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Automation Lead - Oral Product Development

AstraZeneca UK

Location: Cheshire East

Job Type: Full time


Do you have expertise in, and passion for automation? Would you like to apply your expertise to lead the transformation of our labs in a company that follows the science and turns ideas into life changing medicines? Then AstraZeneca might be the one for you!

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. But we’re more than one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. At AstraZeneca, we are proud to have a unique workplace culture that inspires innovation and collaboration. Here, employees are empowered to express diverse perspectives and are made to feel valued, energised and rewarded for their ideas and creativity.

In Pharmaceutical Technology and Development (PT&D), we are the bridge between forward-thinking science and innovative medicines that help millions of people. We work across the entire value chain, designing and delivering active ingredients, formulations and devices required to support new medicines – from supplies for use in early toxicology studies and clinical trials to developing the technology to ensure drugs can be scaled up for commercial manufacture.

We are currently looking for an Associate Principal Scientist – Automation in Oral Product Development (OPD). Our vision is to transform product design and development to enable us to deliver new medicines to patients. Oral products are a key growth area for AstraZeneca, covering a wide range of projects including small molecule immediate release as well as modified release and complex formulations.

We’re looking for a skilled and motivated automation specialist to join one of our analytical teams in Gothenburg, Sweden or in Macclesfield, UK. This is an exciting opportunity where you will take the lead in developing our laboratories, taking the next step into the future.

What you’ll do

You will join a highly collaborative team developing solutions for automation to take analytical science and product development to the next level of efficiency, quality and innovation. You will work globally cross OPD and with our key partners in PT&D and commercial manufacturing sites. You will be accountable for and lead automation projects, write business cases and lead change management in conjunction with implementation of the new automated systems.

This is a specialist role where you will develop, maintain and deliver the global OPD automation strategy and work collaboratively with many colleagues across sites and functions, championing the implementation of automated workflows. You will get the opportunity to use your professional skills in a highly advanced research environment and contribute to the progression of drug projects. You will drive the efficiency and scientific development within the field of pharmaceutical science at AstraZeneca.

Essential for the role

To be successful in this role you will need expertise in implementation of automation in a laboratory setting. Excellent skills in written and verbal communication and the ability to engage and collaborate across boundaries with a positive problem-solving attitude and delivery focus. Also, you are aware of demands on automation in terms of degree of flexibility, throughput, documentation and rigour of validation needed for the different development phases.

  • University degree (BSc, MSc, PhD)or equivalent experience in relevant subject area, with industry experience
  • Experience of leading development and application of automated systems and software applications, both in a GxP and a non-GxP environment
  • Experience of workflow analysis and development
  • Experience of leading automation networks and/or multi-disciplinary project teams
  • Excellent knowledge of solutions available for automation with awareness of global automation suppliers and a record of leading supplier selection for automated systems and services
  • Strong understanding of the life-cycle management process of automated systems with extensive knowledge and understanding of development and late stage/commercial requirements of automation including regulatory expectations related to validation of computerised systems.
  • Excellent change management and communication skills including business case development and experience of managing senior partners and collaborators.

You have expertise in practical/hands-on implementation of automation. Experience of pharmaceutical development is essential and you can show evidence of having lead and worked in a global setting. You’ll need to be an inspirational leader with strong ambition to develop yourself and others. You should be ready to champion and drive automation with a strong customer focus and ability to identify automation opportunities.

Desirable for the role

  • Experience of project management/project leadership
  • Expertise in a range of analytical techniques relevant for oral drug products
  • Experience in writing or adapting code
  • Knowledge of AI and implementation of self-optimising systems

Why AstraZeneca?

At AstraZeneca when we see an opportunity for change, we seize it and make it happen, because any opportunity no matter how small, can be the start of something big. Delivering life-changing medicines is about being entrepreneurial - finding those moments and recognising their potential. Join us on our journey of building a new kind of organisation to reset expectations of what a bio-pharmaceutical company can be. This means we’re opening new ways to work, pioneering ground-breaking methods and bringing unexpected teams together.

So, what's next?

We welcome your application no later than 21stNovember, 2023.

Please note applications must include your CV and a covering letter which presents your areas of strength / development and why you should be considered for the role.

Competitive salary and benefits package on offer.

Opening date: November 1st, 2023
Closing date: November 21st, 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.