Investing in the next generation of scientists

The University of Manchester, as part of a consortium of three other leading universities, and with MedImmune – the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca – are offering 12 PhD studentships.

The studentships are designed to invest in the training of the next generation of scientists for the wider bioeconomy and associated research base – providing access to facilities and expertise not normally available in an academic setting alone.

Working collaboratively, MedImmune and its academic partners will co-locate the four-year-long studentships at their respective facilities—including MedImmune’s Cambridge site — to advance discovery and development in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy.

The training initiative will build on already established research partnerships at MedImmune to support product and technology development and is consistent with MedImmune and AstraZeneca’s commitment to partnering with others around the world, including academia, to advance the best science.

Professor Alan Dickson from the Centre of Excellence in Biopharmaceuticals, at The University of Manchester, said:

“We are immensely pleased to join with MedImmune – and other members of the consortium – to undertake innovative studies of the stability of biological medicines.  This research will address fundamental issues of the efficiency of new therapeutics,and builds on the expertise at Manchester and our partners.”

“The industrial leadership potential of students will be further enhanced by training delivered in the BBSRC STARS Bioprocessing Skills School co-ordinated through the University of Manchester, the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre and the BioproNET NIBB.”

Supported by the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the lead funding agency for academic research and training in the biosciences at universities and institutes throughout the UK.

As well as Manchester, the consortium includes the universities of Cambridge, Leeds and Sheffield.

Under the BBSRC sponsored programme, students will benefit from:

  • Joint Exposure to Industry and Academia: Students will work with both leading industry scientists and academic investigators across diverse departments;
  • Access to Key Research Facilities: Students will undertake their research in state-of-the-art laboratories at the four partner universities and MedImmune’s Cambridge facility — one of the biotech’s three sites focused on the research and early development of biologics;
  • Working in a Collaborative Environment: In addition to mobility between the host universities and MedImmune, the students will also benefit from working as a cohort, with an opportunity to interact with each other as well as those involved in various parts of the drug discovery and development process;
  • Addressing priority training needs: The partnerships will provide exposure to upstream and downstream bioprocessing, cell sciences, formulation and analytical science, drug delivery, in silico modelling and automation.


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