Research and Development (R&D) Graduate Programme – Chemistry - UK

AstraZeneca UK

Location: Cambridgeshire

Job Type: Full time


Research and Development (R&D) Graduate programme – Chemistry – UK

Location: Cambridge, (UK)

Salary: £32,500 & excellent benefits package

Be empowered to be innovative and creative where difference is valued

If you have a Chemistry based bachelor’s or master’s degree and a desire to explore your scientific potential within a global biopharmaceutical organisation, our Chemistry Research and Development (R&D) Graduate Programme could be the perfect start to your career. You’ll gain invaluable insight, exposure and opportunities across our diverse, Research and Development organisation. We’ll accelerate your learning and help you achieve your potential as a research scientist.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, patient-focused biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious diseases. We are a company that genuinely follows the science and values individuals at all levels, you’ll be backed and encouraged to speak up, ask questions, and share ideas to push the boundaries of science and continuously learn and explore.

At AstraZeneca, we unlock the power of what science can do by empowering you to explore, everyday we work towards our ultimate aim – treating, preventing, modifying and even curing complex diseases.

What is the R&D Graduate programme?

Starting in September 2023, the programme lasts two years, consisting of three individual eight month placements. Each placement will provide you with fantastic insights in to drug discovery and development and the opportunity to expand your knowledge of our therapy areas.

The programme’s variety and flexibility provides you with unique exposure to expand your knowledge, skills and interest in Chemistry research and other scientific disciplines, research areas and stages of the drug discovery process. As well as helping you broaden your scientific knowledge, we’ll help you develop professional skills required to fulfil your career potential.

You will gain an invaluable blend of on-the-job experience and training. You’ll enjoy guidance and advice from a huge support network, including a mentor and dedicated programme management team. We’ll also encourage you to identify and build collaborative relationships with specialists and leaders across our organisation, and our external networks including leading academic and biotech research institutions. Together, we’ll help accelerate your development and knowledge!

Applicants applying to the Chemistry arm of the programme should have a sound knowledge of organic synthesis. Prior lab experience in this setting is advantageous, as is a knowledge of or interest in organic chemistry, formulation techniques, or common analytical techniques.

Whilst there are numerous placements to choose from, most are wet lab based placements which build on existing skillsets and support the development of new technical skills. Our Chemistry opportunities exist in organic synthetic chemistry, formulation and analytical chemistry. There are also in silico opportunities which involve the computational modelling and design of new compounds as well as wider opportunities across the R&D organization to stretch and develop you. It is expected that candidate complete at least one lab based placement related to their discipline during the course of the programme.

You will be based at the site of application throughout the duration of the 2 years, we do not offer international placements on this programme

Essential for the role

  • A 2:1 (UK) / GPA 3 (US) / VG Grade (Sweden) or local equivalent Bachelor’s degree, or a Master’s level qualification, in a chemistry related subject awarded in 2022 or due to be awarded before September 2023.
  • Knowledge of organic synthesis
  • Passionate about working in drug discovery, and committed to helping to push the boundaries of science to deliver life changing medicines to patients.
  • Proactive problem solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Planning, organisational and time management skills.
  • Collaborative, with a partnership approach to achieving success

Together, we push the boundaries of science to deliver life-changing medicines to patients around the world!

Where can I find out more?

Early careers at AstraZeneca

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What next?

After you submit your application, you will be asked to complete an online assessment (SHL). If shortlisted, you will then be invited to a full day virtual assessment day.

Our virtual assessment days will be held week commencing 20th March 2023

Advert Opens 18th October 2022

Advert closes 8th January 2023

Date Posted


Closing Date


AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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