Flagship pharma doctorate begins next month

Posted on 15 Sep 2009 by The Manufacturer

Newcastle University is set to begin delivering the UK’s first engineering doctorate in Biopharmaceutical Process Development.

The biopharmaceutical engineering doctorate (EngD) program, run by the university’s Biopharmaceutical Bioprocessing Technology Centre (BBTC), is set to begin for the first time in October.

It is a four year course which comprises six months initial academic training followed by a three-and-a-half practical placement with a pharmaceutical firm. EngD – engineering doctorate – is a semi-vocational post graduate qualification which is roughly on a par with a PhD in terms of research quality and complexity and job prospects.

The course will focus on biosystems engineering with the aim of improving whole process design through an understanding of underlying biological complexity.

Both the course and the centre will be led by the University’s Professor Gary Montague. “It’s exciting to be part of creating this flagship program,” he said. “We know that we are developing a program that will groom the biopharmaceutical leaders of tomorrow thus providing biopharmaceutical companies with the talent they need to be competitive globally.”

The course is backed by the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) – the primary government agency responsible for funding research and training in engineering and the promoter of EngD degrees – and the North England Inward Investment Agency.

ESPRC will partner Newcastle University in offering 12 funded places on the course each year for the next five years.

Companies are advised that there is scope to be part of Newcastle University’s pharmaceutical work, either by offering work placements or by sponsoring research programmes.