GSK backs MTPConnect industry-researcher initiative

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GSK Australia has joined MTPConnect's REDI initiative to support a PhD graduate program that is designed to facilitate closer collaboration between researchers and the biopharmaceutical industry.

MTPConnect administers the $32 million Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative on behalf of the federal government. The initiative was funded by the Medical Research Future Fund.

The ‘GSK PhD Graduate Innovation Program’ (GPGIP) will provide selected PhD postgraduates with a 12-month placement. The placement will assign them to lead on core projects in areas such as early product development, medical affairs and regulatory affairs.

GSK’s director of regulatory affairs for Australia and New Zealand, Dr Carolyn Tucek-Szabo, said the REDI program was a positive example of government and industry working together to provide commercial career opportunities for Australia’s brightest scientific minds.

“I know first-hand the journey that it takes to move from the PhD academic environment into the industry, and I am passionate about supporting future generations of researchers to succeed in this important industry,” said Dr Tucek-Szabo.

“We anticipate that the PhD Graduates accepted into our program will develop strategic skills, business acumen with scientific rigour and experience real-life understanding of what it takes to develop and commercialise a medicine or a vaccine for patients. It will be an opportunity to learn business skills and processes beyond the laboratory.

“During the Program, PhD Graduates will also have the opportunity to engage with GSK staff who hold doctorates and have used their academic training and experience to flourish in the pharmaceutical sector.

“I hope it will provide them with new horizons,” added Dr Tucek-Szabo.

MTPConnect managing director and CEO, Dr Dan Grant, said, “We are very pleased to partner with GSK Australia through our REDI program which is supporting the development of our future workforce. By developing a PhD Graduate Program, GSK are offering our brightest minds the valuable opportunity for industry experience and we are excited to see the impact of this collaboration."

Six places will be available per year, over a three-year timeframe (March 2021-December 2023), with the first cohort will commence on 1 March 2021. Applications are open now at GSK’s website and close on 2 December 2020.