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Northern Biotech Consulting Case Competition 2017: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am an Undergraduate/Master’s student or Post-Doctoral Researcher. Can I still participate?

A: Yes. Although the competition is targeted towards PhD students, applications from teams with a mix of students and researchers at various education levels (i.e., undergraduates/master’s students/PhDs/post-docs) are more than welcome to apply.

Teams with at least ONE PhD student (from any discipline) as a member will be given preference; however, exceptional teams that were not able to recruit a PhD student team mate will be considered.

Please note that all competing participants should be students – OR- post-doctoral researchers (i.e., research associates) currently enrolled at or employed by a UK university, respectively.

Also note: students from all academic levels and subjects areas, local professionals and members of the public with or without a university affiliation are welcome to participate in the full day of activities on Saturday, 10th June 2017 – the day of the competition.

Q: I don’t have any relevant business experience. Can I still participate?

A: Absolutely. We invite students and post-docs from any discipline who are interested in gaining exposure to management consulting in the biopharmaceutical sector to participate in the competition.

All of the information that your team needs to create a strategic solution to the assigned case will be provided for you in the competition materials that you will receive at the beginning of the 10-day deliberation period ahead of the competition. However, we do encourage participants to form interdisciplinary teams so as to draw from the largest variety of member strengths.

We also encourage everyone who is interested in the competition to attend the pre-event panel discussion (full details can be found HERE) on Friday the 12th of May to learn more about management consulting in the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors directly from our professional guest speakers.

Q: What are you looking for in a participant?

A: We invite all UK-based students and post-docs from any discipline who have an interest in business, science, research and the biopharma industry to participate in the competition as long as their team includes at least one PhD student (exceptions to this rule may be considered on a case by case basis for exceptional teams who were not able to recruit a PhD student team member).

If you want to sharpen your critical and analytical thinking, communication and team work skills, then you are fully qualified to enter the competition.

However, anyone from the general public with an interest in learning about career paths at the interface of scientific research and business can join us on the day of the competition as a non-competing attendee.

Q: The competition rules say my team will have 10 days to prepare a pitch. Do we have to be in Manchester for the entire 10-day period?

A: No. Members of short-listed teams are free to communicate and collaborate amongst themselves via any means necessary during the 10-day deliberation period (i.e., in-person, remotely, etc.). At least 3 members of each competing team must be physically present in Manchester on the day of the competition to present their pitch.

Q: I don’t have a team. Can I still participate?

A: Yes. If you want to compete, but don’t have a team please send your CV and a short cover letter explaining why you want to participate to NBI ( by Sunday the 14th of May and we will do our best to match you to an already existing team OR other individuals who are keen to form a new team. Please note that we can’t guarantee that you will be matched to others from your university, therefore it is likely that you will have to collaborate remotely with a team in order to compete.

For those who are not competing but still want to benefit from the discussions and workshops led by our expert guest speakers on the day of the competition, just show up and bring a friend on Saturday the 10th of June! Register now by clicking HERE.

Q: My University isn't in the North West. Can I still participate?

A: Yes. Despite the name of our competition, we welcome teams from all over the UK to apply and represent their university or region during the competition. Please note that at least 3 team members must be physically present in Manchester on the day of the competition.

Q: How and when should I register?

A: The registration process has a few steps depending on your situation:

First, EVERYONE who wants to get involved in this event (whether as part of a competing team or as a non-competing attendee on competition day) must register via Eventbrite by clicking HERE. Do it now!

Second, if you want to compete and want us to help you find a team to join, please send us your CV and a short cover letter highlighting your strengths as a team mate to by Sunday 14th May.

Third, if you already have a team and are ready for the challenge, please email us EACH team member’s CV and ONE cover letter describing why your “consultancy” should be chosen to participate in this competition by Sunday 28th May. We encourage teams to have fun with this cover letter and write it from the perspective of a consultancy firm (i.e., give your firm a name, come up with a history and specialisms, and even throw in a logo!).

All teams will hear back before the 1st of June regarding whether or not they have been short-listed for the competition.

Do you have any other questions that we haven’t answered? Please contact us right now at !

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