Ahead of your placement, a legal agreement will be required for your CASE studentship. A bespoke SWBio DTP CASE Studentship Agreement will be used. This legal contract will be initiated via your main supervisor and will be completed by the relevant people within your institution and in conjunction with your CASE partner's organisation.
You may be required to sign this legal agreement to acknowledge that you have read and understand the contract. If anything is unclear, please do not hesitate to raise with your main supervisor.
Prior to starting your placement, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to inform the DTP Administrative Hub about your placement:
- start and end dates
- if your final placement
Please ensure you also notify your host institution/registered university accordingly.
Set personal goals
Some placements may be very structured, whilst others may not. It is a good idea to set some personal goals at the start of your placement to give yourself something to aim for.
These could include:
- Learning new skills that will look good on your CV
- Making contacts within the organisation
- Finding out about roles available for graduate students
- Using your initiative on a project
It will give you a sense of accomplishment once you have achieved your goals and make you more motivated. Remember not to set unrealistic goals that are unattainable!
Create a good impression
How you present yourself at work can leave a lasting impression. Things you need to think about include:-
- respect for your colleagues and your work
- meeting deadlines and carrying out your responsibilities effectively
- maintaining a professional attitude at all times
- dressing appropriately
Have regular meetings with your CASE supervisor
Having regular meetings meetings with your supervisor will allow you to talk about your research progress and will give you the opportunity to discuss any difficulties you may be having.
Your supervisor may also be able to offer advice and help you progress and improve as an individual.
Have a positive attitude
You may well be given tasks you do not find very interesting as part of your internship, such as data entry or filing, but the key is to complete all tasks with equal levels of enthusiasm and professionalism.
- Make sure you avoid negativity – do not be rude or appear close-minded. Your attitude to your work will be instantly noticed by your colleagues.
- Always be willing to learn
- Take every opportunity you get to attend meetings/conferences/events/workshops which will give you the chance to increase your knowledge, network and build working relationships.
- Do not be afraid to ask questions
Undertaking a CASE placement is a learning experience and you are not expected to know everything. Seek advice and ask questions when you come across things you do not understand. Checking something you are unsure of before you do it will ensure you complete your tasks to the best of your ability.
Use your initiative
Employers always like to see employees take the initiative and tackle problems themselves. Problem-solving will help you become more confident in your work and you will find your placement more rewarding.
It’s very important to try and network with your colleagues during your placement. They can be a great source of job-hunting advice and can offer you a range of helpful tips on how to progress in your career.
Specific networking sessions can take place at conferences or work events, but do not forget the importance of being sociable each day in the workplace. Having a chat with someone in the canteen, joining a company sports team or attending a work social event will show that you are a good communicator and a team player, skills that are often seen as very desirable by employers.
End your placement on a high note
As you reach the end of your placement remember to show appreciation for the opportunity you’ve been given by the staff at the organisation. Remember, you may want to contact them in the future for a reference or even a job!
Undertaking a placement may be your first encounter of employment or it may be that you already have some working experience. Either way, please ensure you conduct yourself professionally at all times with an understanding of the standards and expectations of your CASE organisation.
Once you have agreed with your supervisory team and CASE partner when to undertake the placement, you are expected to undertake that placement. It will not be seen as acceptable professional practice to withdraw for anything other than genuinely unforeseen circumstances.
Keeping good communication with your supervisory team will ensure that the timing of your placement will fit in with other plans for your PhD project. Please note, you are required to regularly maintain contact with your supervisor throughout your placement.
Complete your BBSRC CASE report
You will be required to complete a report for BBSRC following completion of your placement (or at the end of your placements if undertaking multiple). This is a requirement of your funding.
The CASE placement report is accessed via a link that is unique to each student. To obtain a link, each student should email CASE@bbsrc.ac.uk with the text ‘Please email me a link to the BBSRC DTP CASE Report’ in the subject field. Only the BBSRC will see this report.
You are required to complete this within 3 months of completion of your CASE placement.
Alongside introducing the PIPS scheme (optional for CASE students), training sessions are also provided to support you in preparation/undertaking your CASE placement. Sessions are also provided to support your career opportunities following your PhD as well as our Careers Fair.
Following your CASE placement you will also be invited to share your experience with your cohort through a short presentation at the first Annual Careers Conference following completion of your placement.
As part of the SWBio DTP, you are expected to attend the Careers Conference each year of your studies.