Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Studentship Funding

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK’s principal funder of basic and strategic biological research. To deliver its mission, BBSRC supports research and postgraduate training in universities and research centres throughout the UK, including BBSRC-sponsored institutes, and promotes knowledge transfer from research to applications in business, industry and policy, and public engagement in the biosciences.

BBSRC invests around £450 million per year in the biosciences and funds research in many areas of contemporary science, including:

  • Genomics, stem cell biology and bionanotechnology, that provide a basis for new technologies in healthcare, food safety, plant and livestock breeding, and bioprocessing;
  • Whole organism biology relevant to our understanding of diet and health, ageing, animal health and welfare, infectious diseases and immunity, and crop productivity;
  • Biological populations and systems that underpin agricultural sustainability, biodiversity and novel bio-based and renewable processes for energy and manufacturing.

BBSRC was established by Royal Charter in 1994 by incorporation of the former Agricultural and Food Research Council with the biotechnology and biological sciences programmes of the former Science and Engineering Research Council.

Eligibility and applications

Funding is awarded in the form of Doctoral Training Grants (DTGs) based on an allocation to the University made every three years. The University of St Andrews offers around seven funded places each year in Biology and linked subject areas such as Psychology, Chemistry or Physics.

Applications are welcome from UK/EU students holding a good first degree or equivalent with up to four years funding available via the school of Biology. Additional information on stipend, fees and fieldwork can be found on the BBSRC web pages. Current holders of a BBSRC Studentship can contact our finance advice & support office, ( for any additional information.

All funding and reporting is carried out by the finance advice and support office within the University so students will be requested to provide project details (title and description) for the BBSRC annual submission via the student research data portal (SRDP).


The University of St Andrews is a partner in the East of Scotland Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership. Applications for EASTBIO studentships are invited from excellent UK students for projects. (Some EU applicants may be eligible, if you meet Research Council residency criteria.) To be eligible, you must either have or expect to obtain a first or a 2.1 undergraduate degree and fulfill the residency criteria. Please check the BBSRC eligibility criteria (especially sections 4.1 and 4.2) .

How to apply

The scholarships and funding searchable catalogue is now available, where you can search and apply for different types of funding. All applicants will receive an email with information on how to access the scholarships and funding portal after their fee status has been determined. All current students can access the Scholarships and Funding portal via their MySaint account.

There is a two stage process for applications whereby any prospective applicant must first apply through the University of St Andrews and if successful will then be invited to apply through EASTBIO directly. Please see the EASTBIO website for more details.

BBSRC students funded at the University of St Andrews

All funding and reporting is via the University, students will be requested to provide project details for the BBSRC annual submission via the student research data portal in October of the first year. Additional information may be requested at any time and any changes in status or the project should be forwarded to the DTG Coordinator.

Any issues with fees or funding should be reported to in the first instance.

Current award holder should refer to the EASTBIO Handbook for full details on RTSG claims, fieldwork expenses, maternity cover and any other LOA’s or extensions likely to affect funding or submission dates. Requests for these should be emailed to Registry and the financial advice and support adviser on

If a student is prevented from working by illness for a continuous period of more than two weeks they must inform Registry immediately and send a medical certificate confirming the period unfit to work (regardless as to whether or not the student is suspending studies).

ROs cannot approve extensions to submission dates that are not associated with changes to the funding end date. All requests for submission date extensions not associated with changes to the funding end date must be referred to BBSRC via the financial advice and support adviser (

Current students can contact the School Postgraduate Secretary, Registry or Finance Advice & Support for any additional information regarding BBSRC or University terms and conditions.