of anyone else who will be deliberately or inadvertently included in the photographs (don’t forget people in the background who may not realise the photograph is being taken).  Individuals must be given the chance to opt out of photographs.

After PIPS

6/ Feedback from your host

You will need to gain feedback from your host organisation about how the placement went from their point of view.  Download the form below and send it to your host supervisor to complete.  They need to return the completed form to the PIPS Contact for your university.

Download the Host Feedback Form here:

PIPS Host Feedback Form

7/ Claim form

Submit your completed accommodation and travel expenses claim form to your PIPS Contact or Finance Officer in your University, together with your receipts and other evidence of expenditure.

8/ Learning Gain Tool

Complete the questionnaire again after you have been on your PIPS so you can compare the before and after results.

9/ Reports 

There are two reports you need to write.  They are a compulsory requirement of your placement.  You should complete them immediately after completing your PIPS, within one month at the latest.

i) PIPS Case Studies

Case Studies are extremely useful to highlight the great experiences students have had on PIPS and to help students who are starting to plan their PIPS.  Some Case Studies will be displayed on this website.

See examples on our PIPS Case Studies page HERE

Download the following template to write your PIPS Case Study:

PIPS Student Case Study Form

Make sure you attach all the photographs you have taken during your PIPS and give a description of what they are about and who the people are.  Send the completed Case Study and photographs to the PIPS Contact for your University within one month of completing your PIPS.

ii) Online BBSRC report

You will need to complete an online report via the BBSRC website. The end of PIPS report is the way that BBSRC has decided to track the PIPS scheme and it is vital that you complete the report.  Non-submission of PIPS reports by students is taken very seriously by BBSRC and could impact on our future funding.

You need to request a unique link by sending an email with the text Please e-mail me a unique link to the BBSRC DTP PIPS Placement Report” in the subject field to:


Ensure you complete the report on-line within one month of completing your PIPS.

UPDATE POSTED 20/01/2020:

Everyone is required to submit an end of PIPS placement report to the BBSRC.  The BBSRC survey system for these reports is being terminated by March 2020 and will be moving to a different system.

The BBSRC is still accepting requests from BBSRC funded PhD students for the placement reports.  However, students will not be sent their unique link until the new system is up and running and the survey has been re-written, hopefully in March 2020. 

Any students who have already requested the report but not yet completed it will receive a reminder from the BBSRC during the course of the next week to complete their report.