University of Leicester eBulletin

Fifty Undergraduate Students at Twenty-three Universities to Benefit from AstraZeneca Bursary Programme

March 2002
No 57

£200,000 Boost for Chemistry Education in United Kingdom

AstraZeneca announced today a bursary programme worth at least £200,000 for students working toward a first degree in chemistry.  Financial support, in the amount of £1,000 each year, will be provided to 50 students starting their studies in October 2002 at universities across the UK, including the University of Leicester. 

“It is crucial that we continue to stress the importance of science education in the UK, especially as more-and-more students choose careers in disciplines outside the physical sciences,” said Sir Harry Kroto, Nobel Laureate and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Sussex. “We are very grateful to AstraZeneca for supporting science education in a way that encourages students at university level to carry on with their studies in chemistry, and we are hopeful that universities across the UK will reap the benefits from these newly motivated chemistry students.”

AstraZeneca is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies with two major laboratories in the UK, at Loughborough, Leicestershire, and at Alderley Park, Cheshire.  Worldwide, the Company spends more than £7 million each working day on research and development of new medicines for areas of serious, unmet medical need.  AstraZeneca already invests heavily in the advancement of science education within the UK through the £20 million AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust fund, as well as numerous local school sponsorships. 

“We need highly skilled and motivated chemists if we are to remain successful in the years ahead,” said Dame Bridget Ogilvie, Non-Executive Director of AstraZeneca, Trustee of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, and Chair of the AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust. “With this awards scheme, we aim to encourage young people to continue studying chemistry and, ultimately, to pursue a career in the field as well.”

There will be 50 awards of £1,000 a year for the length of a student’s course (3-4 years). Students opting to obtain work experience as part of their study will be offered the opportunity to work at AstraZeneca, where they will be paid a salary, which will exceed £1,000, in place of the bursary for that time period.  The bursaries will be available to students at 23 universities with strong chemistry programmes where AstraZeneca has existing links: Bath, Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Imperial College London, Loughborough, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford, Reading, Sheffield, Southampton, Strathclyde, Sussex, UMIST, University College London, Warwick and York.

To qualify for an award, students must have an A or B grade at Chemistry A-level (or higher equivalent), be registered on a BSc/MChem chemistry course (or equivalent) and maintain a reasonable level of degree course performance (2:1 or above).  Upon entrance to university in October, candidates should inquire with their Chemistry Department for details of the selection procedure.  Students will compete within their university’s department for available bursaries by completing an application and providing a CV. This process will not begin until October 2002.

Successful candidates will have the opportunity to visit one of AstraZeneca’s research sites in the UK, as well as be given preferential consideration for work placement opportunities within AstraZeneca, upon graduation.

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the top five pharmaceutical companies in the world with healthcare sales of over $16.4 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, oncology, anaesthesia (including pain management), cardiovascular, central nervous system (CNS) and respiratory products.

Note to editors: For more information contact Emily Denney +44 (0) 20 7304 5034 or Gill Hilsdon +44 (0) 15 0964 4038

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