Discovering a Range of Career Options in Pharmaceutical R&D

Research and development in the pharmaceutical industry is an exciting career path, with a plethora of career and job opportunities available for skilled graduates who have a strong background in the life sciences. Let’s take a look at some of the options available to life science job seekers in 2022.

The Exciting Possibilities of Drug Discovery Research

Talented graduates who want to focus on drug discovery research should find they have a wealth of career options to choose from.

These days, candidates can choose not only from positions at academic institutes and large-scale pharmaceutical companies, but also at smaller biotech’s, CROs (contract research organizations), and CMOs (contract manufacturing organizations) as well as government-funded and not-for-profit research institutions.

It’s easy to see how so many avenues present an enormous array of job opportunities for the right candidate.

Careers Outside the Lab

While lab-based jobs are the most obvious option when you’re considering a career in drug discovery research and development, there are other non-lab-based options to consider too including field application science, product management, and technical sales and support.

Big pharma companies are always on the lookout for specialists in marketing, project management, and regulatory affairs among other supporting disciplines, which require the same scientific foundations that are gained from a PhD in the life sciences sector.

Conventional or Emerging Pharmaceutical R&D

Traditionally, pharmaceutical R&D has focused on isolation, synthesis, toxicology, pharmacology, stability, formulation development, analysis, quality assurance, quality control, and drugs’ clinical data management yet there have been certain new and emerging areas that are becoming increasingly significant in the sector.

Logistics, data integrity, epidemiology, compliance, and security are all becoming more important as we move forward in the 21st century. It is, therefore, an extremely exciting time for entry-level PhD researchers to enter this sector. Becoming a Research Associate or Scientist in these areas is a fantastic opportunity for collaboration, discovery, and becoming part of a multidisciplinary team.

The Path to Promotion

From an entry-level research position, the possibilities for promotion are strong. Suitably skilled and talented candidates can become a Lab Head or take on a Team Leadership role, before taking on the challenge of becoming the Head of a research area or department. Finally, the most ambitious and able candidates can reach the heights of becoming a director should they desire to do so.

It’s clear that there is certainly no shortage of opportunities for skilled and experienced PhD graduates who are interested in taking up a role that is outside that of the traditional scope.

With so many workplace options opening up, and with the world of the life science sector taking such fascinating and innovative turns over recent years, there has never been a better time to explore a career path in pharmaceutical R&D if you want to enjoy a rewarding and lucrative role in an industry that has a thrilling future.