Design of an inclusive programme to encourage more Black students to engage and embrace careers in the pharmaceutical industry

Page, Nigel, Piner, Jacqui, Baker, Amanda, Mador, Martha, Ampem, Gilbert, Ademisoye, Victoria, Sealy, Olivia and Sengulay-Thomas, Zion (2022) Design of an inclusive programme to encourage more Black students to engage and embrace careers in the pharmaceutical industry. In: Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference : Making Connections, Innovating and Sharing Pedagogy; 29-30 June 2022, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)


We outline a sustained collaboration and co-creation between Kingston University and GSK, Black students, careers and employability, and enterprise support services at Kingston University. In preparing bioscience and chemistry students with the necessary graduate attributes, we have initiated strategies to embed and contextualise creativity and innovation using real-world challenges. Key to this strategy has been the design of a ‘Discover Industry’ programme that runs over three months, where students explore and identify future challenges in healthcare and emerging disease. This has afforded students with an immersive employer experience through ‘hands-on’ learning and guidance from an interactive workbook. In this manner, students acquire knowledge about the multifaceted roles available whilst considering how the various aspects of industry work. A primary consideration in designing the programme has been to address head-on diversity and inclusion including ‘Black Lives Matter’. Specifically, many Black students express they feel excluded or not belonging and are unclear where to start in seeking their graduate ambitions; this is set against a backdrop of differential degree awarding outcomes and employment prospects. The programme, therefore, sets out to provide targeted advice to help navigate the world of industry, from how to find out what’s out there, to working out how to enter the job market, networking tips, and to how to achieve career goals. A capstone hackathon enables student teams through facilitation with industrial experts to consider the various aspects of industry from research to project management, design, and implementation through to the resources required, potential market and any ethical and policy implications. Finally, students pitch their ideas to a judging panel of experts to win prizes with a concluding Q&A reinforcing the next steps available. This presentation will outline our steps in developing this programme and its evaluation highlighting the opportunities for students to work with, network and learn through activities, including storytelling from Black industrial role models. We hope this initiative will provide sector insights into new ways of enhancing wider meaningful industrial engagement that are informed by the lived experiences of Black students and employers. This programme is supported by a Biochemical Society’s Diversity in Science Grant.

Actions (Repository Editors)

Item Control Page Item Control Page