Cardiff and Nottingham universities have been chosen to help spearhead a drive to encourage more pharmacy graduates to train for an academic career. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain has picked the institutions to host two PhD studentships next year, writes Tony Tysome.
The Academic Excellence Award programme aims to increase the number of pharmacists who enter and stay in academia by providing funding so that exceptional pharmacists and pharmacy graduates can be supported through their PhDs.
Stephen Denyer, head of the Welsh School of Pharmacy at Cardiff, said that many of the best pharmacy graduates did not come back to academia after earning a good wage during the year's professional practice that follows their degree course.
"This scheme allows these excellent graduates to know that there is a place for them in higher education, and they do not need to wait in the wings for a successful grant application," he said.
Professor Denyer added that although only two studentships were on offer, worth about £60,000 each, they sent out an important message that the sector was prepared to invest in would-be pharmacy academics.
"It's a flagship project and a mark of excellent training, which should make it easier to persuade more of our graduates to come and work with us," he said.