Key points for organising a placement


The placement needs to be:

  • In an area not directly related to the student’s PhD research project.
  • In a setting that is not an academic-related research environment.
  • At a level suitable for a PhD student.
  • Achievable within the 3 months.

When students are on their placement, your organisation will need to provide a designated supervisor for the student and a desk space on your premises.

Students are expected to undertake their placement during their second or third year of PhD studies, at a time that is mutually convenient for both the student and PIPS organisation.

Work pattern

Placements are for 3 months (minimum of 60 full-time days).

Students’ overall workload is expected to match that expected during their university study and therefore we expect that the student:

  • Does not work more than 35 hours per week (unless otherwise agreed).
  • Does not work more than 8 hours a day including the required work breaks (unless otherwise agreed).
  • Does not work bank/public holidays or any other university/PIPS organisation closure days – these days are included within the minimum 60 days.

The majority of students will work full-time in a 3 month block but some students may be willing/request to work part-time, pro-rata or full-time in month-long blocks.  These are all acceptable as long as the placement is a minimum of 60 full-time days.

Holidays and DTP activities

Students are allowed to take holiday during their placement but this is in consultation with the PIPS supervisor.  It is expected that the student confirms any holiday dates prior to signing the agreement with the PIPS organisation.  These days are not included within the 60 days minimum, and so the length of the placement should be extended to take holidays into account.  Students are encouraged not to take more than 1 week’s holiday whilst on their placement.

Whilst on their placement, students are expected to attend annual DTP activities, so we ask that placement providers allow the students to be able to attend these events.

Of note, there is some flexibility allowed if the student is based overseas for their placement or if there is an unavoidable important event taking place that is a crucial part of their placement.

DTP activities are held at various points of the year and the student should inform you of these dates.  These activities are included within their minimum 60 days.

Of note, the student may not always be aware of these dates prior to the start of the placement.


The student will receive a stipend throughout their placement and therefore should not receive a salary from your organisation.  However, it is expected that any in-house costs directly related to the placement project is met by the PIPS organisation.  Also, if any costs are occurred for the student whilst they are on placement business, the student is reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses.

The student will receive a budget to help support accommodation and/or travel costs to/from their placement location.  However, this is limited and cannot always fully support a student whilst on their placement, therefore any additional support would be greatly appreciated.  Any such support will be outlined in the agreement.


We ask that our SWBio DTP placement agreement is used as the main agreement between the PIPS organisation and student.  The student will remain as a registered university student throughout their placement, and as such the university has certain responsibilities towards the student, and the student has certain responsibilities and requirements to fulfil for their degree programme.

The agreement must be agreed and signed before the student commences their placement with the PIPS organisation.

Further information

Further information can be found on our website.

This includes details on:

  • the visit that occurs during the placement
  • any reports/feedback required from the PIPS organisation or the student as part of the programme.