Scholarship Scheme - Successes a history
The Enterprise Scholarship Scheme was first launched with EPSRC funding in 2009 a number of awards were made, here are some of the stories of previous scholars.
Former PhD Student Dr Tomasz Zaremba said “Back in 2009, as a final year PhD student I was looking for different career development opportunities. Since I had worked on translation studies (potential therapeutic candidate development) I’d had a lot of interaction with pharmaceutical and biotech companies and I was tempted to start my own project that would help me to learn more about commercialization of research. Encouraged by my PhD Supervisor Prof. Nicola Curtin I applied for an Enterprise Scholarship. I had a potential product in mind – a diagnostic tool to measure Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) activity in human cells but I had no clue where to start! The scholarship allowed me to create a business plan and better understand product development process, interact with potential investors and Intellectual Property lawyers. Although I never managed to commercialize my product I did build a prototype which was used during my postdoc at Curie Institute in Paris. I understood that there is a need for people who have this drive and a certain set of skills to commercialize academic ideas. I am now VP at TC BioPharm - our mission is to develop and commercialise innovative cell-based products to treat disease, improving patient health and Quality of Life”
Dr Sharon Velasquez Orta said "After studying bioelectrochemical reactors during my PhD, I had new ideas on how to use the technology to offer products that could help society. The enterprise scholarship helped me develop my ideas in a business context, participate on networking events and liaise with different companies. The result was that I gained support from a local company to explore using my idea in their products. This helped my career as I was able to show that my ideas can attract funding; most importantly I learned how to liaise with industry and gained confidence on the development of new products."
Dr Richard Hodgett had completed his PhD ‘Multi-Criteria Decision-Making in Whole Process Design’ and was keen to develop the ideas further for commercial use. Richard’s application for an Enterprise Scholarship was successful and the work he did during this scholarship led on to a Research Associate position where a software based group decision-making framework was designed. After a year in Industry with Britest Ltd. Richard joined Leeds University Business School, as a Lecturer in Business Analytics and Decision Science.
The Intern Scholarship Scheme was first piloted in 2011, since then a number of students have been supported to engage with an internship after the submission of their thesis.
Dr Anna-Lena Dittrich submitted her PhD thesis in late 2016 and was supported to complete an internship with Leica Microsystems. Anna-Lena reported back “I was trained on the techniques I was to use and given my own little project to work on”, “I very much enjoyed getting to know my new colleagues and hearing their views on working for a company and the differences between academia and industry.” Following the internship Leica offered Anna-Lena a scientist position, which she accepted.
Dr Gillian Pepper’s internship with the Public Health Team at Newcastle City Council allowed her to build a network of contacts, and to experience a working environment in which evidence from public health research can be applied. Gillian’s main project, involved compiling a widely used report on the efficacy of techniques to tackle littering. “The experience I gained led to my first postdoctoral position at the Institute of Health and Society, which I undertook in collaboration with members of the Newcastle City Council Public Health team.”
For enquiries contact Dr Richy Hetherington