Sara Sandbach graduated with a PhD in Biochemistry in 2006. She is now an Associate Clinical Programme Manager for a large, multi-national pharmaceutical company, having progressed from a role as Senior Clinical Research Associate. She has also been a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Paterson Institute of Cancer Research before moving on to clinical trial management.
Describe a typical working day.
Being responsible for global clinical trials means you have several starts to the day depending on which time zone has just woken up and which time zone you are in! Each time zone brings its own challenges and problems, ranging from preparing ethics committees responses, to protocol questions, to issues with customs. I coordinate a team that helps resolve all these issues. Once resolved I then start my day job, which involves budgeting and planning to guarantee we deliver excellent scientific data to enable successful drugs to be delivered to the market.
What do you most enjoy about your job?
Using my scientific background in a strategic, focused way to help bring new medicine from the bench to the bedside.
Do you have any particular memories of your time at the University and the degree programme?
I have the most amazing memories of smiles, fun and happy times that I spent with almost every person I met at the University.
How was the teaching?
Excellent! I could recall almost every person at Kent who helped me to achieve my goals through teaching and support. In fact, with the help and support I got from the University of Kent it felt more like a family. I was an individual that was never alone.
Was your degree hard work?
Yes! You get out what you put in and the University of Kent helps to nurture the hard work out of you.
Do you have any advice for students interested in your career path?
Scientific research either in academia or in industry is a tough game, but if you are determined to make it you will. Connections and a good solid educational background will help you achieve your goals.