Guidance for Students

PIPS Booklet Jan 2014

Professional Internships for PhD Students (PIPS) aim to provide BBSRC funded PhD students with the opportunity to carry out a non-academic work experience placement during their PhD. 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 available to them after they graduate.


The PIPS Manager, based at the University of Reading will support BBSRC DTP students through the process of applying for, securing and completing an internship. We recommend that internships are undertaken within year 2 or 3 of the PhD programme. Students should keep their supervisors informed throughout the process of arranging and undertaking an internship. Supervisors are encouraged to maintain contact with their students whilst on placement and where possible visit the student on placement at least once.


The PIP placement is a mandatory part of the DTP programme. Students continue to receive their stipend payment from the BBSRC during the internship. Students should identify travel/accommodation costs associated with any internship.

Wherever possible, agreement should be made that hosts will make a reasonable contribution to any travel & accommodation expenses.  This must be arranged between the student and the host prior to commencement of the internship.

Time Frame

Students are required to spend 3 months, full time on PIPS. We recommend that students spend this time in a single block with a single host. Research shows that this is the optimal format for this type of placement.

Students should discuss the timing of the internship with their supervisors. There is flexibility in the timings of the internship, this is to accommodate the requirements of the host organisation but also to avoid disruption to the students PhD project.