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The University of Southampton

Tackling complex experiments at undergraduate level

Published: 3 July 2013
Organic Chemistry Summer School

The University of Southampton’s unique Organic Chemistry Summer School celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2013.

It is a unique opportunity for second year Chemistry students to work with leading pharmaceutical companies on cutting edge laboratory experiments on campus.

Dr Thomas Logothetis runs the four week programme of advanced laboratory practice with partners Eli Lilly, Novartis and Evotec UK.

"Lab work for our students usually consists of tried and tested experiments; we know they are going to work," explains Thomas. "But these sessions often cover exciting new research areas, we do not know for sure whether they will have successful outcomes."

Daniel Kohn took part in OCSS in 2012. "It was a really positive experience," he says. "The concentrated lab work meant I was much better prepared for my third year project and was pivotal in helping me decide what subject to choose. It also encouraged me to opt for a six month placement in industry."

The companies suggest real-life practical projects, which give students valuable insights into the pharmaceutical industry as well as transferable skills. The second years are encouraged to regard the daily laboratory sessions outside term time as a regular job; they receive a living allowance from the University to help pay their rent and living costs.

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