Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) (Potential Funding Opportunity)
Reference Number: R144
Please note: BBSRC funding is awarded directly to universities, and not to students. BBSRC studentship opportunities available at Cardiff University will be listed individually in the Funding and Scholarship Search database as they become available. General information on BBSRC funding programmes is provided below.
Key Award Information
Background Information: The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is one of the seven UK Research Councils, and is committed to promoting and supporting high-quality basic, strategic and applied research and related postgraduate training relating to the understanding and exploitation of biological systems.
The broad areas of BBSRC's remit include:
- Animal Sciences
- Biochemistry and Cell Biology
- Biomolecular Sciences
- Engineering and Biological Systems
- Genes and Developmental Biology
- Plant and Microbial Sciences
Funding Opportunities: The Quota Competition awards funding directly to universities and research organisations for postgraduate research programmes. Funding is awarded in the form of Doctoral Training Grants (DTGs) or Master's Training Grants. Departments and supervisors advertise for students, therefore potential students should contact the institution at which they wish to undertake a research degree.
Doctoral Training Grants
Quota Studentships are allocated to universities and research organisations for postgraduate research programmes. The awards are made on a competitive basis through an evaluation of the quality of the research training offered by a department or research unit. The competition is held every 2-3 years.
Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering (CASE Studentships) are 4-year doctoral training grants for top quality bioscience graduates to undertake research (leading to a PhD) on a subject selected and supervised by academics in collaboration with industrial partners.
Targeted Priority Studentships are awarded to institutions in areas that compliment the BBSRC vision of moving towards a more predictive biology. Priority areas include ageing research, bioenergy, bioprocessing and environmental change, and 30 4-year studentships are available.
DTGs provide funding in the form of a single training grant rather than individual studentships. This gives the department considerable flexibility in how it chooses to use the funding, subject to the terms and conditions of the grant. For example:
- Flexible start dates for students
- Ability to part-fund studentships with other sponsors
- Joint funding of studentships with another Research Council
- Offering three year studentships where appropriate
- Flexible use of funding across different headings
Students interested in any of the above opportunities should contact the institution for information on Cardiff's involvement with these schemes.
Master's Training Grants
Master's Training Grants (rather than individual studentships) are made to universities every three years to support MSc and MRes courses. Departments have flexibility in how they use the funding.
The value of an MTG is calculated on the basis of a notional allocation of 1-year studentships. Funding equivalent to 110 studentships is allocated per year. Each grant funds three annual intakes (e.g. the 2006 grant covered 2007, 2008 and 2009).
Doctoral Awards (PhD Studentships): Provide support for up to three years of full-time study, or up to five years of part-time study, for the completion of a programme of doctoral research and attainment of a doctoral degree. A full award includes tuition fees (UK/EU level) and a maintenance grant. The maintenance grant will meet the National Minimum Doctoral Stipend level set by the UK Research Councils – for 2012/13, the full-time stipend level is £13,590 p.a.
Master’s Studentships: Provide support for the study of a Master’s Degree (MSc or MRes) over one year full-time; flexibility also exists for awards to be held for part-time study. A full award includes tuition fees (UK/EU level) and a maintenance grant. The maintenance grant will meet the National Minimum Doctoral Stipend level set by the UK Research Councils – for 2012/13, the full-time stipend level was £13,590 p.a.
The University is responsible for ensuring that candidates for BBSRC-funded studentships fulfil all BBSRC eligibility criteria.
Academic Criteria: Candidates for BBSRC training awards must normally hold (or be expected to obtain) a first or upper second class UK honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology.
Residency: Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements.
To be eligible for the full award, applicants must be settled in the UK i.e. be ordinarily resident in the UK without being subject under the immigration laws to any restriction on the period for which they may stay in the UK.
EU Nationals must have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the course for which they are seeking funding, including for the purposes of full-time education.
EU Nationals who do not meet the above residency requirement are eligible for a fees-only award, provided that they have been ordinarily resident in the EU for at least 3 years prior to the start of the course.
How to Apply
The BBSRC does not make awards directly to students.
Studentships are allocated to institutions in the form of Quotas and Training Accounts (for both Master’s and PhD awards), and the institutions must nominate candidates to receive awards from those funds. Availability of BBSRC funding therefore depends on whether the University currently holds BBSRC funding in your intended subject area.
BBSRC quota-based and collaborative/CASE PhD studentships, along with Master’s awards, will be listed individually in the Funding and Scholarship Search database. Alternatively, to check whether the University currently holds quota studentships or Master’s training grants relevant to your area of study, please contact the appropriate Academic school.