Midatech Pharma - Research Scientist - Undergraduate Placement

Abingdon, Oxfordshire
£18,500 to £20,000
15 Feb 2017
28 Feb 2017
Contract Type
Industrial Placement
Full Time

About the company

Midatech is an international specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialisation of multiple, high-value, targeted therapies for major diseases with unmet medical need. Midatech is commercialising oncology treatment and supportive care products via its US Commercial Organisation, Midatech Pharma US. In Europe, Midatech is advancing a pipeline of novel clinical and pre-clinical product candidates based on its proprietary drug conjugate and sustained release delivery platforms with a significant focus on the key therapeutic areas of Cancer, Endocrine Disorders, Immunotherapy, and eye disease.

Job Purpose

The overall objective of this placement will be for the student, as part of the experienced Midatech chemistry and biology research team, to gain experience and to help advance the Midatech drug delivery platform. The successful candidate will gain experience in using laboratory equipment, analytical techniques, laboratory practice and the field of nanotechnology. This is an opportunity to work with cutting edge drug delivery technology, in an oncology research setting, in a stimulating environment whereby you will be encouraged to contribute. This is both an academically challenging and fast moving industrial environment. The Oxfordshire facility number 20 staff in total (10 scientists and 10 business and finance staff) and Midatech has other European offices in Cardiff and Bilbao.

Job Accountabilities

This is mainly a laboratory-based position. Some portion of the time will be spent in the office, performing theoretical research, planning and write up of experiments. The student will learn and use the laboratory techniques associated with the preparation, characterisation, modification and optimisation of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) as carriers for drug delivery.
This is a highly novel area of chemistry, requiring exposure to aspects of inorganic, physical and organic chemistry in addition to providing an opportunity to learn about associated scientific activities such as the in vitro biochemical and cellular profiling of GNPs. Analytical chemistry is another important discipline that underpins Midatech's research and there will be ample opportunity for the student to develop experience in the use of a wide range of analytical techniques such as NMR, HPLC-MS, UV spectroscopy and other, more physical, techniques such a transmission electron microscopy (TEM), inductively-coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and dynamic light scattering (DLS).
There will be opportunity for the student to spend time with staff in other departments such as the Preclinical Development, Regulatory, and Business Development departments and thereby gain an understanding of the whole discovery to commercialisation process.
Potentially it would be advantageous for the student to work on aspects of research that are allied to the external collaborations undertaken by Midatech. This could be laboratory based research related to an ongoing academic collaboration or it could be research performed as part of an external industrial collaboration. The nature of such work would depend on work in progress at the time the student would join Midatech. However, it is certain that the student will work on one of Midatech’s oncology projects and will be tasked with executing a specific subproject. 

Month 1-activities: In such a project the student may time working spend a month or two gaining experience on making, handling and the analysis of specific nanoparticles of interest. This could be repeat batches of existing materials and this would allow the student to benchmark their developing laboratory technique relative to the technique of one of our more experienced scientists. However, as quickly as possible the student would be tasked with some novel research.

Month 3-8 activities: synthesis and testing of gold nanoparticle constructs within biochemical and cellular uptake models.

Month 8-12 activities: prioritisation of constructs and optimisation of synthesis; reporting as required for the placement project.

As the work being executed at Midatech is of a technically diverse nature, any student will emerge from their time in industry with an enhanced confidence as a scientist and experience of working within challenging timelines to deliver valuable results that make an impact on unmet healthcare needs.

Likely learning outcomes for the successful student:

1. A deep understanding of the application of gold nanoparticles in drug delivery and an awareness of other nanoparticles.
2. An appreciation of the challenges and opportunities in nanotechnology.
3. Experience of working within a high-quality interdisciplinary research team in a specialised area of science.
4. Considerably improved experimental technique based on careful use and handling of small amounts of gold nanoparticles.
5. Improved ability and confidence to work independently.
6. Broadened experience in organic, inorganic chemistry and at the interface between these and biology.
7. Experience in the use and interpretation of a wider range of analytical techniques compared to many industrial laboratories.
8. Confidence in the use of spreadsheets to calculate, record data & generate graphs to present experimental results.
9. Improved experience in the oral presentation of scientific results
10. An appreciation of their strengths and weaknesses (and how to compensate for these through teamwork)
11. First-hand experience of R&D in industry and transferable “commercial awareness” skills

Relevant Disciplines

UNDERGRADUATES only: Accredited Chemistry Degree course.

For further information regarding accredited courses, please visit: http://www.rsc.org/Education/courses-and-careers/accredited-courses/

Additional Information


Please ensure that you are willing and able to live within commutable distance of the company site before applying. This placement is located in Abindon, Oxfordshire.
Cogent Life Science Placements Service are managing the recruitment for this placement at our client's request, therefore we ask that applications are made through our website please.

The Royal Society of Chemistry is the world's leading chemistry community, advancing excellence in the chemical sciences. With 51,000 members and a worldwide knowledge business that spans the globe, it is the UK's professional body for chemical scientists; a not-for-profit organisation with 170 years of history and an international vision for the future. The Royal Society of Chemistry as part of its small companies programme, EnterprisePlus (www.rsc.org/sme) has granted a small number of companies funding to host a “year in industry” placement. Funding has been awarded in recognition of their ability to develop and mentor an undergraduate chemist and robustness of the project content and structure in terms of its scientific content and  what you will learn. This year, Midatech Pharma plc is a well-deserved recipient of this prestigious funding. It is expected that if you are successful in being selected for this role that you are a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry by the time you start the placement. Royal Society of Chemistry membership is just £19 and you can join online at: http://www.rsc.org/Membership/join/admission/undergrad/index.asp

Please note: Only UNDERGRADUATES will be considered for this placement

Closing date: 28/02/17