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Collaborative Training Partnerships (CTP)

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CTPs co-invest in training the next generation of skilled people for the research base and wider bioeconomy. 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.

Call status: Closed
Previous call: 8 February 2016 – 25 May 2016


The CTP competition awards a block allocation of 4-year studentships covering several years’ intake in which businesses take the lead in arranging projects with an academic partner of their choice in research relevant to our remit and strategic priority areas.

CTPs are one of the main ways in which we fund collaborative training and enables businesses to better integrate studentships into their planning cycles. See our CASE studentships page for more information.

The competition

The 2016 competition is for three intakes of 4-year studentships (starting in academic years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20), allocations made to non-academic partners having established track records in collaborative doctoral training.

Key features

  • Competitive assessment of training strategy and environments
  • Evidence of track record in doctoral training
  • Concentration to protect and focus training: up to 15 CTPs to be awarded
  • Industry-led bids with UK-based companies / consortia / networks encouraged to develop innovative training models in collaboration with academia
  • Partnerships will work to a ‘Portfolio Agreement’ and be encouraged to support vulnerable capabilities and skills
  • Minimum number of 4 studentships per annum per award
  • Mandatory 3-18 month integral research placement
  • Notional studentship cost to be calculated on a 4-year basis, and provision of £5k per annum Research Training Support Grant (RTSG); no compulsory requirement to enhance student stipend
  • Evidence of around 20% of the funding (cash or in-kind) to be supported by the non-academic partner(s) and other non-Research Council sources
  • An accountable governance structure to enable effective management and communication and a significant role for BBSRC in strategic engagement and post-award monitoring

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.

Assessment criteria

CTPs will be assessed competitively against three main criteria:

  • Excellence of research and alignment of PhD training to our remit and priority research areas
  • Excellence of the PhD training programme and training environment across the organisations involved in the Partnership
  • Quality of management of the collaborative training programme, supervision of the students, and governance of the Partnership

We will advise the assessment panel to recommend for award a balanced portfolio of Partnerships which can provide excellence of training and an overall balance between ‘general advancement of knowledge’ and our priority research areas. See call guidance for further information.


Non-academic partners (e.g. companies / consortia / networks) who have a history of providing high-calibre student training should consider applying. Please see call guidance for further details.

Town Hall meeting

A Town Hall meeting to discuss the detailed requirements of the call was held on 4 March 2016 in London. Up to two members from each putative partnership were eligible to attend. For full details of the event see: Collaborative Training Partnerships (CTP) Town Hall meeting.

How to apply

This call is closed to applications.

Submit a proposal electronically via the Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system with the following mandatory attachments:

  • CTP – Cover letter and mission statement
  • CTP – Portfolio agreement attachment
  • CTP – Performance indicators
  • CTP – List of collaborative studentships

Detailed guidance on how to complete proposal forms and proposal attachments can be found in the call guidance.

Important: Please note that, in order for the Je-S application form to be validated to allow submission, applicants are required to attach a blank document as attachment type “Head of Department Statement”. A Head of Department Statement is not required for a CTP application but submission will be blocked unless this attachment type is added.

We do not accept late proposals.

Important: applicants should ensure proposals are submitted to their host organisation’s Je-S submitter/approval pool well in advance (a minimum of five working days) of the published deadline. This enables checks to be carried out before final submission to BBSRC.

Note: the process for registering new organisations on Je-S can take up to six weeks therefore applicants should ensure that sufficient time is allowed before the deadline for registration to be completed.

Application timeline

Call launch 8 February 2016
Town Hall meeting registration deadline 1 March 2016
Town Hall meeting 4 March 2016
Application deadline 25 May 2016, 4pm
Assessment interviews 13-14 July 2016
Award notification By October 2016

Application downloads

Call guidance (PDF 336KB)

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Cover letter and mission statement (DOCX 1.04MB)

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Cover letter and mission statement (ODT 1.02MB)

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Portfolio agreement attachment (DOCX 1.06MB)

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Portfolio agreement attachment (ODT 1.04MB)

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Performance indicators (DOCX 1.04MB)

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Performance indicators (ODT 1.02MB)

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  • For strategic and scientific queries contact Dr Simon Cutler
  • For administrative queries relating to the application process contact Debbie Hall


Collaborative Training Partnerships

Related calls: collaboration industry partnerships people skills and training