The training programme consists of a series of seven compulsory taught modules, in addition to other events such as Colloquia, action-based learning, Summer Schools, and Entrepreneurship courses which are integrated into the PhD research activities. The modules provide a threshold-level of subject-specific scientific knowledge across the CDT core science themes (see below). These modules integrate subject-specific knowledge with transferable skills development, and will be delivered by UoN, UCL and the SSPC over the four years of the programme. As part of the training students also participate in a 360-degree analysis (self-awareness, team working, leadership, resilience, and networking assessment), public outreach, site visits, networking events and can even participate in secondment or industrial placement. This program is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, Royal Society of Biology, and Institution of Physics.
Module 1: Year 1: Foundational research skills (UCL)
This module introduces key skills required of doctoral researchers, and encompasses teamwork, professional development, research integrity, data management and responsible innovation.
Module 2: Year 1: Medicines as complex products (UoN)
This module provides a foundation in formulation science including solids and colloids, fundamentals of solubility and dissolution, an introduction to drug fate and targeting, biological barriers and routes of administration and an introduction to drug manufacturing and processes. The students take part in a team building exercise/case study run throughout the course of this module to embed their knowledge.
Module 3: Year 1: Experimental design, data analysis and in silico prediction
This module provides students with theoretical concepts and practical approaches behind an experimental design and statistical data analysis. It explains the rationale, motivations, and design decisions to be considered and taken prior to an experimental research study. It will further include an introduction to computational modelling aided design of pharmaceutical formulations, providing the students with examples of applying a computational software to formulation design and benefits of the approach. This module is run with guest lectures from Qi Statistics.
Module 4: Year 1: Research techniques and analytical skills (SSPC/TCD)
This module provides students with an opportunity to reflect on and consolidate aspects of experimental planning and data analysis dealt with in module 2, and as experienced in their early-stage research. It also provides training in analytical techniques and material characterisation and encompasses team building.
Module 5: Year 2: Medicines in biological environments (UoN)
This module provides an understanding of advanced drug delivery (including nanomedicines and protein formulation), computational approaches to model in vivo behaviour (absorption and pharmacokinetic modelling), in-depth training in responsible innovation, an appreciation of in vitro cell models and imaging tools available to study medicines in vivo and supports students to develop resilience.
Module 6: Year 3/4: Pharmaceutical processes and manufacture (SSPC/UCD)
This module deals with common processes used in the manufacture of medicines containing either small molecules or large molecules. Leadership training is also delivered in this module.
Module 7: Year 3/4: Innovation transfer and enterprise (UCL)
This module considerspatents, regulation (UK, Ireland, EU, US; Drugs and devices), Quality management, entrepreneurship, stakeholder management and communication, CV and career advice and will develop common techniques in the start-up community (e.g. pitch deck, lean canvas).