The University of Cambridge and MedImmune are delighted to launch a collaborative PhD programme in Biomedical Research, commencing in October 2015. This innovative 4 year programme will focus on topical areas of biomedical research falling within the scope of interest of both the University of Cambridge and MedImmune. MedImmune, the global biologics unit of AstraZeneca, is focused on the areas of cardiovascular and metabolic disease, infection, respiratory and inflammatory diseases, oncology and neuroscience. This unique programme provides the opportunity to work at the interface of academia and industry. The programme aims to promote pre-clinical research, provide access to innovative translational research and to strengthen understanding of disease.
The PhD programme is based within the Departments of the School of Clinical Medicine and the School of the Biological Sciences in collaboration with industrial partner, MedImmune, also based in Cambridge.
The main educational aims of the programme are:
- to give students with relevant biological science experience at Bachelors or Masters degree level the opportunity to carry out focussed research training within their area of research interest.
- to give students the opportunity to carry out their research training, obtaining and developing skills and relevant expertise, in both an academic and industrial setting with active support from dedicated supervisors in both settings.
By the end of the PhD programme, students will have:
- substantial training as independent scientists who can develop preclinical and/translatable innovations.
- a comprehensive understanding of their research areas through active research and dissemination of findings.
- attained a comprehensive understanding of research and laboratory techniques in both an academic and industrial partner setting.
- a significant understanding of the operating practices of research being carried within the academic and industrial setting and understand how these may be more closely linked.
- attained research expertise and completed original research that advances a specific field of study and equips them for a career within the area of biomedical research.
- demonstrated independent, critical scientific thinking with regards to planning and executing research studies.
- shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies.
This collaborative industry-academia PhD programme will offer a unique opportunity to students in gaining relevant experience and training in both research environments. Traditional PhD programmes are mostly carried out within either an academic or industry setting and the additional training and experience received by the programme students will be invaluable in equipping their research acumen for a career in all areas of biomedical research. Ties between academia and industry have become much closer within the past number of years and this is set to continue as both rely more and more on each other to make progress in the field. Students with broad experience of both research environments will be will equipped to bridge the gap even further between academia and industry.
PhD students will have 4 years from matriculation to complete their PhDs. The programme will consist of a 3 year studentship with 4 years of funding available. Submission of a PhD thesis will be required to by the end of Year 4. Up to six students will be enrolled per year with the intention that all students will begin in October of a given year.
Approximately 50% of the research will be carried out in MedImmune labs in Cambridge; however, time allocation between the sites will be dependent on the nature of the studies being carried out.
All PhD projects are intended to be truly collaborative between MedImmune and the University of Cambridge in the best interests of the students and thus will have a University of Cambridge and a MedImmune Supervisor. Following submission and defence of a thesis the award of PhD will be made by the University of Cambridge.
Projects for this programme are likely to come from across many different departments and Institutes within the School of the Biological Sciences, the School of Clinical Medicine and from MedImmune based on selected research themes.
Students will commence PhD research in Year 1 (though will not be officially registered for the PhD programme until successfully assessed at the end of year 1) and will be integrated into the research culture of the Department or Institute by joining a research group. Most research training will be provided within the group structure and overseen by their research supervisors. Students will also have the opportunity to attend the Department’s or Institute’s programme of research seminars and other graduate courses and such other skills training offered by the Graduate School as is relevant to their training.
PhD students will be provisionally registered until they have undertaken a formal assessment at the end of their first year. Departmental requirements will vary, however, in general the assessment will have two elements:
1) Formal assessment of written reports by two assessors. This will involve submission of a written report and an oral exam and;
2) The supervisors’ reports of satisfactory progress during the first year.
MedImmune, the global biologics unit of AstraZeneca, is committed to developing better medicines that help people live healthier, longer and more satisfying lives. The company is focused on the areas of cardiovascular and metabolic disease, infection, respiratory and inflammatory disease, oncology and neuroscience, with two marketed products and a robust pipeline of promising new product candidates. MedImmune’s state-of-the-art Cambridge site is home to around 500 employees, and serves as the company’s European hub for research and development.