Category: Early Careers

STARS School 2019: Embedding the Industrial Perspective

For Early Career Researchers: The Bioprocessing Skills School
8th-13th September 2019, Darlington

Do you want to find out how your career might develop working for industry, the differences between industrial- and academic-driven research and how the industrial environment matches your career ambitions?  Here’s your opportunity to answer these questions and find out much more about your ability to work in teams and how the innovative, entrepreneurial spirit drives research translation.

At our week-long, intensive residential training programme, designed around the insights and advice of senior industrialists, you will take part in group-based activities and work with real-life industrial case studies. The programme is designed to engage with the process of entrepreneurship, focus on the development of the ability to promote research ideas and their value to audiences and the key importance of the societal impact of industrial biotechnology.

Are you interested? If you are (a) an Early Career Researcher (normally undergoing PhD training or on first Post-doctoral positioning in an academic environment but potentially in the early stages of an industrial career), (b) working in the area of bioprocessing of biopharmaceuticals or novel biological therapeutics (c) on a project that has an industrial collaborator then this could be an ideal opportunity for you.

The week-long residential programme is funded by the BBSRC (accommodation, meals and all training activities) to eligible applicants but will be limited to no more than 18 participants each year.  Each participant will be asked to make a £150 non-returnable contribution for registration once their acceptance of a place is confirmed. Informal enquiries can be made to Jo Flannelly (joanne.flannelly@manchester.ac.uk).

The BioProcessing Skills School has been developed by the Universities of Manchester and Kent, in collaboration with the NBMC and BioProNET, and is funded by the BBSRC Strategic Training Awards for Research Skills (STARS).

Details of the full programme and registration will follow and the sessions will include: molecular design and development of biological therapeutics, generating the tools for self awareness, industrial-scale manufacturing process, drug formulation and delivery embedded within a series of industrial site visits and presentations from industrial practitioners and entrepreneurs.

2018 Science Meeting prize winners

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Conratulations to the winners of the poster and short talk prizes at our 4th annual science meeting, who received their prizes from Karen Lewis of the BBSRC (far left).

The winners were Rochelle Aw, Imperial College London – 1st prize talk (pictured 2nd left); Eva Pekle, MedImmune & Univserity of Kent – 2nd prize talk (pictured middle); Tania Selas Castiñeiras, Cobra Biologics – 3rd talk prize; Hirra Hussain, University of Manchester – 1st prize poster, Natalie Talbot, University of Kent – 2nd prize poster (pictured 2nd right) and James Budge, University of Kent – 3rd poster prize (pictured far right).

The Bioprocessing Skills School

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The first Bioprocessing Skills School took place on September 11-15th, 2017 at the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre, Darlington

“Important for my career development, fantastic experience”
“Absolutely brilliant, positively challenging environment and inspirational speakers”
“Enlightening, insightful, friendly, open environment to develop oneself”
“Excellent experience learning about teamwork and bioprocessing”
“Great experience, motivating, great opportunity to nurture and build connections”

The course was a week-long, intensive residential training programme, designed around the insights of industrialists, were delegates participated in group-based activities and work with real-life industrial case studies. The programme is designed to engage with the process of entrepreneurship and focus on the development of the ability to promote research ideas.

It is anticipated that another BioProcessing Skills School will run in September 2018. More details will be posted when available.

ECR resources

Five things to leave off your industry CV
When it comes to writing an industry CV, less is more. The objective statement, job dutues and a publication list should all go.
https://jobs.newscientist.com/en-gb/article/5-things-intelligent-scientists-should-leave-off-their-industry-cvs/

Preparing future professionals by enhancing workforce readiness
Nature Biotechnology 34,111–113doi:10.1038/nbt.3459
A new course aims to help combat the absence of sufficient workforce preparedness for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Vitae website: Vitae is an organisation that works to meet society’s need for high-level skills and innovation. Vitae is dedicated to realising the potential of researchers through transforming their professional and career development.

The future of the postdoc
Intersting article from Nature News on the “post-doc pile-up”:
There is a growing number of postdocs and few places in academia for them to go. But change could be on the way. Click here for the full story.

Is the idea of the postdoc position obsolete in today’s scientific landscape?
Responses to the above question, asked by Science.

Emerging network of resources for exploring paths beyond academia
An article that looks at the expanding collection of resources is helping trainees acquire important knowledge about careers outside academia – it’s quite US-focused but the points reaised are widely applicable.

2016 early career researcher event

BioProNET early career research event 2016
September 6–7th Brighton Mercure Seafront Hotel

Many thanks to everyone who made this event a sucess!

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The programme for the 2016 event reflected feedback from delegates at last year’s highly successful meeting; delegates said they wanted more time to focus on CVs, cover letters, being interviewed (and interviewing) and preparation for job applications, as well as presentation skills. The facilitators and presenters at this year’s event had considerable experience of recruiting for bioprocessing- and indistrial biotechnology-related careers.

We were pleased to welcome Martin Popplewell and his team from Coconut Communications to this event to deliver the media training sessions. Martin has more than 25 years of experience working in journalism, including at the BBC, Sky News and ITN.

In the media training session, delegated worked in small groups (6 people) with a trainer in a practical session where they prepared for an interview, were interviewed and then received a personal review and critic of their performance.  They will have two interviews, allowing them to learn and improve, and they received receive a copy of their interviews and a booklet covering the theory of good media interviews.