According to NIH statistics, only 8% of people that begin a biology PhD in the USA become tenure-track faculty members. Anecdotally, this number can vary between 1 and 10%, depending on the institution and field. For those young scientists who want a career within academia, these statistics can be both daunting and depressing. For those who can't wait to leave, or for those who choose to leave with perhaps less enthusiasm, there is a world of opportunities in a diverse range of sectors. However, many non-academic jobs require experience or skills that are difficult to obtain or apply while studying for a PhD. Recently, the research councils within the UK, and in particular the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), have made some large investments to provide PhD students with additional skills and experience beyond their academic work.

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