What are the top pharmaceutical jobs?

The pharmaceutical industry is massive. Ill-health and disease steals tens of millions of lives every year, so a lot of money is invested in the search for new drugs. Many people enter the pharmaceutical industry because they want to make a difference, but it is useful to remember that many pharmaceutical jobs are also very well paid.

The sector is predicted to continue growing over the next five years. The continued development of strategic new drugs and therapeutic vaccines presents great opportunities for scientists and sales reps alike, so if you are considering a career in the pharmaceutical industry, the future looks bright.

Here is a list of the five top pharmaceutical jobs.

1. Biotechnology Senior Research Scientist

Senior research scientists are at the top of their game. They are responsible for managing research projects, making applications for research funding, reporting back on research findings, and keeping a close eye on new technologies. A familiarity with software development and IT is also desirable in the high-tech world of today. To reach this level within a pharmaceutical company, you need to have a broad skillset, which includes project management experience as well as plenty of time served in clinical research.

2. Research Scientists

Research scientists work in the laboratory or out in the field. To qualify for a position as a research scientist, you will need to have experience of laboratory procedures, including setting up and monitoring experiments. Research scientists typically write the proposals for research funding, so excellent writing skills are required, as well as the ability to present findings clearly and concisely.

3. Field Sales Reps

Field sales reps may not have experience of working in a laboratory setting, but they do need to have a thorough understanding of the products they sell. Sales reps are responsible for selling a pharmaceutical company’s products to new and existing customers. Excellent social skills are essential. If you are good at your job, your earnings potential will be very high.

4. Pharmaceutical Financial Analyst

The pharmaceuticals industry is first and foremost a business. Pharmaceutical companies are in the game to make money – serious money – so financial analysts are employed to make sure the business is stable and profitable. Your job is to advise management on which investments are likely to be the most profitable, as well as the areas where cost savings can be made. Pharmaceutical financial analysts will normally have a background in finance rather than pharmaceuticals.

5. Pharmacist

A career as a pharmacist is generally seen as less attractive than medicine, but if you want to be at the cutting edge of pharmaceutical technology whilst retaining a degree of patient interaction, this is the career for you. To get your foot in the door, look for summer internships or placements, as these will give the experience required once you have graduated from university.

Jobs in the pharmaceuticals industry are highly sought after and competition is fierce. You will need the right qualifications and an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline is essential for research-based careers.


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Microbiology Technician – Ayrshire

Barney Smith is recruiting for a Microbiology Technician to work at a diagnostics company based in Ayrshire on a permanent basis.


For this role, you will be responsible for sample preparations, microbiological testing of customer samples, and off site training for external clients.


  • Minimum HNC/HND level in microbiology or possess equivalent industrial experiene
  • Some experience working in a food microbiology laboratory.
  • You will be required to travel to customer sites to train clients in POC test kits so you must hold a full UK driving licence


The company offer progression and continue to go from strength to strength in both increasing product range and in their overall business growth.

How to applyBarney Smith - Scientific Recruitment

Click here to apply now

To apply for this role please call Barney Smith on 0191 384 8905 or email him on bsmith@ckscience.co.uk

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Pfizer and UK biotech firm announce £3.8 million research deal     Biotechnology Recruitment at CK Science

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Graduates – Great for Business!

Whilst experience is always a bonus, the hiring of graduates is also good for a successful business. Here are a few reasons why.


It may seem obvious, but an experienced person is going to want more money than a graduate, even if they are applying for the same position. To reduce annual company salaries it makes sense to hire the cheaper option.

Loyalty and Enthusiasm

The fact that you’ve hired a graduate and given them an initial taste of working life would tend to make them err on the side of gratuity. Carefully managed, this could translate into loyalty to your company. The inexperienced graduate would want to prove they can perform as best they can in their new job, possibly with little knowledge of the market and arguably their true worth. Should they turn out to be one of your better performers, managing them successfully could mean they stay for longer than they otherwise would.


New graduates are more likely to be adaptable and au fait with current and emerging technology. It could be better to have an employee who is more capable of throwing themselves into various fields of work, rather than an expert in just one or two. The ability to use new technology is also obviously a bonus, allowing your business to stay at the cutting edge of new developments.

These, plus other reasons that can be found on The Undercover Recruiter, are just a few reasons as to why graduates are excellent candidates to hire for your business.

Click here to view candidates for your business, now.

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Biodiesel developed using bacteria

As reported in chemweek.com. UK researchers at the University of Essex have developed technology that enables that them to produce biodiesel from the E. coli bacteria. The technology is almost identical to conventional biofuel, is still in trial.   The E. coli bacteria naturally turn sugars into fat, to build their cell membranes and the synthetic fuel oil molecules can be created by harnessing this natural oil production process.

“Replacing conventional diesel with a carbon neutral biofuel in commercial volumes would be a tremendous step toward meeting our target of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Global demand for energy is rising, and a fuel that is independent of both global oil price fluctuations and political instability is an increasingly attractive prospect,” says John Love, professor of biosciences at the University of Exeter.

To read this article in full click here

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New £3.8 million research deal announced

As reported by The Pharma Times, Pfizer and Ziarco, a UK biotech firm, have announced a £3.8 million research deal to focus on anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic medicines.

Ziarco was set up by Mike Yeadon, former chief scientist at Pfizer, along with three other ex-Pfizer employees. Originally set up in Canterbury, Ziarco is a clinical stage biotechnology company which focuses on inflammatory and allergic diseases.

The start up has proven extremely successful and has so far secured licences to several anti-allergy and inflammation drug candidates from Pfizer and has confirmed £3.75 million of a £16.8 million Series A round of financing from lead investor Biotechnology Value Fund and Pfizer Venture Investments.

Ziarco has now entered into an agreement with Pfizer for the exclusive worldwide rights to commercialise a portfolio of clinical, pre-clinical and research anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic assets. Pfizer will receive equity and Ziarco will use the proceeds to invest in the further research and development.

Dr Mike Yeadon, chief executive of Ziarco, said: “Ziarco was founded to address the significant need that still exists for new, more effective ways to treat disorders underpinned by inflammatory and allergic pathobiology. Each programme in development at Ziarco has the potential to be a first-in-class therapeutic and because they target critical points within inflammatory and allergic pathways they offer treatment options for diverse and difficult to manage diseases.

“Not only are we very fortunate at such an early stage in the company’s development to have licensed significant assets from Pfizer and secured funding from Biotechnology Venture Fund and Pfizer Venture Investments to progress development of these innovative therapeutic agents, but we have in place a highly experienced team which has deep knowledge of these programmes and has the passion and expertise to deliver.”


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Pfizer and UK biotech firm announce £3.8 million research deal   Pfizer and UK biotech firm announce £3.8 million research deal   Pfizer and UK biotech firm announce £3.8 million research deal   Pfizer and UK biotech firm announce £3.8 million research deal

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Cambridge Science Park Acquired by US Giant

As reported by Business Weekly, the US real estate investment company, BioMed Realty Trust, has acquired Granta Park, a leading science park based in Cambridge for £126.8m.

Currently, the Cambridge-based Science Park as 11 lab and office buildings and it’s tenants include some of the worlds leading pharma and biotech organisations including Gilead Sciences, UCB and Vernalis. The investment from BioMed Realty will also current tenant relationships with companies such as MedImmune and Pfizer to be extended.

Speaking of the agreement, BioMed Realty stated, “The Cambridge UK research community is anchored by the University of Cambridge, established in 1209, with 20 per cent of the world’s Nobel Prize recipients in medicine and chemistry and the recipient of over 280 million pounds in research grants in 2011.

“This Cambridge science cluster supports over 1,000 science and technology companies, the Wellcome Trust, the largest medical research charitable organisation in the world, Cavendish Laboratory, and the Babraham Institute.”Cambridge Science Park Acquired by US Giant

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Cambridge introduces ‘hot-labbing’ to biotech entrepreneurs and start-ups

As reported by Business Weekly, a new partnership between The Babraham Research Campus and The University of Cambridge’s ideaSpace is set to create 410 new biotech jobs.

The agreement will allow early-stage biotech companies and entrepreneurs to gain access to both the laboratory facilities at The Babraham Research Campus, and the co-working community at the ideaSpace. This will therefore add an exciting new component to the start up ecosystem in Cambridge.

Babraham traditionally helps early stage biotech companies and entrepreneurs through programmes like the Biotechnology Investment Forum and the Cambridge Bio-Academic Showcase. However, this new collaboration would allow the Institute to reach a new audience – entrepreneurs from ideaSpace.

Entrepreneurs at ideaSpace will now be able to essentially partake in a spot of ‘hot-labbing’ – whereby they get part-time access to the laboratory facilities at the Babraham Institute. ideaSpace has been mainly high tech and software focused, but the new ‘hot-labbing’ agreement will allow them to attract members from other sectors.  This is explained by Dr Belinda Clarke, director of External Relations at ideaSpace, “The superb facilities at Babraham can help ideaSpace support a wider range of members from different sectors who require such specialist facilities.”

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Cambridge Biotech, play key role, €40m Collaboration

As reported by Cambune, companies from the Cambridge Biotech cluster will play a key role in an innovative epigenetics collaboration called Blueprint.

This €40m project which will aim to discover how the epigenome influences health and disease. It is hoped that this will help lead to great advances in the treatment of a variety of human diseases.

Cambridge-based  contributors that will be involved with Blueprint, include:

The study of epigenetics can help explain how human genes are influenced by external forces. The genome is essentially the body’s building blocks, so it is the epigenome that determines how these building blocks construct living things.

When the regulation of this is faulty, it can result in diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity  and cardiovascular disease.

Professor Wolf Reik, associate director at the Babraham Institute and Professor of Epigenetics at the University of Cambridge, explains:

“It is clear that our susceptibility to disease can only be partially explained by genes alone and epigenetics is emerging as an important research area that is bringing insight to many adult conditions like heart disease, diabetes, cancer and autoimmune disorders.

“The purpose of project Blueprint is to determine the properties and functions of epigenomes in development and disease.”

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20% of UK Workforce has a Science Job

The Financial Times has reported that approximately one fifth of the UK workforce has a science based job.

5.8 million people are scientists or use science skills daily, the Science Council has discovered in a recent study. The number includes ‘secondary science workers’ such as nurses or software engineers. Scientists were found to be in industries as diverse as education, finance and farming, as well as more traditional scientific sectors, such as the chemical industry.

Chief executive of the Science Council, Diana Garnham, has said that secondary science roles can be “found literally everywhere in the economy.” The research indicates that by 2030, there could be over 7 million people involved in science in some way, prompting Diana Garnham to say “the research begins to explain… why there is such huge demand for people with science qualifications.”

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North West Biomedical Firms Receive Investment

Two biomedical companies, Alchemy Healthcare and Future Medical Technologies, are to each receive £50,000 from the North West Fund for Biomedical, reports pharmatimes.com.

The North West Fund is run by venture capital firm SPARK Impact and supplies debt and equity funding to small and medium sized businesses in the North West of England. Alchemy Healthcare has developed a nasal device for administering treatments in order to avoid injections. The investment they will receive will be used to “complete various elements of tooling and a modest clinical trial,” said Ian Harrison, the firm’s founder. They also hope to receive the results soon and receive further investment.

Future Medical Technologies has developed a polymer to mimic cartilage that is used to help arthritis, improving patient care. The investment will be used to speed development of the product and gain further regulatory approval. Dr Yousef Taktak has called the investment a “great opportunity.”

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BlueGnome Ranked Fastest Growing UK Biotech Company

scientists workingFormed in 2003, BlueGnome, a specialist developer of microarray based solutions for the screening of chromosomal abnormalities in cytogenetics and IVF, has been ranked fasted growing Biotechnology company by The Deliotte Technology Fast 50.

Impressively, the Biotech company has been ranked the 25th fastest growing company in the UK across all sectors. CEO of BlueGnome, Nick Haan, stated,  ‘This award recognises BlueGnome’s ability to evolve as technologies for the investigation of genetic disease develop. We have a fantastic team at BlueGnome here in Cambridge and our office in the United States which enable us to achieve this level of sales growth, while also remaining profitable, even through times of recession and cut backs.’

Graham Snudden, VP Engineering, added ‘We pride ourselves on excellent customer service combined with the latest technology to allow our customers to improve the quality of their genetic services. Recent growth is mostly attributable to our 24sure technology which makes aneuploidy screening of single cells possible.’

The Fast 50 ranking reflects the fastest growing technology companies in the UK based on percentage growth in revenues over five years. The growth of BlueGnome highlights the biotech company’s new staff hires and increased productivity at their Cambridge headquarters.

BlueGnome  is a supplier of diagnostic products; microarrays, consumables, software, for molecular cytogenetics. They are a leader in in the provision of genetics tests and software for diagnosis of genetic disorders and improving fertility in IVF. To find out more, visit their website.


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Gilead Sciences to Cut Biotechnology Jobs

joblossesThe biopharmaceutical company, Gilead Sciences, has taken the decision to close its research and development operations in Durham, North Carolina. The closure will lead to biotechnology job cuts.

The company plans to close its Durham operations by the end of the year. They plan to consolidate its research and development work on treatments for hepatitis B and C to its headquarters in Foster City, California.

The biopharmaceutical company employs around 4,000 people around the world and it’s annual revenues surpassed $7 billion. Their primary areas of research include HIV/AIDS, liver disease and serious cardiovascular and respiratory conditions.

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Kirkstall Ltd is Hosting an In-Vitro Testing Event

blue-molecule-reverses-300x241The Yorkshire-based Biotechnology company, Kirkstall Ltd is hosting an event which will discuss the latest research into in-vitro testing.

Kirkstall Ltd develops innovative testing technologies at its Kroto Innovation Centre laboratories based in Sheffield. The biotech company will be hosting the event to discuss new developments in human-cell based testing in Montpellier in France on May 26th and May 26th.

Topics covered will span from regulatory procedures to reducing the need for animal testing. Not only this, but Sheila MacNeil, a professor at the University of Sheffield will be presenting her paper on 3d tissue engineering models for research and development.

Kirkstall recently received by than £100,000 of equity funding following its involvement in Grant Thornton’s Investing in Health programme. The funding has enabled the biotech company to further develop its technologies whilst building on its reputation. This has lead to the biotechnology company to win its first significant three-year contact in toxicity testing.

Managing Director of Kirkstall, Malcom Wilkinson, has stated, “We’ve had a fantastic response to the event so far with more than 90 people registered to attend. The key reason there is so much interest is that there are some serious unmet needs at the moment in toxicity testing which our technologies can address.

“It is a great opportunity to bring together leading researchers from the industry and also shows the benefits of working with academic research teams and key opinion leaders in the biotechnology market place.”

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Biotech Jobs in France Given Boost

Biotechnology Jobs, Biotechnology Recruitment, CK Science, UKThe global pharmaceutical company, Sanofi-Aventis, is set to invest over 150 million Euros to improve its biotechnology manufacturing facilities in France. The move will give a good boost to biotechnology jobs in France.

Biotech jobs will be created through a shift in chemical activities in France towards biotechnology and vaccine production by 2014.

The pharmaceutical company plans to create a new biosynthetic process in the plants of Saint-Aubin-Les-Elbeuf, in North Western France, and Vertolaye, in central France, in order to improve its global competitiveness on corticosteroid output. As a result there will be many biotechnology jobs created.

This biotechnology job creation will be off-set by plans to close the companies Romainville plant, in North Western France, by the end of 2013. Sanofi have said that this closure will be accompanied by a ‘job stimulus plan’.

Philippe Luscan, Head of Industrial Affairs stated, “There is a balance between a reduction in chemical jobs and a rise in biotechnology jobs, so the number of jobs will be steady overall.”

The project will also bring about measures to improve career progression by implementing biotechnology training programmes for 700 employees. This will be facilitated through a partnership with French Universities.

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Study Director – Molecular Biology – London, UK

Our client, is dedicated to creating the next generation of antivirals and vaccines for a number of respiratory and enteric viral diseases and their research ranges from pre-clinical (analytical) services through first-into-man (Phase 1a) studies and into human challenge studies (Phase 1b and Phase 2a proof-of-concept).  They are currently searching for an experienced Molecular Biologist to direct studies according to protocol, within specified time-frames, to GXP standards and to ensure milestones are reached for a specialist contract research organisation based in London.

The main duties of this Study Director role will include overseeing, managing and supervising all pre clinical studies and providing support to clinical studies as well as introducing new techniques and procedures to maintain scientific capability in line with competitors. You will also be heavily involved with designing and executing scientific experiments and proposing, developing and validating new methodologies

A successful Study Director, you will have excellent project management, planning and organisational skills with the ability to run multiple studies at the same time. You will be able to summarise, interpret and review data and will have the ability to draw conclusions and make recommendations. You will also be able to motivate people and be able to manage and supervise effectively. This is a client facing role and therefore strong communication skills are essential.

It is essential that you hold a BSc in a relevant subject (or equivalent) and that you have gained experience working as a Study Director. You will be adept in a wide range of Molecular Biological and Virology techniques such as cell culture, performing virology assays (e.g. HA/HI/ELISA’s/virustatic and virucidal assays), Immunology (cytokine/proliferation assay, developing reagents/markers of infection and inflammation assays), RT-PCR, site-directed mutagenesis, etc. It is also essential that you have supervisory experience along with experience of working to budgets. Any experience of Phase I/II clinical studies would be advantageous.

This is a great opportunity for the right person to develop their career with Europe’s leading CRO.


How to Apply

For more information or to apply for this Study Director role, please contact Jason Johal on 01438 723 599 or email jjohal@ckscience.co.uk.

If you do not hear back from us within 5 working days of your application for this role, it means that on this occasion you have not been shortlisted for the next stage of the recruitment campaign. Entitlement to work in the EEA is essential. Please quote reference ST19501 in all correspondence.


About CK Science

CK Science is the largest independent scientific recruitment company in the UK. Our team of specialist recruiters are here to help you achieve your career ambitions within the scientific industry. We actively offer you careers advice, help with writing your CV, assistance with interview preparation and up-to-date information about the industry. We pride ourselves on providing an honest, straight-forward and trustworthy service to both our clients and candidates.

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