JOHNSON & Johnson sites in Cork are celebrating a decade-long partnership with Munster Technological University that has seen more than 20 students avail of STEM scholarships to support their education and early career pathways.
A reception held recently at DePuy Synthes, part of Johnson & Johnson MedTech, in Ringaskiddy, was attended by prior recipients of the scholarship, as well as key representatives from Munster Technological University and Johnson & Johnson.
According to research recently carried out by the Central Statistics Office, Ireland had the highest rate of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) graduates in the EU. Johnson & Johnson supports these graduates to become the next generation of STEM leaders through the partnerships they have in place with third-level institutions, like the one with Munster Technological University.
This STEM scholarship is awarded to three students annually (one each from the Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology courses), providing financial support to the value of €3,000 per year for the duration of their course.
Recipients are also assigned a Johnson & Johnson mentor who they meet with throughout their studies, availing of their insights, advice, support, and guidance. 80% of scholarship recipients who have completed their courses have chosen to pursue careers within the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.
Speaking about the importance of the scholarship links with Johnson & Johnson, Professor Maggie Cusack, president of Munster Technological University, said: “These scholarship programmes help to harness the enthusiasm our students have for STEM subjects.
“The access they receive to industry mentors is invaluable, as they are able to learn from those who have already gone down the same path so successfully before them. This relationship with Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest and most broadly-based healthcare company which has such a strong presence in Ireland, brings enormous value to our students. The longevity of the relationship is a testament to the work that goes into it every year.”
Gary Clerkin, Global Leader of Manufacturing Engineering at DePuy Synthes, said: “Every day, our teams are blending heart, science, and ingenuity to meet Johnson & Johnson’s purpose to profoundly change the trajectory of health for humanity. Our operations in Cork are at the cutting-edge of delivering healthcare solutions, employing more than 2,500 people, and playing an important part in Johnson & Johnson’s global network. When we launched this scholarship 10 years ago, it was with the goal of developing a talent pipeline that would support our companies in Cork.
“The quality of graduates from these programmes has been remarkable, which is a testament to the work of the team at Munster Technological University.”
Alan Bateman, site lead, Make Asset Management at Janssen Sciences Ireland, said: “We place enormous value on the close relationships we have with our education partners. Our partnership with Munster Technological University is helping to bridge the gap between academia and industry, by supporting students to develop the skills and capabilities they need to successfully launch their careers.
“We are delighted to be in a position to enable the next generation to pursue their aspirations, and to play a role in nurturing the education ecosystem which makes Cork such a life sciences hub.”
Biomedical Engineering graduate Hannah Ahern is a past recipient of the Johnson & Johnson STEM Scholarship Programme at Munster Technological University. Hannah joined DePuy Synthes as a Graduate Engineer upon finishing her degree and singled out the internships the scholarship provided as a significant factor in her educational success.
“Since receiving the scholarship, I have been afforded so many opportunities by Johnson & Johnson which have had an enormous impact on my career progression. I always have been a visual learner, so having the chance to practically engage in summer internships helped with my understanding of the steps involved in the manufacturing process.”