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Professional Internships for PhD Students (PIPS)

Information for students

Each MIBTP student must spend approximately 3 months undertaking a placement within a professional employment environment; this can be undertaken any time from January in year 1. Such experience is important both to help early career researchers understand the context of their research and to expose them to the range of opportunities in which they can apply their PhD skills and training after they graduate.

Our students carry out a wide range of exciting professional internships during their PhD training programme doing activities that interest them and in several cases lead to ongoing interaction. Examples of previous PIPS placements can be read on the PIPS Case Study webpage.

  • Placement requirements: The PIPS placement can be undertaken within any working environment (scientific or not) but MUST be focused on managerial, administrative or organizational aspects and must NOT be a scientific lab based research activity. You should be engaging in activity that will help develop professional career skills and enable you to develop a broader understanding of the wider economy and society; perhaps in a company, research support/governance office, business development office, museum, school, press/media organisation, government policy office, etc. A biochemist may go to a pharma company and take a role in marketing or HR, for example.
  • Arranging your placement: Students are expected to arrange their own placement, although MIBTP does provide a list of potential placement companies who have either hosted an MIBTP student previously or who have expressed an interest in doing so.
  • Funding during PIPS: All students will continue to receive their stipend throughout the duration of their PIPS, and will remain registered as a student of the University on the DTP. As a result, they must not be paid for their internship. Additional funding is available where exceptional expenses will be incurred as a result of the placement (e.g. PIPS undertaken abroad or in London). PIPS hosts can contribute financially towards the cost of travel and accommodation associated with the placement if that support is available.
Information for potential PIPS hosts

The BBSRC Professional Internships for PhD Students (PIPS) scheme offers the opportunity for employers to take on an MIBTP PhD student for up to three months to carry out work on projects that suit both the employer and the student.

The benefits of the PIPS scheme to the organisation hosting the student include:

  • Access to highly motivated students, who have graduated from high ranking universities
  • Establishing, maintaining or developing collaborations with academic partners
  • Developing links with specific research areas, including bringing the expertise and experience of research trained individuals to policy analysis and development
  • Working with a highly skilled individual on projects that might not otherwise be undertaken, such as a short research or business development project
  • Providing staff with experience of line management over a short, defined period

Students continue to receive their stipend payments during the placement and so the host is not required to pay the student a salary. PIPS hosts can contribute financially towards the cost of travel and accommodation associated with the placement if that support is available.

If you would like to host a student, please complete the PIPS Host Application form and return to the MIBTP Administrator.