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Professional Internship: Career Engagement for Non-Faculty Researchers

BBSRC internship opportunity for PhD students to develop People & Skills strategy for the career development of research technical specialists & support staff working in academia.

The Exploiting New Ways of Working and Skills and Careers Unit within BBSRC has an opportunity for a Professional Internship for PhD students (PIPS) placement to develop BBSRC People and Skills strategy and policy with a focus on the career development of research technical specialists and support staff working in academia – called ‘Non-Faculty Researchers’.

Background to Policy Development

Towards the end of 2015 BBSRC circulated a survey requesting views on careers and skills from staff that we referred to as 'non-faculty researchers'. This group included technical staff, researchers operating instruments, facility managers, statisticians, bioinformaticians, technology developers and many others. We used the term 'non-faculty researchers' as there didn't appear to be a single job title or defining term to use, and the survey confirmed this, with a plethora of job titles returned.

We received over 800 replies, showing the size and diversity of this group and the concerns and questions they had about their careers and roles. Over the last year we have looked closely at the survey results, discussed these with colleagues within the Research Councils and beyond and considered ways to address some of these issues (see our recent letter in Nature: (PDF). As part of this project, BBSRC intend to develop an action plan, and are holding a workshop on March 10th to discuss the issues with the researchers involved. 

Role of the PIPs Intern

In order to develop the action plan, BBSRC intend to draw on a number of pieces of evidence, in particular the 2015 survey and the outputs of the March 10th workshop. In addition, we will convene a steering/advisory group to help with making progress on the plan.

The main activities will be:

  1. Further analysis of the survey data to identify interrelationships, trends and commonalities 
  2. Contribute to analysis and publication of the workshop outputs
  3. Engage with other research  councils and external stakeholders with interest in the topics (e.g. Learned Societies, Science Council, HEaTED network)
  4. Help with convening and running advisory group meetings
  5. Contribute to development of the action plan


In addition to the above, there are opportunities to become involved with the generation of other outputs – including a publication of the results in an academic journal – and discussions with other stakeholders. Applicants should be prepared for some UK travel.

Questions on this placement can be directed to:

Dr Michael Ball (
Dr Rob Hardwick (robert.hardwick

Download the application form here

Closing Date for Applications:  Wednesday 15th March 2017

Drug Target Identification Intern at C4X Discovery

In this project, you will make a vital contribution to real-world drug discovery programs at their initiation, helping us to decide which targets to pursue next in our pipeline. The key aim of the project is to undertake reviews of potential drug discovery targets identified either by C4X’s proprietary genetic analysis method (Taxonomy3) or from analysis of published literature. This is an exciting opportunity to be trained in how to conduct target reviews in the pharmaceutical industry and select the best targets for drug development.
C4X Discovery aims to become the world’s most productive drug discovery and development company by exploiting cutting-edge technologies to design and create best-in-class drug candidates. The Company (founded in 2008 as a spin-out from the University of Manchester) has a hybrid business model of wholly-owned programmes and partnerships with pharma, biotech and academics.

Up to 3 placements available
Closing date: 23rd May 2017
Start possible from mid Sep 2017 

Please see role description for more information and application procedure.  

Does the University Library's researcher support service meet your needs?

The University Library is holding a series of focus groups to evaluate services for researchers.

The University Library is holding a series of focus groups to find out if their services are right for our researchers. They can only do this with your help. Are you willing to attend one of the four sessions below to provide feedback, ideas and discussion on services to researchers?

The Library is looking for University wide engagement, and are keen that the Faculty of Medical Sciences is represented at each of the sessions. They will be held in the Committee Room of the Philip Robinson Library at the following times:

Tuesday 7th February (Postgraduate Research students) 12.00-14.00

Tuesday 14th February (Academic/Contract researchers) 12.00-14.00

Thursday 2nd March (Academic/Contract researchers) 12.00-14.00 

There will be lunch provided, so if you are interested, please contact Erika Gavillet ( stating which session you are interested in attending.

PIPS project: pharmaceutical careers for medical and scientific students

Background information


The Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK. 

Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. We represent companies who supply more than 80 per cent of all branded medicines used by the NHS and who are researching and developing the majority of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome disease. 

Globally our industry is researching and developing more than 7,000 new medicines. 

The ABPI is recognised by government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK. 

Over the years, the ABPI has continually added to its careers website, making it a source of up to date and relevant information on careers within the pharmaceutical industry. Through the ABPI careers website we have raised awareness of the wide range of different jobs that the pharmaceutical industry offers as well as the different routes available to get into the industry. 

Project offered


The ABPI are seeking a PIPS student to apply their scientific, project management and information technology experience in a science communication context. The student will liaise with colleagues within ABPI, our members who work for pharmaceutical companies and external stakeholders, for example the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine (FPM), in order to:


  1. Gather and update careers information aimed at medical students and qualified medical professionals looking for medical career options in the pharmaceutical industry.
  2. Gather and update careers information aimed at students from other disciplines who are interested in science-based careers in the pharmaceutical industry.
  3. Re-shape and make more user-friendly the careers content on pharmacovigilance, regulatory affairs and other potential areas.
  4. Update an existing booklet on careers for doctors in the pharmaceutical industry and other career resources.


The student will propose ideas and also seek advice from our members and stakeholders on other ways in which the information could be improved, including the navigation and structure of the website content. Good communication skills and initiative to suggest new ideas are paramount on this role. The output of the project will be improvements to the website and printed content, which highlights the career opportunities available for physicians and scientists looking to work in the pharmaceutical industry.

The project will be supervised by Belen Granell Villen (Clinical & Regulatory Policy Officer), ABPI.



The project will be carried out from the beginning of March, with a preferable start date of 6th March.



The project is based at the ABPI office, 105 Victoria St, London SW1E 6QT. Some home working may be possible.

Benefits to student undertaking this project


This project will give the student an excellent overview of careers within the biopharmaceutical sector. The student will also have the chance to collaborate directly with our members and stakeholders through interactions with, for example our Medical Expert Network and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine.

Contacts may be developed that could be helpful to someone considering a future career in industry.



Expenses will be refunded in line with ABPI standard expenses policy. Travel expenses for commuting into London (if applicable) will be paid.



For more detailed information on the project please contact Belen Granell Villen (; 0207 747 7194).

A CV and letter of application should be sent by email to The closing date for applications is Friday 27th January 2017, with interviews w/c 30th January.

BBSRC PIPS Internship for Frontier Bioscience and Comms

Within BBSRC’s Science Strategy Group, and Communication and Engagement Team, there is an exciting opportunity for a Professional Internship for a PhD Students (PIPS) placement to work on ‘frontier bioscience’ communications. This interesting and challenging internship will provide an intern with insight into strategy development by the UK's leading bioscience research funder, knowledge of BBSRC’s world-class research portfolio, and experience of science communication with the research community.

Background to frontier bioscience

Frontier bioscience is pioneering, innovative and creative research that can lead to far-reaching discoveries. The support for this area is central to BBSRC's mission to advance knowledge and technology. Our frontier bioscience theme gives high priority to world-class discovery research, recognising it as essential to ensuring the UK remains a global leader in bioscience research and that we deliver 'bioscience for the future'.

BBSRC encourages researchers to ask fundamental biological questions that haven’t been solved and to work creatively towards solutions. By inspiring the brightest minds, supporting teams, enabling far reaching collaborations and funding curiosity driven science, bioscience can generate knowledge that in turn can lead to game-changing solutions and technologies. Genomics, epigenetics, gene editing, cell biology, and quantum biology are all such examples.

Role of the PIPS intern

There is an opportunity for a PIPs intern to highlight examples of frontier bioscience from our wide research portfolio and then to translate them into effective digital (and print) content for communications. The role will be shared between our Science Strategy Group and Communications and Engagement Team, providing a unique opportunity to learn about the work of both teams. The PIPs intern will explore BBSRC’s research grants portfolio and research outcomes impact around key frontier themes and assist in the development of related digital and print content, using a range of media from print (BBSRC Business magazine) to video and Twitter graphics, as well as writing and editing everything from short case studies to features and blog posts.

Frontier bioscience communications

BBSRC recognises the importance of communicating the excellent frontiers bioscience it supports with the research community to encourage and foster the submission of frontier bioscience through available funding opportunities. Following on from a campaign in this area focussed on the general public, BBSRC wishes to develop a forward communication strategy that engages with the research community increasing dialogue with our stakeholders, encouraging submission of cutting-edge research, and feeding stakeholder views into forward strategy development.

If you would like to apply for this PIPS placement, then please complete the application form and return it to by 17 February 2017. Interviews to be held on, or around, 22 March 2017. You should be available to start your placement in April / May 2017. Questions on this placement can be directed to Dr Stephanie Williams-Blackwell ( or Mr Arran Frood (

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