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AstraZeneca and the University of Cambridge announce new joint PhD and clinical research scholarships

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AstraZeneca and the University of Cambridge today announced three new joint schemes to support more than 80 PhD scholarships and eight clinical lectureships over the next five years spanning translational science, basic and clinical research. The programmes reflect the long term commitment of AstraZeneca to the science base in the UK and the shared dedication of the company and the University of Cambridge to developing the next generation of world-class scientists.

The schemes are as follows:

AstraZeneca will fund a minimum of nine scholarships annually, divided across the departments of chemistry, biochemistry and pharmacology, with each running for a four-year period. AstraZeneca will also have the possibility of enrolling up to two of its employees annually as PhD students in one or more of the departments.

MedImmune, AstraZeneca’s global biologics research and development arm, together with the School of Clinical Medicine and the School of the Biological Sciences at the University of Cambridge have established a collaborative PhD programme which will focus on both clinical and translational research, supporting up to six scholarships annually, with students spending equal amounts of time at the University and MedImmune’s laboratories in Cambridge, UK.

AstraZeneca and MedImmune will fund one PhD scholarship and two academic clinical lectureships annually for four years under the University’s new Experimental Medicine Initiative. Each post will run for up to four years with the opportunity for placements within AstraZeneca or MedImmune.

All three schemes will start in the autumn. Students will be appointed by the University of Cambridge and will be supported by an academic supervisor from the University and an industrial supervisor from AstraZeneca or MedImmune to ensure that basic scientific research is closely aligned with real-world challenges of drug discovery and development. Joint Steering Committees comprising senior representatives from the University, AstraZeneca and MedImmune will oversee the schemes.

Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, Innovative Medicines and Early Development at AstraZeneca, said: “For the UK to remain at the cutting edge of life science, it’s essential that we continue to invest in developing the next generation of scientists who can combine outstanding basic research with an understanding of its translation into new medicines for patients. These new scholarships are a great way to train young translational scientists and reinforce the shared commitment of AstraZeneca and the University of Cambridge to create an open, collaborative research environment where investigators can work side by side to push the boundaries of science.”

Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cambridge, said: “The new PhD schemes further strengthen the partnership between AstraZeneca and the University, supporting the development of a cadre of Cambridge scientists who can continue to compete with the very best in the world. Under the new schemes, Cambridge students will have a unique opportunity to develop their scientific knowledge across academia and industry.”