Analytical Chemistry in the Quality of Medicines

Methods suitable for the British Pharmacopoeia will be developed in collaboration with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

Department: Chemistry

Supervised by: Dr J E McKendrick/Prof M J Almond

The Placement Project

During this placement the student will develop analytical chemistry methods suitable for inclusion in the British Pharmacopoeia. This is a publication of monographs which describe the analysis of and detection of impurities in medicines and the active pharmaceutical components of medicines. As such the British Pharmacopoeia is vital in ensuring the Quality of Medicines. This project will allow the student to work in collaboration with professional partners at MHRA. One or more visits will be arranged for the student to attend the MHRA laboratories at Teddington so that they can receive professional training and observe the workings of analytical chemistry laboratories accredited to "Good Laboratory Practice" standards. In addition to the work on British Pharmacopeia methods, the successful student will also be able to work on establishment methods for the European Directorate on the Quality of Medicines (EDQM). The work in collaboration with the EDQM is at an earlier stage than monograph development and in many cases is on establishment of suitable ‘compound reference standards’ that are used in a final monograph for the detection and characterisation of impurities. The methodologies used in these projects are diverse, from dissolution tests through to HPLC, mass spectrometry and NMR analysis. Thus the student will receive a broad training in analytical chemical methodologies. The project will thus hugely enhance the employability skills of the student in providing a strong blend of professional and scientific skills directed towards a part of the sector – analytical chemistry – which is a major employer within the UK.


Carrying out analytical chemistry in the laboratory; especially in chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques. Writing scientific reports; giving presentations. Interacting with professional bodies in UK and Europe.

Skills, knowledge and experience required

A background in analytical chemistry. The student should have studied analytical chemistry up to Part 2 of a University degree course.

Skills which will be developed during the placement

A strong professional development. The student will work closely with professional bodies in UK and Europe and they will learn to present their work at meetings of these organisations and to write scientific reports including modifying monographs in the British Pharmacopoeia. A student working on this project would gain high-level skills in an area of major employment in the UK.

Place of Work

Department of Chemistry

Hours of Work

9 am - 5 pm

Approximate Start and End Dates (not fixed)

Monday 06 July 2015 - Friday 14 August 2015

How to Apply

By submission of a written application (e.g. Cv and cover letter) by 20th March followed by interview.

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