FutForm Secondment - Jatin Mistry @ Inovapotek - January-March 2017
I have recently completed a three month secondment with Inovapotek. Inovapotek is a contract research organisation that provides customised R&D, testing, regulatory and consulting services to the personal care and pharmaceutical industries and is based at the Science and Technology Park of University of Porto (UPTEC).
Whilst at Inovapotek, I was working on method development; skin care formulations; nanoparticle preparation, characterisation and efficacy testing. I also obtained knowledge of how to carry out a good clinical study following the ethical principles of the Declaration of Helsinki and the main principles of the Good Clinical Practices (GCP). During the secondment I completed regulatory documents that were to be submitted to the Portuguese Competent Ethics Committee and to the Health National Authority (Infarmed, I.P.). The skills and knowledge obtained is very relevant and complimentary to my PhD topic. The results collected at Inovapotek will also be used in my PhD research. In addition to my project, I was also able to assist in other ongoing clinical studies at the company.
I have also enjoyed the experience of working for a small company. Compared to my prior experience in a larger organisation, I was able to see the different stages of a clinical study from start to finalising of investigational reports with all activity happening in one office. The team was small and efficient and it was a very motivating work environment as queries can be dealt with more easily, creatively and transparently. This also means getting exposure to different areas of the business in a short period of time. This experience has definitely made me consider working for a small start-up company.
Moving to Portugal for three months is definitely a highlight of the secondment. I was able to experience the food (I recommend the Alheira de Mirandela), the culture, the weather, the coffee and the lovely wine of the Douro valley region. Every weekend I would visit another museum or another town in Northern Portugal. My colleagues’ suggestions of where and what to eat gave me a very authentic food experience.
My birthday was during my time in Portugal and so the most useful thing I can do now is to sing Happy Birthday in Portuguese.
Having now returned to Nottingham, whilst I do miss the weather, I am now more positive and driven by my experiences in Portugal as it provides a context for the research I am doing now but what I may be interested in doing after my PhD. I fully recommend others to complete a FutForm secondment.
The secondment was funded through a collaborative EU funded RISE (Research and Innovation Staff Exchange) research programme.
Author: Jatin Mistry; Date of Secondment: Jan-Apr 2017