Professional Development at HFR

The most valuable asset for any company is the team and this is certainly true at HFR.


We see the professional development of our scientists as a continuous goal to maintain this value. Our scientists range from first year apprentices to experienced industrial chemists and have a range of ambitions and we’re keen to promote recognised qualifications and support any training development opportunities where possible.

We are also keen to integrate with the wider scientific community. We have been a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s EnterprisePlus scheme for a number of years which helps to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the chemical science industry.

One benefit for EnterprisePlus companies is the availability of training vouchers. The aim of the scheme is to provide financial support to SMEs who wish to upskill their workforce. Training vouchers worth up to £1,000 can be awarded for RSC members to attend a technical, business or ‘soft skills’ training course. HFR recently received a training grant which was used to send one of our senior research chemists, Dr James Fleming, on a Scientific Update training course. The three-day course ‘Chemical Development & Scale-Up in the Fine Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries’ was held in Amsterdam in November 2019.

James thoroughly enjoyed the course.

“Will, John and Jonathan presented a very interesting and informative three-days of talks and problem-solving sessions. I learnt a lot and met people from other companies and areas of chemistry who I would not usually have the opportunity to network with. I highly recommend the course!”

In the past year, we have started to hold internal monthly workshops, presented by all team members. The aim of the workshops is to encourage members of staff to assist one another in improving and broadening their knowledge and skillset. In January, James held a workshop to give an overview of what he learnt on the Scientific Update course. He also gave a presentation to the first cohort of the Oxford Inorganic Chemistry for Future Manufacturing Centre for Doctoral Training (OxICFM CDT) programme. HFR are one of the industrial partners in the EPSRC programme and we hosted a one-day course for the students, which covered GMP manufacturing and the practical aspects of scale-up chemistry at HFR.

HFR are an active member of the RSC and our Head of Research, Dr Neil Sim, was recently elected the Industry Representative for the North East Section. Our involvement with the RSC extends further as we have recently implemented a company benefit of RSC membership for all employees, with in-house training becoming accredited in order to support our chemists’ RSciTech, RSci and CChem applications.

Continuous improvement in professional development enables our team to better support our partners move from innovation through to commercialisation. We look forward to providing updates as we progress.

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