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Work Placement Programme

Introduction

The Department of Biological Sciences has always had a strong collaborative association with science employers both nationally and abroad. In particular this is evident with our successful and well established undergraduate work placement programme. With a substantial database of national and international industry partners at our disposal, students have an unrivalled opportunity to experience the reality of a work-based environment as part of their education.


The programme is taken by all 3rd year undergraduate students at the Department of Biological Sciences allowing them access to some of the leading scientific companies in the world.

What’s involved?

It begins with learning how to structure a CV and an appropriate job application. Students then undertake a project on a specific company to learn in depth about how industry functions. The core element of this programme however is the 16 week placement itself. This introduces students to a real-life working environment where they are exposed to the day to day reality of a science career.


Engaging with experienced scientists, solving real world problems, experiencing how successful companies function are all key elements of this successful programme.
The positions on offer from companies are both competitive and diverse with many companies deciding to interview “potential candidates” adding to the reality and the actual experience of future job seekers. Many students build up a strong working relationship with their temporary employer, and often students will return either to the same or related company once they graduate.

New partnerships are forged every year by our work placement co-ordinators (Margaret Lane and Anne Ward) both in Ireland and abroad, and where possible every effort is made to place students in the most suitable work environment. 
Below is a depiction of some of our key industry / research partners who operate in the food, health and biotechnology sectors.

In the past, students have also been placed internationally in England, France, Spain and Finland. Additionally we have a very strong relationship with many of Ireland’s successful research institutions including the Cork Cancer Research Centre, The Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, The Tyndall Institute and Teagasc.

Assessment

As part of the assessment process, and upon completion of their work experience, students compile an in depth report which is filed along with their employer’s appraisal of their performance. Feedback from employers helps us to continually improve the content of our courses and allows us to produce the most rounded graduates. Below is an example of the typical employer feedback from previous years:

“During their work placement the CIT students demonstrated very good industry related skills such as GMP and GLP. Its great to see these industry aspects being integrated into the college course.”

“From my experience, all students are capable of performing and understanding all tasks given to them as part of this programme”.

“The importance of GMP, completing paperwork correctly etc is essential. I feel graduates are surprised by the level of documentation that needs to be completed in the pharma sector and how important traceability is.

“We find that the practical training received by students during their time at CIT is excellent and is witnessed immediately they enter the laboratory. Also their academic ability is second to none”.

“The recent changes to work placements are excellent. The longer period gives the graduates a better chance of gaining employment”.

For more information contact:

Margaret Lane,
Lecturer
Room: E19
Tel: +353-21-4335291
Email: Margaret.Lane@cit.ie
Anne Ward,
Lecturer
Room: E19
Tel: +353-21-4335292
Email: Anne.Ward@cit.ie