• Scottish STEM Placement Programme 2022/23 

  • To inspire, enthuse and support STEM educators for the benefit of all learners 

  • Overview 

  • The SSERC Scottish STEM Placement Programme (SSPP), in partnership with The Biochemical Society, is a fully funded professional learning offer connecting educators with industry partners, reflecting responsibilities outlined in the Career Education Standard and GTCS Standards for Middle Leadership Life Sciences is an identified growth sector within the Scottish economy with varied job opportunities from entry-level to graduate-level anticipated over the coming years. The 2022-23 SSPP offers Teachers/Lecturers of Biology or Chemistry (working within state-funded schools and colleges in Scotland) a placement within Merck BioReliance Ltd., a Life Sciences STEM industry based in the West of Scotland Science Park in Glasgow, on 9th-10th May 2023.  
  • Aims 

    The SSPP offers educators a valuable insight into the world of work, from employment strategies and roles within a Life Sciences organisation to processes for recruitment, and relevant skills and abilities needed to succeed in these industries. These insights will support educators to contextualise the curriculum for learners, enhancing learning and teaching by relating content to current and relevant local STEM industries and issues. Working collaboratively with your industry partner will support everyone involved to meet the expectations outlined in the Career Education Standard and ultimately support learners towards sustainable positive destinations. The SSPP aims to forge long-term connections between participating industries and schools/colleges.  

  • About Merck BioReliance

     Merck BioReliance Contract Testing Services (CTS) is the leading provider of contract services in the biopharmaceutical industry, supporting every phase of the testing, development and manufacturing process. Clients include producers of traditional pharmaceuticals, medical devices, chemicals and other products, as well as biopharmaceuticals. We are a leading provider of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) testing services for the development of therapeutics. At Merck we are incredibly passionate about highlighting the impact STEM education can make on healthcare and local communities. We strive to foster an interest in STEM from an early age and aspire to ignite a love for STEM within future generations of Scientists. Merck is continually expanding and pushing the boundaries of BioSafety testing. On a daily basis, BioReliance CTS generate multiple large data sets to assess bacterial and viral contaminants that may be present in client and patient samples. From automation to sequencing and rapid molecular methods, Merck strives to ensure our workforce have the skills required to continue to deliver the cutting-edge work performed within Scotland’s Life Sciences sector. 

    Programme structure 

    The SSPP will involve a two-day placement at Merck BioReliance in Glasgow on the 9th and 10th May 2023. Delegates will be given practical insights into how Merck BioReliance perform lab methods through practical training in aseptic techniques, analysis of GMP studies and the impact to medicines, patients and gene products. Delegates will be given a complete overview of a Contract Testing Services Company to understand the skills required for careers in STEM and the Life Sciences industry.  

    Delegates will document their experiences via their own and SSERC social media channels to provide a real-time account of the placement. Later in the academic year, delegates and a representative from Merck BioReliance will meet at SSERC for a Collaboration Day to: 

    • Produce a guidance document for Merck BioReliance to support potential future Nuffield Research Placements. 
    • Develop a learner resource that connects the biology curriculum to the STEM workplace, e.g. “A Day in the Life of…” This will be shared with the teaching community to widen the impact of your experience. 
    • Outline areas of the curriculum that can be enhanced by incorporating key learning points from the placement experience. 


    Target group      

    The specific target group for delegates will be those who are in, or aspiring to, leadership positions within their schools/colleges. Applications are encouraged from STEM or DYW leads, or educators from centres delivering the SQA Skills for Work courses, e.g. National 5 Health Sector or Laboratory Science. 


    Course Costs 

    The Biochemical Society have provided funding for this programme. Delegates will be reimbursed travel expenses and staffing costs to support external staff cover requirements. Accommodation is not provided as this is not a residential course. 


    Delegate application process 

    An online information session will take place on Tuesday 31st January 2023 (16.00 – 16.30) to provide details of the programme. The session will be recorded and made available to those who cannot attend. The closing date for applications with be Friday 24th March 2023 and applicants will be informed of selection decisions no later than 31st March 2023. Applicants should have the approval and support of their line manager and headteacher. 

    Team link for online information session: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_M2FiMWU4NmItMDBjYy00NWMxLWEyOTEtNjc5ZjA1NWUyODNi%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%22aa8b9494-cb34-48ba-bf3f-227694ed07ae%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%223bbcb16d-d361-4bf4-bb84-4f3316b5423c%22%7d 


    Further information 

    For further information, please contact Annie McRobbie at SSERC. 

Dates: 9-10th May 2023

Closing Date: 24th March 2023

Learn more about previous teacher placement programmes: