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

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

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.”


About the University of Cambridge

The mission of the University of Cambridge is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. To date, 90 affiliates of the University have won the Nobel Prize. Founded in 1209, the University comprises 31 autonomous Colleges, which admit undergraduates and provide small-group tuition, and 150 departments, faculties and institutions.

Cambridge is a global university. Its 19,000 student body includes 3,700 international students from 120 countries. Cambridge researchers collaborate with colleagues worldwide, and the University has established larger-scale partnerships in Asia, Africa and America.

The University sits at the heart of one of the world’s largest technology clusters. The ‘Cambridge Phenomenon’ has created 1,500 hi-tech companies, 12 of them valued at over $1 billion and two at over $10 billion. Cambridge promotes the interface between academia and business, and has a global reputation for innovation.

About MedImmune

MedImmune is the worldwide biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca. MedImmune is pioneering innovative research and exploring novel pathways across key therapeutic areas, including respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity; cardiovascular and metabolic disease; oncology; neuroscience; and infection and vaccines. The MedImmune headquarters is located in Gaithersburg, Md., one of AstraZeneca’s three global R&D centers. For more information, please visit:

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit:


Media Enquiries    
Esra Erkal-Paler (UK/Global) +44 20 7604 8030
Karen Birmingham (UK/Global) +44 20 7604 8120
Susannah Budington (MedImmune) +1 301 398 6717


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