BBSRC White Rose DTP (WR DTP) in Mechanistic Biology

This prestigious Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council-funded Doctoral Training Partnership and its strategic application brings together world-class molecular and cellular bioscience centres at the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York.

  • Funding: A tax-free annual stipend at the standard UKRI rate (£18,622 for 2023/24 entry), research costs and tuition fees at UK rate
  • Academic year: 2024/25
  • Open to: International (including EU) and UK (home) students
  • Qualification level: Postgraduate research
  • Number available: 7
Applications for 2024/25 are closed.

By mapping on to the research themes of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, you'll benefit from a regional doctoral training programme that has interdisciplinary collaboration at its core. The aim is to enable you to develop a range of research skills in biological and biochemical areas as well as equip you with core mathematical, data analysis and generic professional skills that are necessary for bioscience research in the coming decades.

At York, the White Rose DTP brings together researchers from the Departments of Biology and Chemistry spanning different research centres:

Find out more about the White Rose DTP in Mechanistic Biology


Open to International (including EU) and UK (home) students.

We aim to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK and are able to offer a limited number of bursaries that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international (EU and non-EU) applicants. These full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme.  

You can apply if you have, or are expecting to gain, at least an upper second class honours degree or equivalent. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this programme we welcome applications if your background is in any biological, chemical or physical science or mathematics and are interested in using your skills in addressing biological questions. 

The York White Rose DTP in Mechanistic Biology is committed to recruiting extraordinary future scientists regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or career pathway to date. We understand that commitment and excellence can be shown in many ways and have built our recruitment process to reflect this. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, particularly those underrepresented in science, who have curiosity, creativity and a drive to learn new skills.

Not all projects will be funded; a limited number of candidates will be appointed via a competitive process.

English language

If English isn't your first language, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. For more information see our Postgraduate English language requirements.

How to apply

Application deadline: Sunday 7 January 2024, 11.59pm GMT

To submit your application, click on the APPLY ONLINE button on your chosen project.

We would advise you to read the questions in the form before submitting your application. Inside the form there is a link to a pdf document for you to see the questions in advance.

If you have any questions about the application process please email

If you have any questions about the project you are interested in, please email the project supervisor (details inside the project description).

How we allocate

Shortlisting will take place as soon as possible after the closing date and successful applicants will be notified promptly.

If you're shortlisted you'll be invited for an interview on a date to be confirmed in February 2024. As part of the interview process, you'll be asked to make a 7-10 minute presentation on a research project you've undertaken.

You'll be notified as soon as possible after the interview dates whether your application has been successful, placed on a reserve list or unsuccessful. If you are successful, you'll be required to confirm your intention to accept the studentship within 10 days.

Terms and conditions

The studentships are fully funded for four years and you must complete your PhD in four years. 

You'll receive the minimum doctoral UKRI stipend per year for your living costs, which is paid to you in regular instalments. The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) stipend is tax free and does not need to be paid back. 

International students will need to have sufficient funds to cover the costs of their student visa, NHS health surcharge, travel insurance and travel to the UK as these are excluded from UKRI funding.

As a member of the York Graduate Research School, you'll study throughout the whole year, working for at least 35 hours per week, and will have a usual annual leave entitlement (normally 30 days over the year plus public holidays). You are encouraged to make use of your leave and have a responsibility to discuss the timing of this with your supervisor (for longer periods of holiday) and recording leave taken through the year. Students working in collaboration with non-academic partners are expected to bear in mind their obligations to those partners in planning leave.

You must adhere to the University’s regulations, policies and guidance regarding research degree programmes

As part of the York White Rose DTP programme you are expected to attend all mandatory induction, meetings and training sessions scheduled by the DTP and by the lead Department.

Contact details

White Rose DTP In Mechanistic Biology

Our White Rose DTP programme in Mechanistic Biology offers projects aligned with the BBSRC strategic priorities in food security, bioenergy and industrial technology, and world class bioscience. Discover the range of PhD projects undertaken as part of the White Rose DTP in Mechanistic Biology

Please try to identify a research project that suits you, which should ensure a proper match between your research interests and your prospective supervisors. We would encourage informal discussions with different project supervisors to help you decide which project to apply for. Contact details for academic staff can be found in each project description below.

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