Research roles might be a great fit for you if:
- You have an advanced degree in cell biology
- You’ve got great lab skills
- You want an experiment-driven role
- You’d consider employment options other than pharmaceutical companies
Research in pharma is where it all begins. For every pharmaceutical product that successfully makes it to market, there are multiple others that have been researched. Research departments look to identify promising new therapeutic agents, test their effectiveness, find suitable drug delivery mechanisms, and work to optimise drug efficiency.
As you’d expect, the science opportunities in pharma research are typically experiment-driven and lab-based.
Research roles typically require advanced degrees (sometimes a Masters if you’re also bringing additional lab skills / work experience, but usually a PhD)
The specialties companies are looking for depend on the product they’re researching. With a background in cell biology, you might find traditional pharmaceuticals or biopharmaceuticals a good starting point BUT your job prospects are probably most dependent on the lab skills you’re bringing, so don’t narrow your search too much initially.
Read lots of job adverts to get to grips with where your specialty shines.
Research is involved in the pipeline of every pharmaceutical company but they don’t always keep it in-house. While there are still some employment opportunities directly with pharmaceutical companies, it’s becoming more common for them to outsource research to private labs, contract companies, and universities.
It’s also not uncommon for research to be done by independent companies, with the rights then being sold on to pharma companies once efficacy has been determined – so you might find additional opportunities there.
Be broad with your job search – there are lots of research opportunities out there for cell biologists and cell biology graduates.