Education & Training

NMR - Education and Training

Spectroscopic techniques in general, and NMR in particular, are an essential part of modern taught and research programmes, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. For postgraduates, basic NMR training is provided to significant users by the Centre co-ordinators. Users with only an occasional requirement are typically provided with an experienced postgraduate to assist them. This has been backed up in the past year with theory classes in the Winter Semester, taken with the 4th Year of the BSc(Hons) in Applied Chemistry, via the Advanced Spectroscopic Problems module. This approach was designed in particular to meet the increasing diversity of postgraduate intake and to serve as a refresher course for those of our own BSc(Hons) graduates who had become postgraduates.

More specialist training is given to postgraduates who need to do advanced NMR techniques, typically guided by Brian Murray, in consultation with the student’s supervisor. This applies to students of Full and Associated Members alike.

The main taught postgraduate programme supported is the Higher Diploma in Pharmaceutical Production, with NMR mainly occurring in the Process Chemistry 1 & 2 modules of the PharmaChem option, and the associated Practical Course. The Centre co-ordinators also provide training to students on those programmes in the theory and practical elements of NMR in analytical and synthetic chemistry modules of Level 7 and 8 degree programmes in Chemistry. The results of NMR-based research are included in case studies delivered as part of the theory modules and NMR plays a significant part in final year degree Chemistry projects. There are three other areas where NMR and spectroscopy teaching makes an impact:

  1. The later years of the ab initio BSc(Hons) in Pharmaceutical Science has content similar to the chemistry programme (especially for the PharmaChem elective), but less broad-based and more focussed like that of its postgraduate counterpart, the Higher Diploma;
  2. NMR is introduced to 4th year biology [i.e. BSc(Hons) in Bioanalysis], as a component of the Bioanalytical Techniques 2 module;
  3. NMR assistance is also provided to 3rd and 4th year biology students who need it for their Project.

In addition it is intended in the next two years to provide training courses tailored to the needs of:

  1. Supervisors of research heavily dependent on NMR – to update their advanced NMR base skills;
  2. Supervisors of students who do less synthesis but are nevertheless heavily dependent on NMR characterization of the identity and purity of the compounds they work on;
  3. Technical Support Staff within the Department.

NMRICS staff have also been involved in organising conferences and similar events in the Institute during the year:

  • “SciFest”, a Young Scientist-type competition for second-level students in the Dublin area, combined with ‘Open Day’-type activities: invited and ITT lecturers, a science careers talk for students and teachers/guidance counsellors, and laboratory demonstrations;
  • Training for Compliance conference: “GMP Compliance Systems”, organised by Adrienne Fleming.
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