Students start their PIPS

Our students start to get out and about as part of the Professional Internships for PhD Students scheme (PIPS).

All our BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership students will be spending a few months as professional interns during their 4-year PhDs as part of the BBSRC PIPS (Professional Internships for PhD Students) scheme, and some have started already.

The aim of PIPS is for students to work in a non-academic environment in order to enhance their employability and widen their experience of the areas of work that they can apply their skills gained during their PhDs. Dr Celia Caulcott, BBSRC Director of Innovation and Skills, said: “PIPS… provide students with an opportunity for professional skills development and will enable them to develop a broader understanding of how their research training can have an impact in the wider economy and society..”

Our students have been inspired to organise their internships both locally and around the world, with some travelling as far as Europe and the US. They have already started working with global companies and educational organisations, and are enjoying the opportunities that this work experience brings.

Kate Earl (University of Liverpool) has just completed a 5 week PIPS at the Need for Nutrition Education Programme (NNEdPro, in Cambridge, which delivers and evaluates innovative training in Nutrition Education and Clinical Leadership to health professionals. She was involved in a range of different aspects of the organisation, including assisting analysts to develop a new education project, assisting with certain aspects of a clinical trial, and attending senior advisory panel meetings. She said of her experience: “I think this is a fantastic opportunity to gain work experience outside of the laboratory setting. I am very eager to learn about all areas of science and my internship with NNEdPro certainly allowed me to do this.”

Lisa Hindmarsh (Newcastle University) has decided to work with ‘The Leading Edge’, an organisation that allows researchers to work with school children and design and run public engagement events with young people. Her first PIPS experience had her co-ordinating a schools event at The British Science Festival in Newcastle (read more about our students’ experiences at the BSF in our related News item).

PIPS are certainly opening students’ eyes to what they can use their PhD training for, and will support their future career development. For more information about our PIPS scheme, please see our Programme Overview pages.

This item was added 10th October 2013

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