There are many large and smaller Biotech/Life Science companies based in the UK who offer opportunities to develop a rewarding career. According to the University of Oxford career service: “There are over 900 pharmaceutically related biotech companies in the UK which employ nearly 26,000 people, although the majority of them have fewer than 50 employees. Many of the UK’s biotech companies originate from universities as ‘spin-outs’ and are located around Oxford, Cambridge and in Scotland.” Below I summarise a few of the available options. I include useful links for those who would like to seek more detailed information. In all cases, qualifications and application processes will vary depending on the company and the specific position. Full instructions and information can be found on the company websites.
Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK)
GSK, whose focus is on small Molecules, vaccines and biologics, have a range of opportunities from internships, graduate positions or next career moves for experienced professionals. Their headquarters are in London, but have other UK bases for example in Hounslow and Irvine, and they employ over 99,000 people in 150 countries. Detailed information about all aspects on GSK operations and products can be found on their website: http://www.gsk.com/en-gb/home/. They run programmes including the Future Leaders Programme for graduates which requires for you to be on track for a 2.1 degree or have achieved this already. Recruitment takes place annually from September onwards.
To find out about current career opportunities with GSK in the UK follow this link: http://uk.gsk.com/en-gb/careers/
Astra Zeneca, whose focus is on small molecules and biologics, have their main campus in the UK in Cambridge but they also have operations in, for example, London, Edinburgh and Macclesfield. According to their website http://www.astrazeneca.com/Home they currently have 73 positions available in the UK, including for example Senior Principle Scientist in Molecular and Cellular Biology (Cambridge), Team Manager (CPUT team) in Chemical Development (Macclesfield) or VP Regulatory RIA (Cambridge). Qualifications needed vary depending on the position being applied for.
To find out about current career opportunities with Astra Zeneca in the UK follow this link:
Astra Zeneca is only one of many options in Cambridge. The city is also home to many smaller “spin-out” Biotech/Life sciences companies, as well as larger multinationals and is at the centre of the Cambridge Biotechnology Cluster. An example of a smaller Cambridge-based company is F-Star, which focuses on novel bispecific antibodies and was named a by FierceBiotech as one of the Fierce 15 winners in 2011 (http://www.f-star.com/about.php).
For more information on the Cambridge Biotechnology Cluster and the opportunities it offers, as well as other clusters centred on London, Oxford and Stevenage, visit the Lifestream website: http://www.liftstream.com/
SAFC (Sigma Aldrich)
SAFC, whose focus is on chemicals, services and APIs, is the custom manufacturing and services business unit of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation. It is a top 10 global specialty chemicals and biologics supplier. Full details of their UK operations can be found here: http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/united-kingdom.html. They have various operations including in Irvine and Manchester. They claim to offer “challenging and rewarding positions across the life science and high technology industry”. To begin the process of applying for opportunities in this company follow this link to the online expression of interest/application forms: http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/site-level/career-opportunites/apply.html Some examples of the types of positions available in the UK can be viewed by following this link: http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/united-kingdom/Careers_and_Culture.html
Abbvie, whose focus is on diagnostics and devices, is a global biopharmaceutical company with a UK operation in Maidenhead. Full details of their UK operations can be found at: http://www.abbvie.co.uk/?trackingSelection=Yes
To find out about current career opportunities with Abbvie in the UK follow this link:
Axis Shield, whose focus is on in vitro diagnostic tests, is located in Dundee in Scotland. They are an expanding company and recommend contacting their HR department for further information on career opportunities; email firstname.lastname@example.org. A full description of their operations and products can be found on their website: http://www.axis-shield.com/
Axis Shield are one of a range of companies with career opportunities based in Dundee, that also include for example CXR Biosciences http://www.cxrbiosciences.com/jobs/ and Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals http://www.cyclacel.com/careers.shtml
Prosonix is based in Oxford and is an innovative speciality pharmaceutical company developing a portfolio of inhaled respiratory medicines by design. Full details of their operations and products can be found at: http://www.prosonix.co.uk/about-prosonix/
To find out more about a career at Prosonix, follow this link and you will find relevant contact details: http://www.prosonix.co.uk/careers/
The UK Biotech database is a portal that provides information and statistics about Biotech, Pharma and Medtech companies in the UK. It can be accessed by following this link: http://www.ukbiotech.com/uk/db/index.php
The Lifestream website life sciences recruitment website gives details on the Biotechology Clusters in the UK and details on available opportunities: http://www.liftstream.com/
The following link gives a very comprehensive list of many Biotech/Life Sciences companies throughout the UK, with summaries of the areas of main interest and links to their websites: http://biopharmguy.com/links/country-unitedkingdom.php
The career advice sections of UK university websites are also very useful sources of information, for example the University of Oxford Careers Service has a useful section on pharmaceuticals and biotechnology that can be found here: http://www.careers.ox.ac.uk/options-and-occupations/sectors-and-occupations/pharmaceuticals-biotechnology/