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Sr Data Scientist or Associate Principal Scientist

Location Cambridge, England, United Kingdom Waltham, Massachusetts, United States Job ID R-070642 Date posted 01/09/2020

Position:             Senior Data Scientist/Associate Principal Scientist in Bioinformatics (Emerging Innovations)

Based in:             Cambridge, UK or Waltham, US

Salary:                 Competitive with excellent benefits

At AstraZeneca we believe in the potential of our people and you’ll develop beyond what you thought possible. We make the most of your skills and passion by actively supporting you to see what you can achieve no matter where you start with us.

Are you an experienced bioinformatician looking for an exciting new challenge? Join our data Sciences & Quantitative Biology team in Cambridge, UK or Waltham, US and you will play a key role in using data science to enable and support our external innovation activities. You will join a multi-disciplinary team of data scientists and researchers to improve how we position drugs to target disease and translate biological questions into data science problems and solutions. You will benefit professionally as a member of a globally operating data sciences department, whilst working in an embedded environment with our Emerging Innovations Unit.

Emerging Innovations Background

The Emerging Innovations Unit (EIU) is a small, virtual and externally-focused R&D group within AstraZeneca that takes an entrepreneurial approach delivering medicines to patients.  We achieve this primarily by repurposing internal AZ assets for new diseases, both inside and outside of core therapeutic areas, through a combination of internal programs and through pioneering ‘Open Innovation’ partnerships with external investigators (refer to: The EIU also identifies and oversees the ‘incubation’ of novel technologies that could become next generation approaches to discover and/or develop innovative pharmaceuticals or assist in identifying patient populations that could benefit from our medicines. There is a strong entrepreneurial culture both for developing your own projects and for mentoring internal and external collaborators. The EIU is a sub-function of the Discovery Sciences group within AstraZeneca BioPharmaceutical R&D, as is the Data Sciences & Quantitative Biology department.  Our team is passionate about diversity and inclusion. We welcome candidates from a range of backgrounds.

 Your main responsibilities will involve

  • Collaborate effectively with multi-disciplinary colleagues and other data scientists to manage and analyse data to generate insights relating to external innovation. Work may, for example, involve text mining and NLP, molecular analytical approaches to drug repositioning, and leveraging large-cohort genetic studies.
  • Contribute to derivation and prioritisation of hypotheses for new drug positioning opportunities
  • Communicate efficiently and effectively with biologists and other scientists to understand requirements and translate them into data science problems and solutions.
  • Ensure scientific excellence in software, processes and results as well as being efficient and well documented.

Qualifications, Skills and Experience Required


  • PhD, or equivalent experience, in bioinformatics, mathematics, statistics, or the life sciences
  • A solid understanding of biological concepts, data and information types – for example relating to diseases, preclinical assays, target identification and target validation, or drug repositioning.
  • Experience with relevant computational tools such as R/R Shiny, Python, cloud-based systems, software versioning tools (e.g. Git/Github), databasing (SQL, NoSQL) and data integration.
  • Good quantitative skills and statistical knowledge
  • Experience in analysing NGS transcriptomics and genetics data
  • Ability to work effectively in global multi-disciplinary teams
  • Strong communication skills, with technical and non-technical collaborators


  • Experience in analysis of other ‘omics data, or multi-omics studies
  • Experience in drug repositioning research
  • Experience in drug discovery and disease research

If you are interested in this role, please apply by submitting your CV by 31st January 2020.

AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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Great culture, great work assignments, supportive management. Rotation opportunity within the company. They value inclusion and diversity.