Bring on the talent

pRED’s RiSE program offers young scientists a great research opportunity

It is a program that offers PhD scientists and MDs from around the world an internship at Roche. Called Roche Internships for Scientific Exchange or RiSE, this is an effort by Roche Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) to allow young people to gain insight into commercial pharmaceutical research. Five projects were approved late last year and recruitment for seven further projects started in April.

“Roche already has a strong track record of running internships for Bachelor and Master’s degree students. We have about 100 post-doc researchers working with pRED. The missing piece was to have a shorter term offering for students currently doing their PhDs and MDs to get valuable experience and some exposure to the industry,” states Anirvan Ghosh, Head of Neuroscience Discovery for pRED. RiSE will be open to scientists within the Neuroscience, Ophthalmology and Rare Diseases (NORD) Disease Therapy Area.

“The primary aim is to boost business and innovation and get young people interested and involved in the industry. Ultimately, we would like them to become ambassadors for pRED’s cutting-edge science and its status as a great place to work,” he says. “Previous experience has also shown that having interns supporting projects can add to the dynamism of our teams and help bring in competencies that we didn’t possess before.”

How does it work?

Internships will typically last for three to nine months and are open to candidates from any university, from any country in the world. In theory there is no age limit but candidates need to be postgraduate students registered for a PhD in natural sciences or an MD program. Interested students can apply directly to RiSE positions posted on the Roche careers website that contain a short description of the projects and the profile required.

“At the core of the program are the projects. pRED makes a call internally for project proposals and this call is currently open to any scientist working in the NORD area. After the project has been approved, the next step involves the intern being recruited,” explains Markus von Kienlin, pRED’s Head of MR Imaging and Spectroscopy.

Five criteria

Mentors propose projects that are selected if they fulfill five criteria – value for the student; scientific merit; whether the project is publishable (no IP obstacles etc.); portfolio value and a realistic timeframe. Candidates then can apply for specific projects which match their domain of scientific interest. Interns are provided a basic salary to cover cost of living, as well as travel expenses and costs of accommodation in a shared house. Non-Swiss nationals have to apply for a work permit, costs for which are then reimbursed

Anirvan is clear on the benefits RiSE will offer. “Industry internships can have a strong influence on the types of post-doctoral positions students take later on in their academic training,” he explains. “We’ve put a lot of effort into ensuring the RiSE program provides students with exposure to the demands and processes of a commercial pharmaceutical research environment. In doing so, we aim to improve their future career prospects, regardless of which company they go on to work for.”

Click here to see RiSE vacancies.

Tags: People