GlaxoSmithKline Research & Development (GSK)

Project provider name: GlaxoSmithKline Research & Development (GSK)

Where research placements take place: Research sites at Harlow, Stevenage and Ware



How many years has GSK offered placements to Nuffield Research Placements students?
From 1997 to date. Although we started with one student, the scheme has escalated rapidly and now runs at 20 to 25 students per year.

How is the scheme run within GSK?
We only take students that we know are good, that have the aptitude to carry out a research project, have a positive team spirit and can get to our site each day for 5 to 6 weeks. They are selected as the "cream" from our Year 12 work experience scheme that we run in the February half term week. Project supervisors often ask their work experience student to come back and create a project for them. Other projects are sent to our central co-ordinator and students are offered a suitable one.

Projects generally come under three types:

1. a piece of discrete work that is needed to complete a project e.g making examples for a patent;

2. putting a new piece of kit through its paces e.g. running standards for calibration, checking how robust or versatile it is;

3. a "pet" project that no-one has had time to work on.

A "pet" project that was developed over three years by Nuffield students resulted in a publication in a prestigious journal. For more details, click here.

What do you feel the main benefits of the scheme are?

For GlaxoSmithKline Research & Development the benefits are:

1. that we get key, but sometimes lower priority, work done;

2. we inspire students to go to university to study science which may lead to a job in the pharmaceutical industry;

3. our newer members of staff get a real taste of supervision and project management;

4. a very positive message goes back to the students' schools about the excellent conditions and cutting edge science that GlaxoSmithKline does.