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BRIC doctoral programme: Apply for funding

Call status: Closed


This programme aims to improve the supply of skills to industry and academia in the bioprocessing sector, by providing a PhD programme that includes structured training that exposes students to industrial practices and needs. Our vision is to provide PhD students with a first-rate, challenging research training experience within the context of a mutually beneficial research collaboration, between academic and partner organisations.

At the heart of the programme is a research training project which provides the student with the opportunity to:

  • make a novel contribution to industrially relevant research in bioprocessing
  • gain exposure to the challenges facing industrial companies in this sector

The programme complements the EPSRC-funded Doctoral Training Centres at Newcastle and UCL that are relevant to the bioprocessing sector and other EPSRC studentship investments, by supporting training with a biosciences focus.

Training outcomes

Students will learn skills that they will not necessarily acquire during a standard doctoral programme which will benefit those who wish to enter the bioprocessing industry. These skills include:

  • An increased understanding of the challenges facing industry in the bioprocessing sector
  • A knowledge of industrial research practices
  • Improved business skills including team working, leadership, project-management and communication
  • An awareness of how industry and academia can successfully engage with each other and the barriers that can prevent this

Programme requirements

Training Grants (TGs) are offered with the following additional elements and conditions:

  • For each doctoral training grant BBSRC provides £5000 per annum to fund the student's training and development. Students on BRIC studentships are expected to use this funding to undertake activities that will enable them to achieve the training outcomes described above, such as paying for attendance on training courses
  • The programme will be based within the remit of BRIC and must be substantially within the remit of BBSRC
  • The student will be expected to participate in the BRIC Skills Development school and will be invited to other activities, such as dissemination events
  • The student will be expected to undertake additional activities, including an industrial placement, to improve their understanding of industry and develop industrially relevant skills. BBSRC now stipulates a minimum placement period of 3 months, and up to a maximum of 18 months. The required placement period can be accrued through a number of shorter placements, if appropriate
  • Due to the extra time that the student will need to spend on additional activities, it is expected the doctorate will take up to four years to complete
  • Each studentship must be sponsored by an industry member of BRIC that will provide an industrial supervisor who will help the student to improve their understanding of industry

The progress of studentships will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that the student is receiving the support that they require, is gaining experience and is progressing through their project.

Number of awards

Funding for 10 4-year studentships, commencing in the 2013/14 academic year, is available.

We accept and encourage multiple applications from academic/industry partnerships. This is provided that both academic and industrial partners can demonstrate that the commitment to more than one student will not compromise the quality of the training experience.


Applications may be submitted by academic supervisors (citing an industrial partner) at eligible UK universities or research institutes.

Applicants are not required to have previously held a BRIC grant. However, each application must include an industrial partner who is a current industry member of BRIC. Applications will be led by the academic partner.

Collaborative training

Studentships are principally based at the academic partner, with a mandatory placement at the non-academic partner for a minimum of 3 months and up to 18 months.

How to apply

The call for applications is closed.

Submit your proposal through the Joint electronic Submission (Je-S) system. Proposals must be submitted by the academic partner on behalf of the collaborative partnership.

Applicants should refer to the detailed Je-S help text for each section of the proposal form, available in the information pack below. The information pack also details document attachments required to support your application.

Important: applicants should ensure proposals are submitted to their institution's submitter/approval pool a minimum of 5 working days in advance of the published deadline. This enables institution checks to be carried out before final submissions.

Please ensure that proposed projects are within our remit to avoid the proposal being rejected. Queries regarding remit should be sent to

Application downloads


  • General:
  • Competition requirements: Innovation and Skills Group - Studentships,
  • Financial queries regarding existing awards: RCUK SSC Grants Administration,
  • Je-S: the helpdesk can be contacted Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm UK time (excluding bank holidays and other holidays):

    Tel: +44 (0)1793 444164 [out of hours please leave a voicemail message]

    For voice mail please provide:
    • Your name, organisation and user ID
    • Date and time
    • Which part of the form or system you were working on
    • The nature of the problem


Andrew Staphnill, Business Interface Manager

tel: 01793 444287
fax: 01793 414674