National student events and networks

Funded by BBSRC, the SWBio DTP in collaboration with the Nottingham BBSRC DTP are running a series of events, with the aim to launch a series of national student networks to support students from a range of backgrounds.

Click on the title below to see further information about upcoming events.

An in-person event with an aim of providing a valuable networking opportunity for both home and international PhD students who are part of a UKRI Doctoral Training Programme and researching in the Biosciences.

Date and Time: Wednesday 12 June 2024, 10-5pm – with dinner afterwards!

Venue: The ICC (the International Conference Centre), Birmingham, B1 2EA

What's covered: Travel, accommodation (where needed), food (including dinner), additional costs associated with caring responsibilities

Event overview

This event provides a safe space for students to connect and share their experience of their student journey, including the transition into postgraduate study. It will provide the opportunity to build networks, including helping to shape a new national network and the opportunity for reflection on professional development and career planning.

Alongside many opportunities to chat and get to know each other, there will be 2 central themes:

  • Insight into research careers and beyond: A range of inspirational speakers will share their experiences on their career journeys, to help support you with your bioscience PhD journey and future career choices (including placement opportunities during your PhD).
  • Supporting your PhD work-life balance: Recognising the many challenges of PhD level work, we will focus on the importance of prioritising personal well-being, including work-life balance and accessing both peer and professional support.

We hope for this event to also be a launchpad for a future student network – providing the opportunity for friendship, peer support and to facilitate life long professional network development.


​** Register for the event TODAY! >>registration closes Fri 8 March **


Note: We hope that we are able to offer places for all UKRI PhD students who register. In the unlikely event that places are exceeded, we will need to prioritise PhD students from BBSRC DTPs/CDTs due to the event being funded by BBSRC. A confirmation e-mail will be sent to all students who have registered to confirm their places following the registration deadline.

*We understand that students may feel differently with how their ethnicity is referred to, but we have used this terminology based on student feedback and to ensure it is clear who we are trying to reach with this event.

This event has been funded by the BBSRC and is led by the SWBio DTP, a BBSRC funded PhD training programme in the biosciences.

Pre session buddying: For those who would like to, we are planning to link up participants in pairs prior to the event so that you will already know at least one other participant when you get to Birmingham. Details of the buddy approach will be included in your booking details. Please fill in that section if you would like a buddy.

Caring Responsibilities: We recognise that many students are parents or have other care responsibilities. We have some funding that is available to support these additional costs. Please include that you would like to access this, and a member of our admin team will be in contact to discuss further.

Reasonable Adjustments: We recognise that some participants may require Reasonable Adjustments relating to a disability. There will be the opportunity to request adjustments on the booking form. If you would like to highlight any requirements in advance of this, or would like to check any aspects of the programme or venue in advance of booking, please contact us.

Travel and accommodation: There will be travel bursaries to cover the cost of return train travel to Birmingham at Standard or Economy rate. We will request details as part of the form and there will also be the opportunity to request accommodation where this is needed (i.e. if you are not able to travel there and back during the day).

VERY IMPORTANT: due to how the event is funded, we are only able to fund train travel and accommodation when this is booked in March via ourselves so please ensure you have through your requirements thoroughly when you come to register.

Other: If there is anything else that you need to know, or other support which would be helpful, please contact

We will be in touch with a full programme, speaker details and further information nearer the time. 

We are very pleased to announce a new network for the UK’s BBSRC DTP community, the goal of which is to connect and support LGBTQIA+ individuals across the country.

Between January and June the network will run a monthly series of interactive events, some virtual, some in-person – covering a wide range of topics to encourage conversation, and community-building for LGBTQIA+ people.

Centred at the University of Nottingham, the network will cover 13 BBSRC DTPs across the country and will be facilitated by inclusion specialist Charlotte Butler, founder of Altogether Different – and member of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Goals for the network:

  • To establish connections between members of the BBSRC LGBTQIA+ Community across the UK
  • To create a safe space to share experiences, to listen to and support each other
  • To learn more about how to be allies to all members of the LGBTQIA+ community
  • To celebrate key dates in the LGBTQIA+ calendar such as International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, Trans Awareness week and of course Pride!
  • To have fun, meet new people and feel empowered to be our authentic selves everyday


  • Virtual – Welcome – meet and greet 30th Jan, 3pm – 4.30pm
  • In Person – LGBT History (Discussing heroes from LGBT History and celebrating key achievements) 27 Feb, 5pm-7pm, University of Nottingham
  • Virtual – LGBTQIA+ Intersectionality and wellbeing 22 March, 12pm-1.30pm  Join the session:
  • Virtual – Visibility: Coming out (In line with Lesbian Visibility Day 26th April):   Discussions, questions, shared experiences in a safe space  30 April, 5pm-7pm                          
  • Virtual – International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia: How to handle homophobia, biphobia, transphobia + allyship 23 May,12pm-2pm                          
  • In Person – Pride Party ( Activities will be decided by the network!): Informal get together celebrating Pride Month 26 June, 5pm-8pm, University of Nottingham

The events will be a mixture of conversation, presentation, surveys, quizzes – any and all ideas welcome! Join in for as much as you like – this is a friendly network where we welcome contribution but it’s totally at your own pace. Above all, this is a confidential space, were we can feel free to share experiences, ask questions, and get to know each other.

Allies to the LGBTQIA+ are of course encouraged to join too!

If anyone has any questions about the network or would like more information please contact: Sandra Rose, PGR Welfare and EDI Officer or Charlotte Butler

*We understand that students may feel differently with how their ethnicity is referred to, but we have used this terminology based on student feedback and to ensure it is clear who we are trying to reach with this event.