Professional and career development

We know that the subject knowledge and training we provide is excellent, but we are also trying to produce well-rounded graduates who have the experience and confidence to succeed in a challenging job market. 

Creating new knowledge

The faculty has a research portfolio of around £56m and is at the forefront of bioscience research. The University played a key role in the birth of structural biology as a scientific discipline. Now, a £17 million investment in some of the best nuclear magnetic resonance and electron microscopy facilities in the world is ensuring Leeds stays ahead of the field. 

We also bring together people from government, business, healthcare and academia to deliver benefits to wider society; this has helped to generate over 20 successful spin-off commercial companies. 

Exceptional facilities

You will benefit from all the research facilities and training opportunities of a major international university. Our suite of world-class research facilities includes electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, NMR, bioimaging and more- providing students with access to cutting-edge tools to enable their research.

Our facilities are focused on providing high-quality training, with expert staff sharing their knowledge and expertise with students. We are committed to operating our facilities in an environmentally sustainable manner and have set out a blueprint plan to work towards net-zero and minimise our environmental impact. 

Professional development

The Faculty of Biological Sciences provides a broad programme of skills training and professional development for postgraduate students and postdoctoral staff. During your time at Leeds we aim to help you further both your research and transferable skills; the provision is designed to reflect the demands you will face during your current project and the wider sphere of research careers.

As an early career researcher in the faculty, you will work on your research project and be encouraged to take up the opportunities to develop skills in other areas. We have a very strong professional development programme specifically designed for you. The programme is designed to develop

  • essential research skills
  • networking skills
  • creative thinking
  • commercial awareness
  • innovation
  • employment in different sectors.

Postgraduate symposium

Every year we hold a Postgraduate symposium, which allows PhD students from the Faculty of Biological Sciences to experience a scientific conference and to showcase their research. The University of Leeds is one of very few establishments in the country to offer this cross-disciplinary event, which is a great opportunity to network and meet colleagues in different research areas.

The entire faculty is invited to the symposium, where second years present posters showcasing their research across the wide spectrum of disciplines within the Faculty of Biological Sciences. Final years are invited to deliver a presentation which, along with the poster sessions, is formally assessed with the opportunity to win a prize at the end of the event.

The symposium is an invaluable learning experience which is structured to mirror a real scientific conference. Students and academic staff exchange feedback and offer advice, whilst learning about how best to present their findings and research.


We regularly run a series of workshops to support our students;

  • Getting your paper written and published; A leading research professor helps participants to understand how to successfully write a paper for publication
  • Networking at conferences; This workshop will help you make the most of an important event like this for example presenting your work, meeting and influencing people who might help in a future career.
  • Creative thinking for Problem Solving; There is always a point during a PhD when people need a little help to move forward. This session gives you some tools to assist this process and help you succeed.
  • Working in industry; Participants have to make decisions based on issues that arise in a large pharma and see how research is carried out in an industrial setting.
  • Protecting your ideas; An ex-PhD student, who is now a senior partner in patent law in a leading law firm comes back to talk about the different options for protecting intellectual property in Biological Sciences
  • Pathway to impact; Impact is a key part of a researcher’s career development. This workshop helps researchers take their work forward into society - to make an impact.