- Lead a multi-disciplinary team to deliver an early phase clinical trials.
- Support on other studies ongoing in the unit.
- Chair and maintain the study portfolio.
- Liaise with vendors and execute contracts.
I thoroughly enjoyed my industrial placement year with GSK in the Clinical Unit Cambridge. It has a friendly environment with a very friendly team to work with, each was very helpful in helping me get settled in when I started my year of placement. I worked in the Clinical Development Manager team and they made me feel very welcome and we also had very enjoyable team builds.
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I was the only industrial placement student in the GSK Clinical Unit Cambridge. This was daunting whenever I began my placement as the role I have taken on requires leading a multi-disciplinary team. This fear was overcome by the support and value the team has given me in running the study. I had the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the role as the team treated as a project manager.
I had an incredible mentor in my year of placement in the GSK Clinical Unit Cambridge. She was exceptional in her method of teaching me the role and the related processes and regulations specially during study-start up. I was given the responsibility to lead on creating study-related documents such as consent forms and generating the IRAS form for the Ethics Committee - all of which were new experiences for me. During this time, my mentor would always review my work and give me feedback which I can use to further develop myself. The CDM team has also been incredibly supportive in teaching me the ways of working.
The workload during my industrial placement year would vary depending on the stage the clinical trial. For example, study start up was a particularly busy period preparing the Ethics submission and creating various documents such as the Informed Consent Form. There would also be meeting very frequently which some days would take up the whole day but on some days, I wouldn't have any meetings at all. The workload is variable in relation to running a clinical trial, but I was kept busy with other tasks that would further my development.
I was pleased with the amount responsibilities I was given during my placement. I was given the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the Clinical Development Manager role by being allocated my own study to lead. I was tasked to lead and manage this study - of course with support from my mentor. I also got the opportunity to support on other clinical trials ongoing in the unit. I also chaired and maintained the Clinical Unit Cambridge Study Portfolio.
I was able to develop so much during my industrial placement year. I had the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the role of Clinical Development Manager and therefore I really got to extend the skills which the role demands. I had the opportunity to lead a cross-functional team which I have never done before and with that it greatly developed my leadership, teamwork and communication skills.
I was also able to learn the science behind clinical trials and how decisions are made, the different types and design of studies, and the objectives of clinical trials and how we find the answers to these. I also learnt a lot about regulatory bodies, policies, best practices and standards such as ICH GCP.
The office in the GSK Clinical Unit Cambridge had a very friendly yet professional atmosphere. As a student who is very new to the world of clinical trials, this was a great environment to learn because everyone was so approachable and was happy to explain to me what their role is in the Unit and how they contribute to trials.
I was allocated a study to ensure that I had the chance to fully immerse myself in the role. In preparation for this study, I was given the opportunity support on various other studies in the unit. They had a cumulative building of knowledge approach which was very useful when it came to executing the study I was allocated.
My training during my placement year has been ongoing since I began until completion. I was always given a task that would challenge me and therefore train and develop me further. I also had a development session with my mentor regularly to discuss how I am developing and to find out what areas I need more training on.
The future employment prospects within the organisation is appealing as they offer a lot of development opportunities for everyone - should that individual be a proactive employee. The organisation supports the employees in learning more and developing careers. They offer secondment opportunities which is a great way of finding out about another department.
There were various social events organised by the industrial placement students based in the GSK Stevenage site. However, I found it challenging to become integrated into this scene as the Clinical Unit Cambridge is far away. I was the only placement student in the Cambridge site and therefore it was difficult to not feel isolated.
The colleagues I have in the Clinical Unit Cambridge were all so very friendly and I eventually became friends with a few. However, it would not be frequent to do after work activities.
In comparison to where I came from, the cost of living and socialising in the area of my industrial placement was a little bit more costly. The accommodations were a lot more expensive in Cambridge which makes it difficult to budget. However, the cost of socialising was not too different and was only a little more expensive.
I have only been in a couple of nights out in the area as I live further out from the city centre to cut the expenses a bit. I have been told that there are good student night outs as Cambridge is a student area - so they will have various student events during the week.
It was more difficult for myself to get involved in activities outside of work due to logistics of where I am located. However, there was easy access to London which is good for a day trip. There are also a lot sports club, gyms and classes that you can partake in.