Synapse Case Competition: Leading Tomorrow's R&D

Are you looking to gain experience with R&D, test your leadership skills and help solve real-life problems faced by companies in Medicon Valley? 

Synapse Case Competition: Leading Tomorrow’s R&D is a new initiative from Synapse - Life Science Connect that aims to help create and discover the next generation of life science leadership in Medicon Valley. 

The goal of Synapse Case Competition is to expose students to the unique challenges faced by Chief Scientific Officers (CSOs) today and equip students with the skill set needed to overcome these challenges. Therefore, we are encouraging all students with an interest in the life science industry to apply. 


The Case: Help solve the R&D challenges within Medicon Valley

At the case competition, students will be matched in teams of three and work to solve an R&D-oriented  business case co-organised by McKinsey & Company. The participants will be given hands-on experience with real data from some of the biggest companies in Greater Copenhagen and receive feedback from consultants and company representatives.


The Prize: Meeting with the top of Medicon Valley companies

The winning teams will have the fantastic opportunity to visit Novo Nordisk, Novozymes, LEO Pharma or Chr. Hansen where they’ll learn more about the company, get to pitch their idea to an R&D senior vice president or chief scientific officer and sit down with them for a Q&A lunch.



Meet the companies

Novo Nordisk A/S

Novozymes A/S

Chr. Hansen A/S

Chr. Hansen is a global bioscience company that develops natural solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries.

We develop and produce cultures, enzymes, probiotics and natural colors for a rich variety of foods, confectionery, beverages, dietary supplements, animal feed, and plant protection. Our product innovation is based on around 40,000 microbial strains – we like to refer to them as “good bacteria.”

Our solutions enable food manufacturers to produce more with less – while also reducing the use of chemicals and other synthetic additives – which makes our products highly relevant in today’s world. We have been delivering value to our partners – and, ultimately, end consumers worldwide – for more than 145 years. We are proud that more than 1 billion people consume products containing our natural ingredients every day.

McKinsey & Company

Heidrick & Struggles



The When, Where, How: All you need to know


When is it? 
The Synapse Case Competition will take place on Friday, April 17th from 09.00 to 18.00. It will be a all-day event, so save the date! Due to the Danish Government’s ban to gather more than 100 people and urge of private business to go into lockdown, the Synapse Case Competition will be moved to the fall 2020. 

Where is it? 
We're working to find the perfect location for the event, but it'll be in the Copenhagen area. 

How do I apply? 

Application opening will be announced in the fall. You apply by sending a motivation letter, CV and university transcript before  April 1st using the sign-up form. The event is for any bachelor, master, PhD-students studying in Denmark or Sweden. We also welcome applications from newly graduates. In the motivation letter you must answer the following:  


  • Which biotrends makes you excited about the future of life science? And why? [250 words]
  • Describe a scenario where you’ve been a good leader and what you’ve learned from it. [100 words]
  • Who has been the best leader that you have ever worked with (e.g. fellow student, professor or boss). Which leader qualities did he/she possess, and what actions did he/she take to motivate you? [100 words]




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