Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Doctoral Training Programme

What to expect

Completing your PhD through our four-year training programme will involve both individual and group-based learning. The programme is adapted year-on-year to meet the needs of each group of students. 

Before you start

If you join us on our standard programme, you will be invited to a meeting with the DTP Management team to discuss lab rotation selection and asked to submit a ranked list of your preferred opportunities. Your lab rotation allocation will then be shared with you in September, prior to induction. You will also have a pre-arrival meeting with one of our DTP Welfare Officers - find out more about the support they offer before you start and throughout your PhD here.



Following registration, you will take part in an induction day focussed on orientation and team building. This is followed by two weeks of training before the beginning of your first lab rotation. The induction programme will include a broad range of sessions focussed on both technical and transferable skills. 


Lab rotations (standard programme only)

You will complete two lab rotations during the first six months of the four-year programme.

Each lab rotation focusses on one mini-project to give you the opportunity to develop your understanding while you familiarise yourself with the lab environment, gain new skills and build networks across the partnership. You will be encouraged to contact supervisors of projects you are interested in following the offer of a place on the programme, and we will allocate lab rotations prior to the start of the programme to allow you to prepare.

Following completion of your lab rotations you will participate in a project refinement workshop which will give you the opportunity to develop the direction of your project. You will have the opportunity to develop your project based on either or both of the lab rotations you have undertaken.


Training opportunities

The DTP offers a range of training opportunities, including in programming, policy and public engagement, experimental design and good research practice, transferable skills, research skills and more. Our annual training week will give you the opportunity to select training that meets your needs, and first year DTP students will work together on real-life scientific problems as part of our Challenge Days.


Annual conference

You will present at our annual conference every year. Your contribution will start as a flash talk in your first year, followed by a poster presentation in second year, a 15-minute academic talk in third year and a three-minute thesis presentation in your final year. 



All students undertake a three-month professional internship for PhD students (PIPS) or an industrial placement (for our CASE students).

PIPS are usually unrelated to your research and provide an opportunity to develop your skills in a new area, broadening your experience and helping you to explore potential career options. Our students have undertaken PIPS in a range of industries and environments, from local opportunities in Nottingham to placements in Europe, the US, Australia and China.

Hear what our students think


Please be aware that study abroad, compulsory year abroad, optional placements/internships and integrated year in industry opportunities may change at any time for a number of reasons, including curriculum developments, changes to arrangements with partner universities or placement/industry hosts, travel restrictions or other circumstances outside of the university's control. Every effort will be made to update this information as quickly as possible should a change occur.

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Doctoral Training Programme

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Tel: +44 (0) 115 8466946