The Research Scientist Apprenticeship aims to advance the skills of those already working within the scientific field and attract new talent to organisations.

Join our Research Scientist Drop in Session on the 10th of June at 11am to meet Academic experts and Business Development to discuss the program! 

Please complete the link to register your interest - Microsoft Form

 At the University of Kent, we recognise the importance of employers being at the centre of apprenticeships. For that reason, we’ve worked hard to build our apprenticeship offer around employer need and preferences. Our delivery models have been built in partnership with employers to meet national upskilling needs.  

Research Scientists can expect to lead on business critical projects managing the design and implementation of such projects both internally and externally, disseminating findings to internal and external stake-holders and making strategic recommendations based upon the findings of the project. 

Person Profile

  • Employed in the drug discovery sector, and can gain exposure within the workplace as necessary in order to meet Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSBs) within the L7 Research Scientist apprenticeship standard.
  • Have an appreciation of the complexity of the drug discovery process.
  • Have a willingness to develop the practical and intellectual skills necessary to advance the drug discovery process.
  • Have a desire to obtain advanced training directly relevant to the drug discovery industry.
  • Keen to develop scientific knowledge and sector skills, with a view to career enhancement.
  • Willingness to develop the skills to critically analyse work-based problems and effectively propose and communicate solutions.
  • Willing to work as an effective, motivated team member.
  • Eager to learn, study, research and debate relevant aspects; key concepts and principles; and the context of the industry.

There’s a satisfaction to this way of hands-on learning because the university projects I complete may be of benefit to the company. Along the way I’ve developed more confidence and qualifications, and more understanding of the organisation.

Chartered Status 

The Royal Society of Biology, the Institute of Physics and the Royal Society of Chemistry have provided an expedited route for individuals to achieve Chartered status (Chartered Biologist, Chartered Chemist or Chartered Physicist) through this apprenticeship, as the apprenticeship is closely aligned to many of the Chartered status competencies/attributes. To be considered for Chartered status, individuals must have a relevant degree or equivalent at the start of the apprenticeship. At the start of this degree you can become members of the RSC (Royal Society of Chemistry) or RSB (Royal Society of Biology), which can then be upgraded after you finish the apprenticeship through the professional development plan (PDP) route to CChem.

Qualification 

Our Level 7 Research Scientist Apprenticeship offers three routes. All apprentices will follow the Level 7 Research Scientist Apprenticeship Standard, with the option to 'top-up' to an MSc qualification upon completion of the Apprenticeship End-point Assessment: 

Route 1 – Level 7 Research Scientist Apprenticeship    

Route 2 – Level 7 Research Scientist Apprenticeship  and MSc in Applied Drug Discovery and Development

Route 3 – Level 7 Research Scientist Apprenticeship  and MSc in Applied Drug Discovery and Development (Advanced Research)

Please note, there is currently no option to study the MSc routes without entering the Level 7 Research Scientist Apprenticeship.

Duration and commitment 

Route 1 Level 7 Research Scientist Apprenticeship is studied part-time over 104 weeks, plus 3 months for End-point Assessment. It is divided into 3 stages and comprises of 5 modules and EPA.

Route 2 MSc in Applied Drug Discovery and Development is studied part-time over 104 weeks plus 3 months for End-point Assessment. Learners following this route will typically require an additional 12 weeks for additional MSc. It is divided into 4 stages of 6 modules and EPA.

Route 3 MSc in Applied Drug Discovery and Development (Advanced Research) is studied part-time over 104 weeks plus 3 months for End-point Assessment. Learners following this route will typically require an additional 12 weeks for additional MSc. It is divided into 4 stages of 4 modules and EPA.

The course is delivered online using a platform called Moodle. There are not set days for lectures, but apprentices will need 1 day per week (or 8 hours) to complete online study. The Level 7 Research Scientists have face to face teaching each year at two ‘Intensive Weeks’. The Intensive Weeks usually run Monday – Thursday in late July.   

Entry requirements  

Apprentices enrolling on this programme are expected to have a good undergraduate degree (2:2 or above) in a relevant biological science discipline. 

You need to hold a GCSE in English and Maths (or equivalent qualification). 

However, applicants without these qualifications will be looked at on a case-by-case basis and any evidence of previous study and work-placed experience will be taken into consideration.  

Modules for Route 1 

Stage 1 

Apprentices take the following compulsory modules:   

  • Translational Research and Critical Thinking 
  • Applied Pharmacology 

Stage 2 

Apprentices take the following compulsory modules: 

  • Project Background, Management and Design
  • Business Critical Workplace Project

Optional modules: 

Apprentices must select one of the following optional modules

  • Neuroscience and Drug Discovery 
  • Renal and Cardiovascular Drug Discovery 
  • Infectious Disease and Allergy Drug Discovery  

Stage 3 

  • End-point Assessment   

Modules for Route 2

Stage 1 

Apprentices take the following compulsory modules:   

  • Translational Research and Critical Thinking 
  • Applied Pharmacology 

Stage 2 

Apprentices take the following compulsory modules: 

  • Project Background, Management and Design
  • Business Critical Workplace Project

Optional modules: 

Apprentices must select one of the following optional modules

  • Neuroscience and Drug Discovery 
  • Renal and Cardiovascular Drug Discovery 
  • Infectious Disease and Allergy Drug Discovery 

Stage 3 

  • End-point Assessment  

 Stage 4

  • Dissertation - Drug Discovery    

Modules for Route 3

Stage 1 

Apprentices take the following compulsory modules:   

  • Translational Research and Critical Thinking 
  • Applied Pharmacology 

Stage 2 

Apprentices take the following compulsory module: 

  • Advanced Research Workplace Project    

Stage 3 

  • End-point Assessment  

 Stage 4

  • Dissertation - Drug Discovery    

Fees and funding 

The cost of the apprenticeship is £18,000 per apprentice and this can be paid for from the apprenticeship levy or by government co-investment funding which covers up to 95% of the fees. There is also the cost of accommodation and travel for Intensive Weeks. This should be funded by the employer and is not payable from apprenticeship levy or government funding.  

There is an additional fee for those following routes 2 and 3 who wish to achieve an MSc alongside their apprenticeship. The top up fee cost is £1250 per learner and can be paid by the employer or the apprentice. Payment plans may be available to help spread the cost of this, please speak to us about this when enquiring. 

Start dates 

We offer start dates in September, October, January, and May for this programme. The cut-off for applications is normally one month prior to the course starting.

Next Steps

Employers and Employees

Our team are there to offer support with developing apprenticeships in your organisation, be it upskilling existing employees or recruiting for new roles.

Contact us by emailing recruitapprenticeships@kent.ac.uk or by calling 01634 888467 (9:30am - 4pm Monday to Friday).

Students and Prospective Apprentices

Apprenticeships are available to those already employed in a relevant position and require the support of an employer to take part. If you are not already employed in a relevant role, please visit our please visit our Becoming an Apprentice page.

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