From Idea to Drug


This Danish project involves upper secondary school students in the complete process from getting the idea for a new pharmaceutical product, through the research process which forms the basis for the development of the product, to the production, quality management and finally marketing of the product.

The project is developed by the Faculty of Science at The University of Southern Denmark

Aim of the project:

  • to create meaningfulness for the students within biotechnological science education by means of authentic experiences
  • to provide the students with an overall understanding of the relations between education in upper secondary school and scientific research at the university and also biotechnological companies in the private sector
  • to meet the students’ demands for demonstration of the usefulness and career potentials of a science-oriented education
  • in the course of the project the students themselves work in many fields of scientific work, thus focusing not only on the application of science in practice, but also on the variety of jobs which can be done with a scientific education

Basic information

Country: Denmark

Coordinator: University of Southern Denmark, SDU

Programme: National

Project Acronym:

Target groups: secondary school students, teachers

Topic: Biotechnology

Start year: 2011

End year: 2012


Contact person: Niels Kring nik (at)

From August 2012 to June 2014, five development projects were conducted by the Danish Ministry of Education. In these projects upper secondary schools, corporations, universities and other educational institutions collaborate in developing and testing courses focused on applying science.

The Department of Science Education led a network and analysis project with participation from Danish Science Communication. This overarching project focuses on dialogue and cooperation between the three development projects. The DSE's involvement is through facilitation, documentation and analysis of experiences from the projects. The project is financed by the Danish Ministry of Education and the participating institutions.

The course consists of two modules:

Applied Class activity where students work in medicine research and drug development based on a relevant case story.

First module: a team of university students ("Pharmacy team") visit the participating upper secondary schools and establish the academic foundation.

Second module: upper secondary students visiting the laboratories at University of Southern Denmark where they work on the synthesis and analysis of their own medicinal product.

The course is completed with a visit to a pharmaceutical company, where medicine research, manufacturing and quality management of the production are focused on.


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