Just graduated and interested in working in Pharma?

Here are some career paths to consider.

Finishing university and finding your first job in Pharma as a graduate is a challenging period for most. With so many options available to you, how do you choose which roles to apply for?

To help you make that all-important decision, we have asked real life pharma experts to give us a bit of insight into their job roles and explain how they got there.

A Research Scientist

We recently interviewed Harpal, a research scientist Graduate working for a global biopharmaceutical company.

His job involves performing and optimising biochemical assays for analysing compounds. He chose a career in research as he wanted to be involved in discovering new concepts.

Although the job is very technical, planning and executing experiments, analysing data and writing reports, there is also an element of team work. Harpal liaises on a daily basis with his team and line manager to discuss progress.

Are you also interested in pursuing a career as a Research Scientist?

Prior to becoming a Research Scientist, Harpal completed a PhD and then found relevant industry experience in his field of research. He adds that if you are interested in performing biochemical assays, it’s important to understand FRET biochemical assays and data interpretation.

A starting point for becoming a Research Scientist might be to look at PhDs in the subjects that interest you the most. By doing a PhD, you would gain that valuable lab experience.

A Stability Analyst

Katie works for a pharmaceutical company as a stability analyst, measuring the stability of different products manufactured at the facility. She tests different batches at different time points and conditions, to assess whether there are any changes in the content.

The role is fast paced and involves a lot of focus, so is ideal for someone who enjoys working under pressure and has a keen eye for detail.

Interested in becoming a stability analyst? Recruitment managers would typically look for someone with a chemistry degree or pharmaceutical sciences as well as prior experience in an analytical pharma laboratory.

A Laboratory Analyst

Anthony is a laboratory analyst, working for a company who develops vaccines and healthcare products.

He is responsible for conducting all quality testing on products, writing up data and reporting the results. These results are then used to determine the quality of the product, and make decisions on whether the product is deemed safe to be used by patients.

Anthony finds his job particularly satisfying, knowing that he is contributing to helping people’s quality of life.

Interested in this role?

To apply to this type of job, you would be expected to have a chemistry qualification or pharmaceutical sciences and specific experience in the use and maintenance of HPLC systems. Anthony gained his qualification and relevant experience through an Apprenticeship scheme, proving that the typical university route is not the only way to a successful job in chemistry.

An Associate Scientist

Sarah works as an associate scientist for a company that researches and develops pharmaceutical products.

Her role involves collating information to create knowledge transfer packages for clients. She uses a variety of systems to search for product information, to compile comprehensive reports.

She chose this role as she enjoys the challenge of piecing together information as well as the customer interaction.

Sarah explains that this type of role is ideal for someone analytical, who wishes to work in science but also be customer facing.

Interested in this role?

To get to this position, Sarah did a degree in chemistry and additional training in project management. She then gained experience in product delivery within a contract manufacturing organisation.

A Regulatory Affairs Associate

Alaa is a contractor currently working for a science-led global healthcare company. As a Regulatory Affairs Associate, he ensures Over the Counter Medicines (OTC) are maintained, renewed on time and regulated by Health Authorities in different countries globally.

His day-to-day involves liaising with affiliates from different markets globally to meet deadlines, as well as working with internal stakeholders to improve processes for the company.

According to Alaa, a Regulatory Affairs Associate role would suit someone who is target driven, enjoys helping people but doesn’t need to be micro-managed.

Prior to this job, Alaa graduated with a degree in Forensic Biology and has a variety of experience from lab work to project management roles.  He also worked abroad, which helps him stand out from the crowd.

A life science or pharmaceutical science degree would also be considered for a career in regulatory affairs.

Feeling inspired? Why not read the interviews in full, as well as many others on our careers section. You can also have a look at available jobs or create a CK+ account, to find jobs tailored to your experience.

Posted in Articles, Candidates, Careers Advice, Home Page, Homepage, Homepage Candidates, News

7 Alternative Career Paths for Scientists

What happens when you have worked so hard to get a science degree and even a Ph.D., only to realise that you don’t want to follow the expected research trajectory, and instead you want to try something new?

The good news is scientists are not confined to the lab anymore. In fact, candidates with a science degree and a science background are becoming increasingly desirable in other fields.

We’ve compiled a list of seven popular alternative career paths for scientists looking for a change.


  1. A career in scientific writing

Writing requires many of the same skills you learn whilst studying a science degree; analysing a lot of information and presenting it in a way that is easy to understand.

The best writers are the ones who know first-hand about the topics they discuss in their writing. Consequently, writers with a science background are always in high demand for scientific writing.

Writing opens up a world of opportunities including journalism and writing about science and science novelties for the general public, or technical writing and presenting science findings for patents and authority bodies.

Alternatively, if you love reading and writing, a science degree can help you get a job for a specialist publisher such as Bloomsbury Sigma or IOP, whether that be in production, editing or proof reading.


  1. Working in intellectual property law

If you are interested in the legal side of science, becoming a patent attorney could be an interesting option. Patent law is already a well-established career path for scientists, as companies recruiting trainee patent attorneys usually ask for a degree in science or another STEM subject. This is because to draft a patent, you need to understand the research and technology behind it.


  1. Turning to consultancy

Moving into consulting is another popular move for scientists looking for a more client-facing role.

Big consultancies such as BCG, Accenture and Deloitte will have a dedicated science department recruiting analytical candidates with science backgrounds, to head projects for clients in the science and clinical space. Alternatively, there are also opportunities at a number of specialist scientific consultancies like IQVIA and Alacrita.


  1. Working for a funding body

If working in an office seems more appealing than working in a lab, but you still want to stay up-to-date with the latest science news, then working in funding could be a great option. You might want to look at organisations such as Research Councils UK (for example, the BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC and the STFC) and major funding bodies like the Leverhulme Trust and the Wellcome Trust.


  1. Sales and marketing for Pharmaceutical companies

Why not explore different areas of the value chain, and look at jobs selling and promoting products, rather than creating them?

Being knowledgeable on the product you are selling is particularly useful when presenting products and answering client needs and questions. These jobs tend to be less about pure selling and more about becoming a product expert.


  1. Recruitment

If you enjoy using your people skills, then specialist recruitment companies like CK Science are always looking for recruitment consultants with science backgrounds.

Good knowledge of the science world helps recruitment consultants not only understand the jobs they are recruiting for, but also understand which skills are needed and which types of candidates would be better placed in each role.


  1. Teaching

Science teachers at all levels are in high demand right now in the UK, as great initiatives are being taken to close the current STEM skill gap. So, if you have a passion for science and sharing your knowledge, teaching might be something to consider.

Thinking of trying out something new? At CK we offer a range of different jobs for experts with a science background. Why not have a look at our jobs here or get in touch for recommendations.

Posted in Articles, Careers Advice, Homepage Candidates, News

Workplace Advice from CK Science

Here at CK Science we want to ensure that you are as happy and fulfilled in your science jobs as possible.

So, we have written the following workplace for you.  Please click on the links below!

Careers Advice

Are you looking for a new science job? Click here for our latest careers advice.

Meet the CK Science TeamMeet our team:

The specialist scientific Recruitment Consultants here at CK Science are here to help you find the perfect science job for you. To meet them, please click here.

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Interview Advice Bulletin – May 2012

Do you have an interview for a job in science? Here are a few tips from CK Science to help make sure you ace that interview and land that perfect science job:



Are you looking for a new science job?

Click here to search and apply for our current science jobs online now.


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Like us on Facebook!

Like us on Facebook to improve your job hunt and help you find your next job in science.


By liking CK Science on Facebook you can chat and network with other job seekers who are also looking for a new science job at the moment.

But it doesn’t stop there, by liking CK Science on Facebook you will also get the opportunity to really get to know the team here at CK Science and ask us any questions you may have regarding your job hunt.

In addition, you will also gain exclusive access to our latest science jobs, photos, videos, polls, careers advice and industry news.

Sound good? Click here to like us on Facebook now!

Not on Facebook?

You can also find us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Thinking of returning to a previous employer?

So you’ve left a great company and now want go back? You’re not alone – 74 per cent of us would consider doing the same!

Here at the CK Group, we have recently conducted a Linkedin poll asking, ‘Would you consider returning to a previous employer?’ With an impressive, 688 responses, 74 per cent of those said they would consider returning to a previous employer.

However, before making the jump, we recommend that you consider a couple of things first:

  • Be realistic: Are you simply looking back at things with rose tinted glasses? Take time to think back to the reasons why you left the company in the first place. We recommend that you draw up and pro’s and con’s list to help you make a balanced and reasoned decision. It is important not to delude yourself into thinking that your old job was more fulfilling and exciting than it really was.
  • Are you making a snap decision? Have you given yourself enough time in your current job to really assess factors such as work-life balance, job satisfaction, career development etc. It is important that you give yourself enough time to adjust.

For more information regarding our poll, please contact Catherine Gutsell on 01438 743 047 or email cgutsell@ckagroup.co.uk.

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How to plan the journey to your interview

How to plan the journey to your interview effectively…

Victoria Walker, Consultant at CK Science gives advice as to how to plan the journey to your interview effectively.


1. Check and double check that you have the correct details:

A couple of days before your interview, check that you have the correct name, address and telephone number of the company you will be interviewing with. Make sure you double check these details both with your Consultant and on the company website.

2. If you are travelling by car…

If you are travelling by car and will be using a sat nav, please ensure that you have the correct postcode. It is also a good ideas to print off back-up maps (e.g. from Google Maps or AA Route Planner).

3. If you are going to be using public transport…

If you are going to using public transport, make sure you check the train connections and bus times prior to your interview. If there is  going to be a walk from the bus or train station to the company, try to find out how long this will take. If you need to take a taxi to get there, find the numbers of a few local taxi companies and call them prior to your interview to find out how long the journey will take and fare prices.

4. If you have any questions…

If you have any questions about the company or the interview, please contact your Consultant as they have all the resources to answer any queries for you.

5. If  you’re running late…

If you are running late? Please do call your Consultant as soon as possible as they will be able to advise the company of the situation quickly. If you interview is out of hours, your Consultant will be able to provide you with a phone number so as you can contact the Interviewer directly yourself.



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Watch our latest careers advice videos…

Every week, CK Science creates a new careers advice video to help you in your search for a new science job. Please see below for videos we have uploaded in the past month.

How to apply for the RIGHT roles for you…


How to get the most out of your recruitment agency


What do recruitment consultants look for on your CV?

Top tips for telephone interviews

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How to apply for the RIGHT roles for you…

1.       Read the job description

Read the job description in detail, from start to end. Are the location and salary right for you? Is it a contract or permanent role? Many candidates we deal with will apply for contract positions when they are only looking for permanent roles, simply because they haven’t read the job description in full.

2.       Do you have the right skills and experience?

Always check that your skills and experience exactly matches those detailed on the job description. When a skill or experience is listed as ‘essential’ on a job description, it means it’s essential!

If your CV does not mention the essential skills and experience listed in the job description, you are not suitable so do not apply. If you do apply, this could tarnish any future job applications to the company.

3.       Tailor your CV and cover letter

Highlight the skills and experience mentioned on the job description on your CV.

4.       Chase up your application and get feedback

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Want a new science job? Read our helpful tips

Looking for a new job in science? Here are a few helpful hints and tips to help you on your way…

Careers Advice


Workplace Advice


For more helpful advice speak to one of our professional scientific recruiters, contact the CK team.

Alternatively take a look at our current scientific vacancies now.

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Job Hunting over the Bank Holiday Weekend?

Are you going to be job hunting over the Bank Holiday weekend? Here is some useful careers and workplace advice from CK Science to help you get started…

Careers Advice


Workplace Advice


For more helpful advice speak to one of our professional scientific recruiters, contact the CK team.

Alternatively take a look at our current scientific vacancies now.

Posted in Careers Advice, Mobile News, Workplace AdviceTagged in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Careers Advice from CK Science

So you’re looking for a new job in science? Here are some great careers advice articles from CK Science to help you on your way:

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Interview Tips: The STAR Interview Technique


One technique that is used throughout both technical and competency based interviews is that of Behavioural Questioning. This is designed to get practical examples from interviewees as demonstrations of particular skills or competencies.

In order to prepare for this during your interview preparation you should identify examples of situations from your experiences on your CV where you have demonstrated skills and competencies that you feel are relevant to the role – please refer to the Job and/or Person Specification as well as the companies website for these.

During the interview, your responses need to be specific and detailed. Tell them about a particular situation that relates to the question, not a general one. Briefly tell them about the situation, what actions you took, and the positive result or outcome. One proven way to structure your answers is using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result or “STAR”) format (please see below).

Situation or Task: Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. You must describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description of what you have done in the past. Be sure to give enough detail for the interviewer to understand. This situation can be from a previous job, from a volunteer experience, or any relevant event.

Action you took: Describe the action you took and be sure to keep the focus on you. Even if you are discussing a group project or effort, describe what you did — not the efforts of the team. Don’t tell what you might do, tell what you did.

Results you achieved: What happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn?

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