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 Research and Development (R&D) Chemistry Graduate Programme could be a springboard to your future career. You’ll gain invaluable insight, exposure, and opportunities across our diverse, R&D 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 continuously learn and explore.

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

What is the R&D Graduate programme?

Starting in September 2024, the programme lasts two years, consisting of three individual eight-month placements. Each placement will provide you with insights into drug discovery and development and the opportunity to expand your knowledge of our therapy areas.

The programme’s variety and flexibility provide a unique exposure to develop your skills and interest in Chemistry research and other scientific disciplines, research areas and stages of the drug discovery process.

You’ll 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 grow your network with experts and leaders across the business and 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 synthetic chemistry. 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 will be focused on 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. Graduates are expected to 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 2023 or due to be awarded before September 2024.

  • Knowledge of organic synthesis.

  • Passionate about working in drug discovery and strong drive to make a difference

  • Proactive problem solving and critical thinking skills.

  • Excellent planning, organisational and time management skills.

  • Team-focused, with a partnership approach to achieving success.

Where can I find out more?

Learn more on our Careers Page




What next?

Are you ready to bring your skills, drive and curiosity to our projects? Good, because we’d love to hear from you!Click the link to apply, and we will be in touch once the advert closes. 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 in March 2024.

Advert Opens: Monday 6 November 2023

Advert closes: Sunday 7 January 2024

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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