Information for Current Students

How it works
Your internship should be undertaken between months 12 and 36 of your EASTBIO PhD after your first year report has been completed, ‘PIPS Planning Sheet’ approved and the ‘PIPS Internship Agreement’ completed.

How to find an internship

  • Apply to an existing internship program
  • See what internships EASTBIO has created
  • Create your own internship idea


“I was worried that I would have to fight hard to do my 'out of the ordinary', international PIPS idea but I was pleasantly surprised when the PIPS coordinator was so enthusiastic about everything.”

“Thanks to PIPS I am no longer worried about my future career – rather I feel I have found a potential career with all the aspects of research that I like but without the academic setting which I find difficult to work in. I continue to do my PhD with new found enthusiasm – a nice consequence of my PIPS that I had never foreseen."

What are EASTBIO and the BBSRC expecting from students?
You will be expected to do the following:

  • Source a suitable internship project with a suitable internship provider in a non-academic workplace setting
  • Plan the PIPS into your PhD work in collaboration with your PhD supervisor
  • Complete all the necessary paperwork (forms, agreements, approvals etc.) for your PIPS and communicate them to EASTBIO, host university and/or organisation, in accordance with milestones and deadlines set out in the PIPS Student Guide
  • Engage with your PIPS provider professionally when you are developing your PIPS project
  • Carry out and complete a PIPS of suitable length and scope, whilst adopting a professional behavior in the organisation
  • Report on the outcomes of your PIPS to EASTBIO and BBSRC according to the requirements set out in the PIPS Student Guide.


For further questions about the above, please email the EASTBIO Placements mailbox.

Feedback from students who completed their placement

Second-year EASTBIO student Laura MacKenzie (University of Aberdeen) has recently completed a 3-month placement with the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs. She had this to say about the placement:

"During my internship I had the opportunity to lead on the organisation of the G7 Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) meeting, held on 4th May 2021... [T]he discussion addressed three key themes: wildlife health surveillance, intelligence sharing and risk communication. [...] Further, I had the chance of rounding off the project by drafting the G7 meeting's agreed Chair’s summary. This piece of work was presented during an intervention by the UK Delegate (UK CVO) at the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) 88th General Session, in front of 182 member countries. 
Lastly, I prepared a short reflection from the meeting, published by the UK CVO, Christine Middlemiss, on the government’s veterinary blog.  
Next to this larger project, I also contributed scientific expertise to several smaller pieces of work, including the Defra response to the report “COVID 19: make it the last pandemic” by the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. 
Despite this internship running for only 3-months, I have learnt a lot during this internship, from project management to how science informs policy. I have learnt how to write in a more accessible way, appropriate to policy makers. Further, I am now confident in leading on my own project, while closely collaborating with team members.  I am now more confident to engage and collaborate with international stakeholders.

Being given the opportunity to fully lead on my own project was a great chance to develop my skills and confidence. While challenging at times, I really enjoyed taking ownership of the project, seeing it develop, while having a very supportive team around me to help as needed. I enjoyed engaging with all colleagues and international stakeholders to make this project a full success."
Third-year student Ana Rozman (University of Aberdeen) has recently completed her placement with the Academy of Medical Sciences. This is what Ana said about her placement:

"During my internship, I became a team member at the Academy of Medical Sciences Careers Team, working on a variety of projects related to biomedical research career development and training opportunities, as well as grant management. Some of my projects included organising an event on academic publishing, refreshing a COVID-19 Career Support Space, running career development events, participating in grant management and panel review processes and communicating with partners on behalf of the Academy.

The internship has been a great learning experience in working as part of a larger, diverse team. I have learned how to better manage my time, organise and delegate work for completion of a larger project, and effectively communicate with diverse audiences. At the same time, I have gained numerous insights into biomedical research funding and career support mechanisms available.

My role required a numerous written outputs -- i am usually not too excited to tackle writing tasks but having to produce written pieces under tight deadlines has given me a new understanding of the very important key phrase ‘finished, not perfect’ .

One of my favourite projects I have worked on during my placement has been refreshing the COVID-19 Career Support Space which organises useful reflections, resources, and tools to support clinical and biomedical researchers throughout the pandemic. This experience required analysis of the current space, preparation of multiple refresh proposals, communication and presentation of ideas to the expert advisory group, acting on the group feedback, preparing tools for project management, delegating tasks, writing summaries in the appropriate tone, as well as managing the technical execution by editing the webpages. Through this challenging but creative and extremely enjoyable task, I have developed transferable skills, such as communication with diverse audiences, as well as project and time management.

The internship has provided me a very valuable experience of the research support environment and enhanced confidence in my work. Both of these will be extremely useful for me, continuing my career path within or outside of academia. Most importantly, I have had a positive experience of professional environment culture, which I will be able to recall at any stage of my future career."