Backing the scientists of the future: Nottingham receives £15 million investment in bioscience

Thursday, 24 October 2019

The next generation of Nottingham bioscientists have received a £15million boost from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

The award was part of a UK-wide £170million investment announced today (24 October).

The investment will secure 47 four-year PhD studentships over five cohorts in the biological sciences under the third phase of BBSRC’s Doctoral training Partnerships (DTP).

The programme, which starts in October 2020, will run across nine Schools in three Faculties (Science, Engineering and Medicine) at the University of Nottingham and two Schools at Nottingham Trent University.

UKRI-BBSRC DTPs provide PhD training in areas of bioscience relevant to the remit and strategic research priority areas of BBSRC. They also provide a breadth of professional development training opportunities to enhance the capabilities of doctoral candidates and develop a world-class, highly skilled workforce the UK needs for its future.

During the DTP each student will also undertake a three-month Professional Internship for PhD Students (PIPS) placement to develop their skills further and to explore possible future career directions.

Professor Zoe Wilson, Director of the BBSRC Nottingham-Rothamsted DTP, said: “We are delighted by the UKRI-BBSRC funding of our Nottingham DTP3, which will enable us to continue to deliver high-quality, student-centric training and research excellence, to generate the highly-skilled, innovative leaders of the future that will benefit the UK Bioeconomy.”

Jessica Corner 1
This funding builds on eight years of successful DTP at the University of Nottingham and I am thrilled that we can continue with this successful programme. We are extremely proud of the breadth of high quality research delivered by the University and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences research portfolio is no exception to this. PhD students are integral to the delivery of research and innovation at Nottingham and this kind of funding is essential for the continuation of their high-quality training.
Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research & Knowledge Exchange

Professor Nigel Wright, Deputy Vice-Chancellor - Research and Innovation at Nottingham Trent University said: “We are thrilled to have received confirmation of funding for the third phase of the DTP programme, and are excited to be able to able to continue the research and training in partnership with the University of Nottingham. NTU brings a wealth of unique skills and insights to the programme and we look forward to the opportunities this collaboration will bring.”

The UKRI-BBSRC DTP scheme is just one element of UKRI’s commitment to support future talent in research and innovation. UKRI as a whole supports around 15,000 doctoral students in UK universities, research institutes and businesses. As part of the National Productivity Investment Fund, a further 1300 students were supported in industrially-relevant research topics, and in projects utilising artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data.

Announcing the award, Professor Melanie Welham, UKRI-BBSRC’s Executive Chair said: “The success of the UK’s science sector and the consequent benefits to society and the economy relies on great researchers doing great work. Our Doctoral Training Partnerships have already supported the training of hundreds of early career scientists working at the cutting edge of biology and biotechnology. By continuing to fund, through this significant £170 million investment, vital training of the next generation of researchers we will help ensure that the UK consolidates its position as world-leader in this crucial sector.”

The Nottingham DTP3 programme brings together a partnership of the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, National Biofilm Innovation Centre, Rothamsted Research, Research Complex at Harwell, Diamond Light Source, ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, NIAB-EMR, Centre for Process Innovation Limited and SME BioIndustry Partners, to deliver interdisciplinary training opportunities across the remit of biosciences and biotechnology research.

Professor Zoe Wilson, Associate Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research & Knowledge Exchange with Professor Melanie Welham, UKRI-BBSRC’s Executive Chair and Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research & Knowledge Exchange.

Story credits

More information is available from Charlotte Anscombe or Jane Icke, Media Relations Managers in the Press Office at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 74 84417, or

Charlotte Anscombe - Media Relations Manager - Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Phone: 0115 748 4417

Notes to editors:

About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

More news…

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798