CTM CRC Launches New Entrepreneurial PhD Program

The CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing has unveiled its new ePhD Program to train industry-ready graduates and drive the advancement of Australia’s Cell Therapy industry.

The CRC for Cell Therapy Manufacturing has unveiled its new Entrepreneurial PhD (ePhD) Program, which incorporates industry-relevant education into traditional PhD studies. The ePhD Program will support Australia’s expanding biomedical and cell therapy industries.

“The CRC recognises the importance of education as a key contributor to future economic growth and sustainability,” said CEO, Dr Sherry Kothari. “Through the ePhD Program, the CRC will train a new generation of industry-ready PhD students who will foster the development and growth of an emerging industry in Australia,” she said.

Success in cell therapies, their new treatments and commercial viability relies on specialised skills, an appreciation of manufacturing and regulatory challenges and an entrepreneurial mindset. With input from specialists and industry partners, the ePhD Program will deliver tailored modules that address these essential elements to ensure the steady supply of an industry-ready workforce.

Graduates from the ePhD Program will be equipped to drive the translation and commercialisation of research into new products and therapies or launch their own entrepreneurial ventures. Students will participate in four in-residence training segments, followed by a capstone project to be undertaken in the final year.

Education Program Leader, Dr Monica Kerr, said the ePhD Program is a unique and exciting professional development initiative for PhD students. “Students acquire highly-specialised research skills, technical knowledge, and extensive academic experience through traditional PhD studies, however, this does not necessarily translate into the transferable skills and broader capabilities that employers are looking for from graduates.”


The ePhD Program will bridge this gap by directly addressing the core knowledge and skill areas consistently identified as lacking in PhD graduates when entering the workforce. These include topics on: how to be a team player, effective communication of work for different audiences, knowledge of basic business concepts such as leadership, project management, and finance, how to be creative and entrepreneurial, and how to successfully manage a career.

“The Program will help to unlock a range of possible career paths in the biomedical and supporting industries and provide a competitive edge to our graduates when seeking employment,” Dr Kerr said.

Scholarships, which are co-sponsored by the Playford Memorial Trust Inc., are now available for exceptional students to pursue their PhD studies with the CRC.

Chairman of the Playford Memorial Trust, Hon Dean Brown AO spoke of the importance of education in the State’s future, “The Playford Trust promotes the development of young South Australians in key areas of importance to the State. Helping students pursue their training with the CRC will create the skilled personnel required to establish a cell therapy base in South Australia.”

The first of four modules for the ePhD Program will be delivered in early 2015 and scholarships for the Program are now available to pursue research on various topics impacting cell therapies. Current opportunities exist at UniSA, the University of Adelaide and the University of Sydney and can be found through the CRC’s website.

Click here for media release