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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

GSK bridges the skills gap between academia and pharma industry

Health Industry Hub | May 13, 2021 |

Pharma News: Six PhD graduates have recently traded in their lab coats for laptops after landing a place in a first-of-its-kind GSK program.

Developed in partnership with industry growth centre MTPConnect, the GSK Australia’s Graduate Researcher Program is helping to bridge the skills gap between the academia and pharmaceutical industry by offering hands-on experience to emerging pharma talent.

The GSK Australia Graduate Researcher Program, was launched in March 2021 and is the organisation’s first program to offer PhD graduates hands on experience in the world of the medicines and vaccines industry.

Over the course of a 12-month placement, six PhD graduates will make meaningful contributions to key GSK business units including regulatory and medical affairs in oncology, respiratory, vaccines and more. Six places will be available per year, over a three-year timeframe.

Dr Carolyn Tucek-Szabo, GSK Director of Regulatory Affairs for Australia and New Zealand, is the Australian leadership team’s program sponsor and believes the program will offer invaluable professional experience for PhD graduates who are making the transition from academic research to working in the pharmaceutical industry.

“Our aim is to create opportunities for PhD graduates to gain a stronger understanding of what it takes to develop and commercialise a medicine or a vaccine for patients in Australia. It will give each and every one of them the chance to learn real-life practical business skills and processes, beyond the lab,” said Dr Tucek-Szabo.

“I made the transition from the academic research environment to industry earlier in my own career, and I know what a challenge that can be.”

The program has been developed in partnership with industry growth centre MTPConnect, as part of its $32 million Researcher Exchange And Development Within Industry (REDI) initiative – funded through the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), and designed to facilitate the cross pollination of scientific, academic research expertise with that of the pharmaceutical industry.

MTPConnect Managing Director and CEO Dr Dan Grant says the REDI partnership with GSK Australia is providing valuable industry experience for researchers.

“We are very pleased to partner with GSK Australia on their Graduate Researcher Program through our REDI initiative which is supporting the development of our future workforce. GSK are offering our brightest minds the opportunity for industry experience and it’s exciting to see the impact of this collaboration and the connections being made on both sides,” Dr Grant said.

Stephanie Yee, a Graduate Researcher participating in the 2021 GSK program is confident that the program will continue to be instrumental in broadening her professional portfolio and building meaningful connections in the pharmaceutical industry.

“The GSK Graduate Researcher Program has been an eye-opening experience. I’ve really enjoyed exploring different areas of the business and seeing how researchers can make an impact in industry. Working alongside industry experts here at GSK has also given me an opportunity to broaden my skillset, and I’m incredibly thankful for the support and mentorship that I’ve received along the way,” said Stephanie.

The GSK Australia Graduate Research program is set to run for a three-year timeframe, with recruitment for its 2022 intake opening in October 2021.


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