Professional Development Grant Recipient – Mark Crawford

2 Dec, 2023
Impact Story

In 2023 alone, the ISPE Foundation awarded 150+ students and Emerging Leaders with Professional Development Grants to attend ISPE Conferences.  For Mark Crawford, one of the grant recipients, this opportunity was the pivotal moment that determined the trajectory of his career in the pharmaceutical industry.


In June 2023, the ISPE hosted its annual Biotechnology Conference in Dublin, Ireland.  Through the generous support of our donors, the ISPE Foundation awarded 13 Professional Development Grants to students and emerging leaders, allowing them to attend the conference where they gained invaluable industry knowledge and connections.  One of the grant recipients was Mark Crawford, a current student at Queen’s University Belfast studying Chemical Engineering. 


Mark applied to attend the Biotechnology Conference in hopes of gaining a “more holistic view of the pharmaceutical industry.”  He was at a crossroads, sharing, “I was unsure as to whether I wanted to remain in the pharmaceutical industry.  I wanted to get a better perspective of what work was like for chemical engineers/process engineers in firms in other areas of the industry to see if this was work I was interested in.”  By the end of the conference, Mark had been fully immersed in the community that surrounds the pharmaceutical field. 


Impact Story


“This was my first step into networking, and I learned so much.  I really appreciate the lengths and support ISPE Foundation and various staff members took to introduce us to industry contacts.  This made it so much easier to approach vendors and company representatives. Without these, I would almost certainly not have had the courage to initiate conversations and learn much about the industry.”

He made new connections with those just beginning in their careers and industry-leading experts, who gave him the advice he needed to decide to continue to pursue a future career in the industry. 


In the United States alone, it is predicted that by 2025, a staggering 60% of the 3.4 million biopharmaceutical jobs could be vacant1 .  Mark is one of 150+ students and emerging leaders who received a Professional Development Grant from the ISPE Foundation in 2023, along with an ISPE membership and other resources.  We are committed to supporting those entering and those already in our workforce because we recognize that an individual’s choice to continue to pursue a career in our industry could be the driving force that helps achieve global health equity for everyone.  


  • 1The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, “The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing 2015 and Beyond”, 2015 

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