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Elise Ling

Elise Ling

Professional Placement Year at Eli Lilly and Company

Elise Ling

I took part in an industrial placement at Eli Lilly and Company. My role was a fermentation development scientist, where I had to develop a small scale fermentation model. Once I had a successful fermentation model which was representative of the plant process, I used the model to screen for factors which may enhance productivity. This involved me independently reading the literature and researching variables which may result in an increase in yields. Once I had a list of factors to trial, I had to plan and execute my own experiments and use analytical techniques to test for productivity. I had opportunities to develop my statistical knowledge, as I needed to understand whether any increase in yields were statistically significant or just down to the variability of the system.


As well as undertaking the lab work, I had to write up a lab book in accordance to GMP and present my findings in weekly meetings with colleagues. I also had the opportunity to present my work in an online global conference. At the end of my placement year I had to write up all the work I had undertaken in a technical report, which had to be detailed enough to enable another person to repeat my work if required. This has been an extremely valuable experience and will benefit me hugely when completing the research project in stage three.

There have also been many extracurricular opportunities at Eli Lilly and Company which I have been involved in, including participating at careers fayres and taking part in charity walks.

An industrial placement gives a real insight into a scientific career and shows you how you can use and apply your degree. Since being at Eli Lilly and Company I have discovered many jobs that I never knew existed! I was treated as a proper employee and worked on real projects with clear business impact. I delivered a solution to enhance fermentation productivity which will ultimately be embedded into the fermentation process.

Taking part in an industrial placement gave me the opportunity to see what careers are available and helped me decide what I want to do once I finish University. I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement and would definitely recommend taking part in a placement!