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Early Clinical Biometrics (ECB)


Location: Sweden

This programme is currently closed. Be sure to check this page regularly for any updates. 



About Early Clinical Biometrics

The Early Clinical Biometrics graduate programme is designed to provide you with the opportunity to support the design, execution, analysis and reporting of clinical studies as well as become future leaders in Biometrics.

This programme is offering permanent positions for statisticians and programmers. Graduates will receive both formal and on-the-job training and have the opportunity to network with other biometrics graduates and join the business-wide AZ graduate network.

Programme details

About Early Clinical Biometrics

Early Clinical Biometrics (ECB) are involved in the generation of evidence to determine whether promising compounds are good enough to progress to large pivotal trials. Therapy area aligned statistics groups work collaboratively with early clinical statistical programmers and data managers, together driving innovation to address the emerging challenges and opportunities within early drug development.

About the programme

  • The ECB graduate programme has 4 key elements: practical on-the-job experience, soft skills development, technical skills development, and a social graduate network.
  • You will undertake real work, collaborating with experienced staff.
  • You will have different learning experiences designed to broaden your skills and business understanding. These learning experiences may include a broad spectrum of biometrics activities from study design through to data analysis and reporting, exploratory analyses, publication work, literature reviews and support for department initiatives.
  • You will be supported with skills development relevant to your area of work, including technical skills (e.g. statistics, programming), communication and presentation skills, leadership skills and processes.
  • You will have a coach/mentor and will be encouraged to be members of relevant professional bodies.
  • You will be partnered with a more experienced team member as part of ECB’s buddy system to help support your transition from education to industry.
  • You will also have the opportunity to network with other biometrics graduates and join the business-wide AZ graduate network.

What you can expect

Through developing your expertise, you will have the opportunity to add value across a broad range of activities supporting early clinical development.  You’ll be part of a diverse and collaborative culture of support and development.

Our statisticians and programmers provide highly experienced strategic input, expertise and leadership to project teams in the design, analysis and interpretation of clinical studies. Some also lead strategic capability or business area improvements within the department and across AZ research and development.

Essential Requirements


  • MSc or PhD in Mathematics/Statistics (or equivalent)
  • Good collaboration, communication and influencing skills
  • Able to demonstrate leadership and team working
  • Good written and spoken English
  • Attention to detail, with an ability to see the ‘big picture’ at the same time
  • Passion for applying your statistical skills and an interest in pharmaceutical development


  • BSc in Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, Life or Social Sciences (or equivalent)
  • Good collaboration, communication and influencing skills
  • Able to demonstrate leadership and team working
  • Good written and spoken English
  • Attention to detail, with an ability to see the ‘big picture’ at the same time
  • Statistical or database programming knowledge (preferably SAS), and awareness of database setup
  • Passion for applying your statistical or database programming knowledge and an interest in pharmaceutical development
Our team boasts some of the most respected Statistics, Statistical Programming and Data Management experts in the industry, focussed on outstanding programme design and delivery of the quality information we need to meet our drug project objectives which drive product development.

Meet our people

Anna Koulai

Anna Koulai

I joined AstraZeneca as a Senior Statistician in April 2018 after completing my PhD in Biostatistics at the University of Cambridge. I decided to leave academia and start working in the pharmaceutical industry because I was interested in exploring the challenges of the design and analysis of clinical trials data under tight timelines. After spending 4 years working on the same topic for my PhD, I really wanted to improve my multi-tasking skills and apply my knowledge of statistics to solve real-world problems.

During my first year in the company I have been involved in different Phase I/II studies in the oncology therapeutic area, as well as university collaborations. AstraZeneca focuses on an individual’s personal development and I have been encouraged to attend conferences and courses to develop my technical skills and familiarise myself with major trends and the challenges the pharmaceutical industry is facing.

Michael Allie

Michael Allie

I joined AstraZeneca in May 2017 as a bright-eyed, junior statistical programmer. One of the first things I realised in the industry is that technical programming expertise and a broad knowledge of clinical trial data, trial conduct and therapeutic areas are equally sought out skills, with programmers generally tending to specialise in either technical or non-technical areas. I was unsure of which direction to focus my development on: I love taking on complex coding tasks, I will always have an interest in statistics after completing a statistical degree and I’m constantly fascinated to learn more about the science that drives the medicine.

Thankfully, I’ve been given many opportunities to direct my personal growth. Some of my coding tools & utilities are shared around the department, last year I presented at a major industry conference for the first time and received an award, and I’ve very recently attended a machine learning course which has given me some ideas I’m itching to try out. My manager constantly encourages me to take on exciting projects to build and broaden my skillset and my colleagues are more than happy to answer questions generated by my limited experience in certain aspects of the role and appreciate the novel ideas and approaches to solving problems which come from a fresh perspective.

I can’t wait to see what interesting opportunities cross my path next at AstraZeneca.

Elisa Natale

Elisa Natale

I joined AstraZeneca 13 months ago as a statistical programmer. Since then, I have had the chance to prove not only my programming skills, but have also been given the chance to prove other skills: managing timelines, managing the work of contractors, having a say on study decisions such as those regarding analysis and reporting. I have also had the chance to work with an international team from other countries and continents. I have also been given the chance to grow and improve based on my interests, which are always listened to.

Jianxin Wei

Jianxin Wei

I joined ECD biometrics team as senior programmer in January 2018. Here is full of talented, friendly and supportive colleagues, and it is definitely a fantastic place to work. I have worked on several clinical studies. My main role includes collaborating with CRO experts to deliver high-quality data and output for two early phase cardiovascular trials; providing programming support for our innovative endpoints in respiratory trials; working with data management experts to find best solution for data storage and transfer, etc.

As a SAS programmer in Early Clinical, I not only have opportunities to advance my programming skills but also have great opportunities to develop my communication skills, leadership and build my network. I am so proud of being part of the Early Clinical Biometrics team, contributing my expertise to our rewarding, meaningful work - bringing great medicines to patients.

Lindsey Jung

Lindsey Jung

I began my time at AstraZeneca as a study statistician in August 2018 as part of the Early Clinical Biometrics. Prior to joining, I had just graduated from a MS program at Boston University. Since I wanted to be in an environment where I could surround myself with experts from all sorts of specialties, I was drawn to the pharmaceutical industry because of the highly interdisciplinary nature of the field. AstraZeneca’s values such as “We follow the science” and “We put patients first” resonated with me and my personal desire to use my passion and skillset to make a positive impact on society.

In the past few months, I have contributed to studies investigating the pharmacokinetics for a change in drug formulation and receptor occupancy in the brain and tumor. Through these study activities, I have had the chance to advise and give input on the statistical analysis plan and interim analyses, while planning for future key timepoints. In addition to those, I supported other projects with ad-hoc work such as tracking and reviewing final outputs.

One of the most exciting perks of my time here at AstraZeneca so far has been the concentrated focus on my personal development. As a graduate, fresh out of school and without much background in the clinical trial realm, all of the extra attention on my training has been indispensable to my growth so far. I am especially looking forward to attending an off-site seminar and taking an online course I have been approved for to supplement my everyday work. With the diverse assortment of duties, people, and indications, AstraZeneca has more than enough to keep me motivated and excited for the future of my career.

Wenjing Xin

Wenjing Xin

My name is Wenjing Xin. I am from China and I am working in Early Clinical Biometrics as a senior statistician. I joined the group 2.5 years ago and I indeed enjoy my time being part of the team.  Projects in Early Clinical Biometrics are dynamic with fast turnaround times, allowing you to experience different types of projects in a short period of time. My colleagues are from different countries with different backgrounds. They are open-minded, easy to approach to ask questions and kindly offer their help to each other. So Early Clinical Biometrics is a great team working together!

Explore our other programmes

Explore our other programmes

Explore our other programmes

US Commercial Leadership Development Program

Locations: Wilmington, DE and Gaithersburg, MD
Salary: Competitive plus benefits and relocation support
Applications: Now closed

Leadership Careers at AstraZeneca

Are you looking for a leadership career in a global pharmaceutical company that turns ideas into life-changing medicines? Would you relish the opportunity to demonstrate your entrepreneurial flair, think big and collaborate with great minds to make the impossible a reality? Are you fascinated by the potential of science to address unmet patient needs around the world?

Join AstraZeneca’s US Commercial Leadership Development Program as a Commercial Leadership Associate. Each and every one of us believes that science has the ability to change lives – and to make this happen, we don’t just hire ‘scientists’ but people from diverse backgrounds who can bring us different skillsets.

Program details

About the program

Our Leadership Rotational Program is designed for current MBA graduates with a passion for science and real desire to pursue a career in healthcare management. Over the three years, CLDPs will gain an invaluable combination of hands-on experience and unparalleled networking opportunities to accelerate your career development.

As a Commercial Leadership Associate, you’ll take on a stretching, cohort-based project aligned to a key business challenge. There will also be a significant investment in your development to build your leadership, management and coaching abilities.

What you can expect

As a cohort on our US Commercial MBA Leadership Rotational Program, you’ll make a pivotal contribution to the development and execution of our commercial operations to maximize the value of our already strong and exciting pipeline.

You will:

  • Undertake three eight-month rotations tailored to your background and business fit/opportunities.
  • Spend a week in our Medical Affairs team during your first rotation.
  • Undertake an International Rotation during your second and third rotations.
  • Take a 12-month consolidation placement role that provides a leadership opportunity.
  • Develop critical business acumen through exposure to core functions – Sales, Marketing, Market Access, Commercial Operations, and etc.
  • Build key skills to be a successful senior leader – skills that include project management, P&L, direct/indirect reporting, product launches, sales, market access strategy and scientific collaboration.
  • Receive a competitive salary, benefits and relocation support.

What will you be doing?

As a Commercial Leadership Associate, you’ll work closely with our Therapeutic Areas – Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism; Oncology; Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity; Infection and Neuroscience – to develop and measure aspects of marketing. Specific emphasis will be placed on opportunity assessments, channel leadership, positioning, messaging, and launch and lifecycle planning.

You’ll assist key customers in interpreting market access information and providing insights to support business decisions – as well as helping customers utilize these insights to shape future strategic initiatives. The role will also entail working closely with the Commercial Leadership Team to capture ad-hoc data questions and desired outcomes, make recommendations, and provide insight and guidance to further progress market access insight tools and capabilities.

Essential requirements

What we’re looking for:

Qualifications & experience

  • Current year MBA graduates relevant to the pursuit of a career in healthcare management
  • Demonstrable record of academic achievement.
  • 2-3 years of work experience prior to your MBA – pharmaceutical and multi-industry experience is strongly preferred.
  • Understanding of the market access landscape and experience of secondary analysis.
  • Experience in managed markets’ internal and external information sources, including sales data reporting, analysis and customer targeting strategies/methods.

Skills & knowledge

  • Willing to relocate
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Outstanding work ethic
  • Agility and ability to develop leadership potential
  • Analytical, problem solving, forecasting, contract development and financial modeling skills

Explore our other programmes

Data Sciences & AI Graduate Programme

Location: Cambridge, UK / Boston, US / Gothenburg, Sweden

Salary: Competitive salary and excellent benefits package. Relocation support available (if required)


About Data Sciences & AI

AstraZeneca is a global, science led biopharmaceutical business and our innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Artificial Intelligence (AI), including deep learning (computer algorithms inspired by biological neural networks), is revolutionising all stages of drug discovery and development from drug design to pivotal clinical trials and beyond. At AstraZeneca, we are deploying AI across the drug discovery phases to discover new connections between data, provide novel insights, accelerate scientific understanding, and increase productivity.  For example, we are using AI to help design and synthesise new drug molecules, analyse and interpret the vast amount of data from imaging studies, and for biomarker research to match the right drug to the right patient. In our clinical trials, AI is also enabling us to continuously monitor incoming safety data and alert our scientists to safety signals that need attention. 

Programme details

About the programme

Imagine turning your passion for Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence into insights, predictions and actions that could help develop medicines that change lives. Pushing the frontiers of innovation. Collaborating with some of the finest minds in their fields. Working in an environment that stimulates your curiosity, and enables you to develop your expertise and reach your potential.

As a Data Scientist and AI Graduate you will help our scientists make their data ‘AI-ready’, and integrate the latest AI advances into all our drug development programmes.  Together we will harness the power of our data and AI to deliver life-changing medicines to patients worldwide. 

What you can expect

Your two-year programme begins with an introduction to drug discovery, and how we harness the potential of Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. You’ll then select two eight-month placements where you’ll apply your developing skills and experience to help us overcome challenges in some of our active research projects.

Your placements will help you develop your technical skills and industry knowledge, and on our Global Graduate Development Programme you’ll develop the interpersonal and business skills that will set you up for success.

Throughout the programme you’ll work alongside our experts, and take advantage of our close collaborations with leading international academic institutions and organisations to deliver work with real impact.

Placements could involve…

  • Applying the latest techniques in machine learning and artificial intelligence to preclinical data from drug projects to help detect and understand safety risks and guide the development of new medicines. Exciting work which could also help us refine, reduce and replace animal experiments.
  • Combining innovative de novo molecule design methodologies utilizing state-of-the-art artificial intelligent technologies with chemistry automation to design novel molecules of therapeutic interest.
  • Working with our Quantitative Clinical Pharmacology Team to optimizing clinical development programs using Bayesian statistic and machine learning modelling.
  • Developing Bayesian machine learning models for predicting the mechanism and probability of drug toxicity in liver, heart, and other organs. Incorporating existing knowledge of causal relationships and toxicity mechanisms into the prediction problem, and applying Bayesian models to account for uncertainty to improve predictions.
  • Contributing to challenging projects using advanced Machine Learning models to improve drug discovery by generating testable hypotheses about targets, predicting compound properties, automating complex decision-making processes, and turning data into knowledge.
  • Applying Artificial Intelligence to integrated electronic health records and genomic data to redefine cancers and help improve patient outcomes.

As a Data Sciences and AI Graduate you’ll discover how we’re pioneering more open innovation, and actively sharing knowledge and ideas to make the next scientific breakthrough.

You can also expect a competitive salary and benefits, as well as support with relocation. If you join us in Sweden you’ll also receive Swedish language lessons.

Qualifications and Skills Required:

  • Highly numerate with a strong Maths, Physics, Statistics or Computer Science focussed Bachelors or Masters level qualification gained in 2018 or 2019.
  • A postgraduate qualification in Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Computational Biology, Computational Chemistry, Bioinformatics or Cheminformatics would be advantageous, but is not essential.
  • Innovative thinking, with enthusiasm, energy and drive.
  • Open-minded, and ready to embrace new ideas and different perspectives.
  • Strong critical thinking, planning, organisational and time management skills.
  • Ability to work as part of a collaborative team that focuses unequivocally on patient needs.

“There is an expanding universe of biological data available which can revolutionise our understanding of disease and therapy if we find innovative ways to share and explore it.”

To find out more about Jonathan, click here

Jonathan Dry Principal Scientist, Bioinformatics, Oncology, IMED Biotech Unit

Explore our other programmes

AstraZeneca Operations

Delivering our life-changing medicines

Working across the business

Operations at AstraZeneca brings innovation from our science labs to patients, touching every part of the business. As such, we have a pivotal role to play in helping our company embody its purpose and achieve its bold ambition.

We support teams at every step of the way, turn theory into reality, and provide a platform for everything we do as a business. Operations plays a key role in the development, manufacturing, testing and delivery of our medicines to our customers. We can have a positive influence on every part of the product life-cycle.

With 12,500 employees working across 18 countries and 30 production facilities, we account for around 20% of the company’s global workforce. Every one of us is contributing each day to getting our life-changing medicines to patients who need them – with the highest levels of quality, care and efficiency. We are focused on improving and saving lives and there is no greater satisfaction than that.

Alongside this, we challenge ourselves every day to improve in every area, to think Lean, and deliver simplification across everything we do.

Collaboration within Global Operations and across the enterprise is critical to what we do. Our goal is to build a culture of working together to find creative and innovative solutions for our supply chain challenges and to drive high-quality, efficient and effective delivery in every market, across every brand.  

About AstraZeneca Operations Graduate Programmes

Within Operations, we have opportunities for ambitious graduates across three Global Graduate Programmes: Operations; IT and Pharmaceutical Technology and Development (PT&D). For further information and to apply for any of these programmes, please click on the icons below:

Global Operations

Global Operations

Global Operations incorporates:

Supply Regions

Our three Supply Regions – the Americas, Europe Middle East & Africa, Asia Pacific & Japan – represent the manufacturing engines within our global supply chain for small molecules. With 29 production facilities across 17 countries they deliver a large scope of activity that includes sourcing, manufacturing, fill/ finish, packaging, and distribution. Our site teams are committed to ensuring a reliable and efficient supply of life-changing medicines where and when they are needed.

Global Biologics Operations

From the 1980’s to present day, biologics have reshaped the face of medicine in many disease areas. Developed using living organisms, biologics make up nearly 50% of the AstraZeneca pipeline. It is responsible for the manufacturing of drug substance and drug product for biologics and getting innovative new medicines to the patients who urgently need them. With manufacturing sites in Europe and the U.S., the Biologics network is rapidly expanding to meet growing demand.

Global Quality

Our Global Quality team ensures the delivery of safe, effective and compliant medicines to patients – setting standards and applying scientific and technical expertise across the world to help maintain our reputation and license to operate.

They are valued partners in all parts of the life cycle of an AstraZeneca medicine, from development though commercial manufacture to marketing and distribution, giving a broad platform on which to operate. They also use their experience externally, being well respected as external advocates in the regulatory environment, and work with industry colleagues to shape new and changing regulations

Global Supply Chain & Strategy

Global Supply Chain and Strategy (GSC&S) leads the design, planning, and development of AstraZeneca’s supply chains.  They ensure we use our manufacturing sites in the best way and have a joined-up approach across our global supply chain. GSC&S also acts as a bridge between our Commercial organisation and Operations, managing these relationships via a single point of contact.  The team also leads on key strategic initiatives such as packaging strategy and product security to ensure we adhere to pharmaceutical manufacturing legislation, and lead on good supply chain practice.

Global External Sourcing

Global External Sourcing (GES) supports the Operations strategy by establishing and managing suppliers across the world that meet our global standards. They play a key role in ensuring the external supply chains we utilise are stable and that robust processes and standards are in place. They also play an important role in supporting the introduction of new products by working closely with suppliers who are experts in technology, and in the formulation of products in which AstraZeneca does not specialise – such as gels, liquids and capsules.

Global Procurement

We all buy things, right?  However, AstraZeneca’s Procurement professionals are skilled in the art of developing and executing supplier strategies, running sourcing projects and managing supplier relationships.  This means that our customers will have access to the right suppliers to deliver goods and services when needed to the required timelines, quality and price. Procurement is a function of approximately 450 highly skilled professionals globally that help AstraZeneca efficiently source goods and services, ranging from stationary through to complex drug discovery and development services and manufacturing of finished drug products for patients.

Facilities Management

The Facilities Management (FM) team in Cambridge is tasked with the important job of looking at ways the quality of life of employees across our sites can be improved through simplified and seamless services, with the aim of ensuring that facilities are managed with employees in mind helping to ‘give time back to science’. Our priorities are far reaching and all inclusive, from Engineering and Asset Management, Safety Health and Environmental support, Occupational Health and Wellbeing, Supply Chain and Logistics management, Scientific Services, Business Continuity, and Workplace services. Within the Cambridge FM team, we are designing, developing and mobilising leading edge services to create a brilliant platform for science, an environment that fosters collaborations and solutions that maximise workplace and scientific productivity – ensuring that the Cambridge Campus is home to an iconic, world leading R&D centre, that is open to innovation and collaboration, and truly a great place to work.

To find out more and apply, visit our dedicated Operations Global Graduate Associates Programme page.

AZ IT Leadership Programme

AZ IT Leadership Programme


In Astra Zeneca IT, we are helping to push the boundaries of technology to help deliver life changing medicines to our patients.

Our strategy is predominantly focussed on two key areas; delivering a brilliant IT service to our customers every day and driving our digital landscape to continuously innovate and transform, ensuring all our teams have the very best tech solutions to continue to do great work, supporting our patients.

We know the only way we can achieve this, is by having the best people in our team. People who put our patients at the heart of every decision they make, who bring their passion and enthusiasm for technology and innovation every day, who bring energy and confidence to challenge the status quo in the right way and who continuously act in line with our Values to make sure we do the right thing.

These people are people like you; to apply to join our IT Leadership Programme click IT Leadership Programme

AZ Pharmaceutical Technology & Development Graduate Programme

AZ Pharmaceutical Technology & Development Graduate Programme

Pharmaceutical Technology & Development (PT&D)

PT&D is the bridge that turns brilliant science into the medicines that patients need and are waiting for.

This Team is accountable for the design and development of commercial products and processes, clinical supplies, approvals and technical support. It supports new product and commercial introduction and provides our manufacturing network with the capability it needs to effectively manage post-launch robustness.

To find out more and apply, visit our dedicated Pharmaceutical Technology & Development (PT&D) Graduate Programme page.

Explore our other programmes

Biometrics and Information Sciences (B&I) Graduate Programme

Locations: Cambridge, UK, Gothenburg, Sweden or Warsaw, Poland
Salary: Competitive

Applications now closed


About Biometrics and Information Sciences (B&I)

The Biometrics and Information Sciences (B&I) graduate programme is designed to provide you with the opportunity to support analysis and reporting as well as become future leaders for the Biometrics and Information Sciences function. The programme includes Statisticians, Programmers and Information Scientists.  

This programme is offering permanent positions for statisticians and programmers and fixed term contracts for information scientists, during the first two years graduates work on real drug development projects. Graduates receive on the job training and will also participate in the global Biometrics and Information Sciences structured graduate training programme. B&I has an active graduate network across all skills and there are opportunities to join the business wide AZ graduate network.

Programme details

About B&I

Biometrics & Information Sciences (B&I) is the home of late stage development biometrics activity at AstraZeneca. B&I drive good design to generate the data needed for quality decision making on AstraZeneca’s late stage Projects. The goal of B&I is to deliver value to the pipeline by excellence in delivery, improving decision making, and engaging and shaping the external environment whilst accessing and implementing innovative solutions.

Therapy Area aligned activities are supported by the novel Advanced Analytics Centre (AAC) & Information Practice Unit. AAC are tasked with developing and delivering cutting edge solutions to critical scientific and business issues in drug development. The Information Practice drives the creative use of both internally and externally sourced information in design and decision-making. They are leaders in good information practice, encouraging efficiency and information re-use.

B&I is part of our Global Medicines Development (GMD) division, the area of our business responsible for Drug Development - progressing innovative molecules into medicines.

About the programme

  • The B&I graduate programme has 4 key elements, experiential learning, skills development, team work and leadership development and a social network.
  • All graduates will undertake real work, collaborating with experienced staff. During the first two years you will have different learning experiences designed to build broader skills and increase broader business understanding. These learning experiences may involve design of studies, supporting the development of reporting standards, analysis of studies, supporting regulatory submissions, payer dossiers, publications, conducting literature reviews, use of observational data, modelling and simulation, trial transparency working in different Therapy Areas (TAs) or sites.
  • You will be supported with skills development relevant to your area of work and this will include; processes, ways of working  quality management, risk management, standards, SAS training (if required), skill specific training (eg. Statistics, programming and text mining, information search and retrieval).  You will have a coach/mentor and will be encouraged to be members of relevant professional bodies.
  • There will be graduate development events focussed on personal effectiveness, team effectiveness and leadership skills.


In addition Graduates will become part of ‘BIG’ Biometrics and Information Sciences Graduate Network which provides a network across current and previous B&I Graduates which aims to build understanding of roles within B&I and sharing project knowledge. It is organised by the graduates for the graduates with monthly presentations. BIG also operates a ‘Buddy System’ which partners a more experienced graduate or recent hire to help new graduates initially in the transition from study to Industry. Graduates can also join the across AZ Graduate network.

What you can expect

Through developing your expertise, you will have the opportunity to add value in a broad range of B&I disciplines, including model-based drug development, real world evidence, health technology assessment, safety science and personalised healthcare. So you know you’ll be part of a diverse and collaborative culture of support and development.

Our Statisticians, Programmers and Information Scientists provide highly experienced strategic input, expertise, and leadership to project teams in the design, analysis and interpretation of clinical studies and programmes of studies. Some also lead strategic capability or business area improvements within the department and across AZ research and development.

Essential Requirements


  • Able to demonstrate leadership skills and team working
  • Good written and verbal communication skills
  • MS/MSc (or local equivalent) in Mathematics, Statistics. Relevant PhD would be desirable.


  • Programming knowledge (preferably SAS)
  • Awareness of database set-up and report publishing requirements
  • Able to demonstrate leadership and team working
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • BSc (or local equivalent) in Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science or Life Science.

Information Scientist

  • Able to demonstrate leadership skills and team working
  • Good written and verbal communication skills
  • Research Skills
  • Information handling Skills e.g. literature review, knowledge management
  • At least a second class honours degree(or local equivalent) in Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science or Life Science.
Our team boasts some of the most respected Statistics, Statistical Programming, Information Scientists and Advanced Analytics experts in the industry, focussed on outstanding programme design and delivery of the quality information we need to meet our drug project objectives which drive product development.

Meet our people

Meet James

Meet James

I started my two-year graduate placement at AstraZeneca back in September 2015 within Information Practice of Biometrics & Information Sciences, under the title of Clinical Information Scientist.

During this time, I have been lucky enough to work on a variety of different projects. These have spanned exploratory analyses using Real World Evidence for a collaborative publication with PatientsLikeMe, to supporting immuno-oncology drug team activities.

What all the experiences on the graduate scheme have had in common is the chance to learn something new, building upon my knowledge and open up new opportunities. For example, I started out in one of my first projects learning to use text mining software to create a nausea side effect database from the FDA Drug Product Labels, this subsequently lead to using text mining in other areas, like performing literature searches to support the design of new studies.

Furthermore, a key benefit to doing a graduate scheme with AstraZeneca is the company’s keen focus on an individual’s personal development; I have thoroughly enjoyed the way in which I have been actively encouraged to pursue my interests throughout my time with AZ.

Meet Martin

Meet Martin

I joined AstraZeneca as a graduate statistician in 2006, then based in Alderley Park in Cheshire. I had just finished my studies at Cambridge University (MMath in mathematics / part III of the Tripos) and wanted a job that would both challenge me and also be part of a wider practical purpose. Working as a statistician in the pharmaceutical industry seemed to meet that brief.

Over the last 10 years I have progressed through several promotions to the level of Statistical Science Director. I act as the Global Product Statistician (GPS) which means that I have responsibility for leading the statistical components and strategy for a drug product that is in clinical development. I enjoy the fact that statisticians can play in influential role and guide the strategy of drug projects rather than being seen purely as number-crunchers.

I have been well supported in my personal development at AstraZeneca and have been given opportunities to develop my technical skills, test my leadership abilities and experience new areas. I began my career at AstraZeneca supporting translational science work (i.e. at the very start of the clinical development work for a drug in humans) and have experienced all the phases of development right up to marketed products. I have been able to work in several therapy areas, specialising in particular in auto-immune diseases, rheumatology and respiratory diseases.

In my experience, AstraZeneca are good at nurturing talent and support staff when there are areas that they want to develop. Aside from drug project work I have been able to lead several projects that have supported my own personal development. These include being able to spend time on novel methodological work (in adaptive designs) and also having the chance to lead a cross-industry Special Interest Group as part of PSI (Statisticians in the Pharmaceutical Industry – a cross-industry society for biostatisticians).

For several years I ran graduate outreach activities for our department visiting biostatistics masters students at several UK universities and giving the students a sense of what working in the industry was like. I truly believe that graduate recruitment brings new energy to our department and builds our group’s strength for the long term.

Last year I made the move from Cheshire down to Cambridge in preparation for the new R&D site being built in the city. It is an exciting time to see what the future in our new location will bring.

Meet Karin

Meet Karin

Hello, I joined AZ in 2004 as a graduate statistician based in Alderley Park, after finishing my MSc at Southampton university. Whilst at uni, I remember seeing a number of ‘roadshows’ from different companies during my MSc, including AZ, and they gave me good insight into the work of pharmaceutical statistics.  The first study I worked on was a Phase I volunteer study looking at the effect of food on the pharmacokinetics of a drug and it had no missing data – I didn’t appreciate at the time what a rarity that situation was!  Since then I’ve worked on PI-PIII studies, primarily in oncology and have had many great opportunities (a highlight being working on Lynparza) and made great friends.

I progressed from statistician, to senior statistician, to Principal Statistician, to Statistical science director and my job now is a Biometrics Team Leader, so a blended role that involves both project accountabilities for the biometrics input on a project, and being a line manager (with the opportunity to develop others).  New opportunities still present themselves, and in 2015 I moved (with my family) to the USA and I’m now based out of the Gaithersburg office (just outside Washington D.C.), and in 2016 I moved into a new therapeutic area, supporting Respiratory.  So 13 years on and I am still learning and I hope that always continues.

Meet Jack

Meet Jack

I studied Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford, graduating in 2015. It was towards the end of my final year, in the middle of a cricket match, I received a call at deep point from a recruitment agency. Was I interested in working at a big pharma company? Yes. Would I like to learn how to program in SAS? Why not. In the summer of my second year I had completed an internship in New York at a biotech hedge fund, so I was already looking for opportunities to continue working in biotech or pharmaceuticals, ideally making use of my scientific background. I hadn’t heard of SAS before, but an initial cursory google with the limited 3G at third man and a more thorough investigation when I got home had me seeing this as a fantastic opportunity to potentially start a fulfilling and exciting career in an industry I was and am genuinely interested in. An important point to note at this point is that I had not been told that the ‘big pharma company’ was AZ, but I had worked it out when I was informed I would be based in Cheshire. Another crucial detail is that I wouldn’t be employed by the pharma company; I was to be employed by a SAS consultancy that specialises in training graduates in SAS and sending them to client sites, usually banks, but also pharma companies like AZ.

In the midst of my preparation for my imminent finals, I went for the interview at the SAS consultancy in Cumbria, did some tests, went through a formal interview day, and I got the gig. I found out the client site I was to be based at was indeed, AstraZeneca, but only if I passed an interview day there. Before my interview day at AZ I decided that if I was not offered a place on the programming team I wouldn’t pursue the SAS consultancy -  I wasn’t interested in working in a bank. It also wasn’t a given that if I was successful I would take the position. However, during my preparation for the interview day at AZ I found myself wanting this job more and more. I was particularly drawn to the AZ values; ‘following the science’ is a fantastic way to work and something that I had been hoping to do in my career for a while. The opportunity to do it so early was amazing and something I became determined not to pass up. It was also clear that AZ were looking to take on successful graduate programmers permanently. I was successful on the interview day and began my SAS training in June 2015, before my last term at university had ended. Sometimes I wonder if starting so early was worth it – it was. In August 2015 I started working at the client site; AstraZeneca.

Throughout my first year contracting at AZ I had one goal; get a permanent contract with AZ by August 2016. I spent my first six months working at Alderley Park before making the move to the Cambridge area in February 2016. In the six months that followed I like to think I sealed the deal with AZ and was offered a permanent contract, which I was pleased to accept. By this time I had found myself really enjoying working in the Biometrics & Information Sciences team and invested in the projects I was working on; I simply did not want to leave. AstraZeneca strives to be a great place to work and I believe that the commitment to putting patients first, entrepreneurial spirit, doing the right thing, playing to win and following the science sets AZ apart from other pharmaceutical companies, and indeed other companies that my graduate peers are working at. I look forward to the rest of my journey at AZ and the exciting places my career will take me.

Meet Teodora

Meet Teodora

Any graduate student is concerned with what the next step in their career development would be. As an international student in Sweden, I felt unsure about the career opportunities that lay ahead. Nonetheless, I aspired to find my dream job, where I would work in an international environment; be involved in a meaningful work applying the skills and knowledge that I have acquired in university; meet challenges, which would help me develop further and would make my days interesting; do something that makes me proud. AstraZeneca’s graduate programme provided me with exactly this opportunity. In August 2015, I started as a statistician working on anifrolumab. Since then, among other things, I have been involved in conducting exploratory analyses, planning the statistical aspects of future anifrolumab studies, developing new endpoint to be used in lupus studies, and co-authoring publications. The job has been a good mix of theoretical research and practical work and suits my interests perfectly. I am happy that for this 18 months my responsibilities have increased greatly and it feels wonderful to be contributing to such a meaningful to patients and scientists work.

Meet Tom

Meet Tom

I have been with Astrazeneca for over 2 years now, after completing a Masters course at Lancaster University. Initially, I started as AstraZeneca in Biometrics and Information Sciences at Alderley Park in UK before transferring to Gothenburg. Within my time at Astrazeneca I have worked on a number of treatments in the inflammation therapeutic area as well as a number of specialist tasks and university collaborations. Using my degrees in mathematics and statistics to help improve the lives of people is incredibly rewarding. The broad spectrum of opportunities and challenges that I’m faced with daily come with the support of fantastic colleagues who are always willing to help. I would highly recommend becoming an Astrazeneca graduate recruit to anyone interested.

Explore our other programmes

IT Leadership Programme

Locations: US, UK, Sweden
Salary: Competitive

This programme is currently closed. Be sure to check this page regularly for any updates.

About IT leadership

Science led. IT driven.

Operating in over 100 countries and employing over 59,000 people, AstraZeneca is investing billions in research and development. Developing life-changing medicines is our purpose and IT are at the heart of us achieving that!

We need great people who share our passion for technology led science, are driven, determined and hard-working. Who challenge to innovate and make a meaningful difference.

Programme details

About the programme

In AstraZeneca IT, we are at the forefront of discovering and driving digital health and workplace automation to ensure our scientists can continue to develop more and more life-changing medicines and our core and enabling teams have the capacity to focus on the really important stuff that makes us successful.

As part of the AstraZeneca IT Leadership Programme you have the opportunity to play a critical role in us achieving this, now and in the future.

Starting in 2019, the three-year programme comprises three rotations, each lasting eight months, followed by a year-long placement in a role that aligns to your passion, interest and skillset, our business objectives, whilst ensuring we offer you continued development and challenge.

Throughout your time on the IT Leadership programme you could be responsible for working with our customers and IT teams to deliver technology solutions that help our scientists, our sales teams and our enabling functions to do their best work. You could be responsible for data sourcing and visualisation, supporting our business to make solid, data-driven decisions. You could be exploring possible tech solutions and implementing them to support process automation – the possibilities are endless.

The flexibility of the programme enables you to work with us to drive your own journey through the programme, often working with various customer groups to truly influence and improve the way our business operates.

Meet our people

Meet Charitha

Meet Charitha

Starting my career with the graduate programme in AZ is very exciting. I am sure that this programme is going to help me to identify my passion and build a good platform to my career by providing good choices and opportunities in learning new technologies.

I love the way how this programme is structured. Providing the opportunity to explore in different areas in AZ will definitely be helpful to choose and build the right path of my career.

Meet Louise

Meet Louise

I am currently working in the Project Delivery Team in Operations IT. I have a background in Industrial Engineering and Management with a M.Sc. in Supply Chain Management. I am from Sweden but have conducted three of four rotations in Macclesfield, UK, close to Manchester.

When I started this programme I started working in a new country, new industry, new company and did not know anything about how IT operates. I was faced with the challenge to learn a lot in a short time to be able to contribute and start delivering. Since then my experiences from the programme range from working with event planning and marketing to improving the user experience of our installation process of our corporate operating system.

In my first rotation, I was working in the team responsible for diagnosing and implementing changes to AstraZeneca IT’s operating model of and our process framework. I also started working with change communication related to the organisational design where I lead the production of a short animated film with an external animation bureau, never thought I’d do that while working in IT!

I had another great role in my second rotation where I had the opportunity to work with the service introduction for the new corporate operating system. I also helped initiate and develop a process to manage the new innovative way we manage updates to our operating system, Evergreen. I developed a lot in this role as I was exposed to both the technical constraints as well as the business impacts of introducing Evergreen updates, which I had never even heard of a year ago.

In my current rotation I am working in the Project Delivery Team in Operations IT. I am working with a super exciting project where AstraZeneca is building a new highly automated warehouse system complete with robots and all. My role is to map out the new business processes to design how the warehouse is going to operate for the systems lifecycle, potentially for 30 years!

Within my rotations I have been able to test and learn many of the new methods which are buzzword in the tech world, such as User Experience Research, Lean Innovation and Agile Project Delivery. A place like AstraZeneca IT is the right place to learn how to use concepts like these as you can try them out in a live environment with colleagues and stakeholders who want to see you succeed. I encourage anyone who is interested in technology and want to get insight in how to manage a global business to apply to the Global IT Leadership Programme!

Meet Sam

Meet Sam

Hi, I’m Sam and I’m currently helping start up our new Boulder manufacturing facility. I have a background in computer science and bioengineering, and have always been keenly interested in seeing the intersection of these two dynamic disciplines. This program has been an amazing experience as it has allowed me the opportunity to undertake exciting and challenging roles.

During my first rotation in Operations IT I worked on projects alongside our innovations team and was able to really experience and learn about project lifecycles. One of my main projects was implementing a real-time distribution tracking software that allowed us better visibility into shipment lead times. Not only was this beneficial in helping our distribution team get better information into our current system, but it also helped in illustrating how we can better get important medicines to our patients.

In my second rotation in Research and Development Information, I worked very closely with the project manager of a real world evidence visualization tool that was in development. This was a great learning experience as it allowed me to work alongside clinicians, data scientists, and our health informatics team. This application will help us realize the potential of our real world evidence data assets and will allow us to generate quicker and deeper insights informing better business decisions.

As mentioned, I am currently in my third rotation at our new Boulder, CO facility. As one can imagine it takes a lot of work to bring a plant such as this online and operational, and I have stayed extremely busy since first arriving. Going through these first two rotations in more established facilities allowed me to apply a lot of what I had learned to our new site while also recognizing room for improvements. I think this has been a common theme not just with myself but with other IT Graduates also, that with each rotation we find ourselves being able to contribute and provide progressively more value.

The IT Graduate Programme is perfect for anyone who is hoping to gain in-depth exposure to the countless interactions between technology and healthcare. This programme does a great job providing resources who are passionate about helping you develop while at AZ. I would highly recommend this programme, as it allows you to explore various rotations and positions for which you have a genuine interest, while providing a robust support structure to further your development.

Meet Kraig

Meet Kraig

Hello, I’m Kraig and I currently work within Global Commercial IT based out of Wilmington, Delaware. In this role, I’m helping to design and implement a digital simplification project that will streamline the presence of our global digital approach across roughly 35 of our global markets.  

I started with AstraZeneca in July 2015 in IT Security where I rolled out an “Information Security as a Culture (ISaaC)” program. The goal of the program was to transform the culture at AstraZeneca, creating a secure working environment centred on protecting company and employee assets, as well as patient information. 

In my second rotation, I moved into Operations IT in the Americas Region team working as a Business Analyst on multiple innovation initiatives. One of the projects I worked on was to deliver an application to digitalize the production communication boards.  The app is currently used in Sweden and is being considered for Global use.  In this role I also developed a demand management strategy and platform to capture the wide amount of demands placed on Operations IT for one of our key manufacturing sites in Newark, Delaware. 

The IT Leadership Programme allows you to build your work experience and to develop your skills through a broad support network designed for you to succeed. The flexibility offered by the program allows you to choose from a variety of roles within IT. Not only does this provide a customized experience tailored to your professional development, but it allows you to build capabilities and connections that can springboard you into a senior technology role upon completion. It’s has been an amazing experience so far, and I am so proud to have worked with teams across the globe using, developing, and implementing technology that will benefit the company – and the millions of patients and customers it serves – for years to come.

Explore our other programmes

Pharmaceutical Technology & Development (PT&D) Graduate Programme

Locations: Macclesfield, UK; or Gothenburg, Sweden
Salary: Competitive

This programme is currently closed. Be sure to check this page regularly for any updates. 

About PT&D

As a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business, we employ around 50,000 people worldwide. Our goal is to make a real impact on some of the greatest medical challenges facing humanity.

That simply wouldn't be possible without our incredible PT&D team. They are responsible for designing and developing the innovative products and manufacturing processes that change patients' lives every day from concept right through to delivery. This is your chance to be a part of that change.

Programme details

About the programme

If you share our passion for science and technology, and want to make a genuine difference to the lives of patients, today and in the future, then the PT&D graduate programme was made for you. The programme is all about looking forward, using ground breaking science and technology to meet the needs of patients.

We can't develop the kind of incredible medicines we do, without developing people first. And to do that, we have an incredible culture of support and collaboration, as well as the tools, rewards and opportunities you need to take your scientific career further. As a graduate, you'll be working on a variety of projects, with some of the world's most experienced scientists. So every day will be an opportunity to learn and grow, and enjoy making your talent count.

What does the programme involve?

The two-year programme starts in September 2019 and includes three distinct rotations through different areas of PT&D. These will provide you with broad exposure to multiple areas of basic and applied scientific research, and experience of the medicines design, development and commercialisation process through the application of science on development projects. You can choose from a wide range of placements and we'll do all we can to meet your preferences. 

You'll also complete our global graduate development programme. Three times over the two years, you'll be part of a graduate cohort that comes together in one of our global locations to develop the leadership and self-management skills required for success. You can expect a competitive salary and benefits, potential for future employment and mentor support from the outset.

Essential requirements

What we're looking for:

  • High-achieving, technically expert graduates in chemistry, physics, chemical or mechanical engineering, pharmacy or related subjects who have completed their first degree or Masters in 2017/18, or are due to graduate by September 2019 with a 2:1 or higher or equivalent grading
  • Innovative thinkers whose enthusiasm matches their scientific expertise
  • Confidence and desire to tackle new challenges and work situations with ease
  • Energy and motivation to be part of a team that believes collaboration is key to meeting the unmet needs of patients.

It is the people that make AstraZeneca and we take great pride in ensuring our people reach their full potential. Pharmaceutical Technology & Development (PT&D) is an exciting place to be right now, providing a wealth of scientifically challenging opportunities providing personal growth and professional development.

Any graduate joining PT&D will, from day one, be part of a team applying brilliant science and engineering to turn molecules into medicines. The variety of experiences gained from rotation through different placements provides an invaluable breadth of business awareness and understanding from which to build an exciting career in AstraZeneca

Dafni Bika VP & Global Head of PT&D

Meet our people

Meet Annika

Meet Annika

Heya, I'm Annika and I'm a Scientist in the PT&D Graduate programme. I'm originally from Finland and started in the company by doing my master's thesis in the field of continuous wet granulation in Drug Product Manufacture in Gothenburg, Sweden. I had a blast doing the thesis and learned a lot during the months spent in the lab among all the AZ scientists. I appreciated the great feeling of co-operation where everyone was working together towards the same goals. And even as a master's thesis student I really felt like being part of the team. During this time I got to know some of the graduates in the PT&D and IMED programmes at Gothenburg site through a young-minded organisation called AZ Youth. I saw how the graduates were doing all this cool science and having the emphasis on learning while contributing to the drug projects. It sounded a good way to start your career.

After my thesis, I was eager to learn more about pharmaceutical industry, work with the experts in this field and see more of the different functions and departments. I wanted to focus on the later stages of drug development which made applying for the PT&D graduate programme an easy choice. I luckily was accepted to start in September 2015 and have loved it ever since. 

My first placement was in Inhalation Devices and Packaging in Product Development, Gothenburg, Sweden. I am a pharmacist by background and being part of a team of engineers was challenging at first and ended up being very fascinating in the end. I learned a ton! I focused mainly on the usability aspects and reviewed all the human factor studies made by my department, looking at how the patients interacted with the devices we were designing and helped to improve the design and instructions to further improve the usability of our devices. Since AZ has a big respiratory pipeline and a lot of collaboration inside and outside AZ, it was an interesting field to be in.

At the moment I am doing an international placement in Biopharmaceutics in Product Development at Macclesfield site (the UK) where my role involves learning about the human physiology and different ways we as a pharmaceutical company can track how the body affects the medicine's absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion. This is done through analytical and pharmacokinetic modelling. I have my own project where I am modelling data from clinical studies to see the correlations between intravenous and oral dosing models, and these pharmacokinetic models can in the future contribute to designing the right clinical trials for the benefit of the patients.

I usually say I have the greatest job ever! I just get to learn more every day. Well, of course you have the things that you are expected to deliver in each placement but that comes naturally since these are usually entwined to your overall learning. I get excited when there are a lot of things happening around me and the beauty is that I get to be a part of this journey from the complex molecules to the actual patient-friendly products. Pharmaceutical industry continues to amaze me and the amount of scientific expertise, drive and co-operation happening at AZ is simply astonishing. The possibility of doing international placements makes it even better since AZ is such a large global company.

I think the graduate programme is for you if you can interact with a lot of people, are willing to learn and are not scared of taking on a subject without previous knowledge of it. Looking back when I worked as a pharmacist in a community pharmacy, I think I can now contribute to a much wider range of patients while having a science focus in my work. My advice for a future graduate would be: love a challenge, talk with people and gather as much knowledge as you can!

Meet Lottie

Meet Lottie

Hi, I'm Lottie and I'm currently working on a late stage formulation team within Product Development based at the Macclesfield site in the UK.

I am a pharmacist by background, and spent a year working in a hospital as a pre-registration trainee pharmacist prior to joining the PT&D Graduate Programme in 2015. Having undertaken a summer placement with AstraZeneca during my undergraduate degree, I had some knowledge of the company and experience working at the Macclesfield site. I have always found it an exciting, friendly and supportive place to work and couldn't wait to come back when I was accepted onto the two year programme.

For my first placement on the programme, I was placed in Study Management within R&D Supply Chain. This was not a role I had ever previously considered, and was mostly office based. I was responsible for managing study drug supply to a number of clinical trials for one of our oncology compounds, and got to interact with a huge variety of people from both within AstraZeneca and externally. I found the placement challenging, as I had a lot of responsibility working in quite a fast paced environment. But it was also hugely rewarding as I was able to see more clearly the impact we were having on those patients' lives. I got the opportunity to use a lot of the skills I had developed through my pharmacy training, and get a broad overview of an area of the business where I had no prior experience. 

I then moved across into Product Development for my second placement, where I am currently working on the late stage formulation development of a product intended for paediatric use. I am also completing some broader project work looking at some of the challenges we face in producing new medicines that are suitable for children and how we can overcome these. This is a really interesting area to be working in as some of the age-appropriate dosage forms being developed for children are quite new concepts, so there is plenty of scope for me to make a real impact on how we develop these products in the future.

What I enjoy most about the graduate programme is the ability to rotate between completely different areas of the business, getting a breadth of experiences across different teams. Being able to try new things, and see how all of the various departments work together is a really unique opportunity and is helping me to start thinking about where I might like my career to progress in the future. It is exciting to be contributing to real projects that could one day improve peoples' lives, and we are given plenty of opportunities and support to ensure that we are able to make valuable contributions in every placement. I also enjoy the global graduate development programme which we take part in, as this helps us to develop some of our softer skills as well as the chance to visit other sites and network with AstraZeneca graduates from all over the world.

I would highly recommend the programme to anyone who likes a challenge and has a passion for learning, as we are constantly being exposed to something new. It is a great introduction to the pharmaceutical industry, and PT&D is a really exciting and rewarding place to work.

Meet Aidan

Meet Aidan

Hi, I'm Aidan and I'm currently leading an improvement project on the Macclesfield pilot plant that is focussed on optimising our cleaning strategy. I joined AstraZeneca after completing my Master's degree in Chemistry at the University of Oxford.

For my first rotation on the PT&D Graduate Programme I worked as a Process Chemist in Chemical Development, where I devised new synthetic routes for one of AstraZeneca's early phase oncology compounds. This was a fantastic opportunity to apply my theoretical knowledge of organic chemistry from university to a real-world project in industry. Although I had no experience in the pharmaceutical industry prior to joining the programme, I was able to learn a huge amount by drawing on the expertise of my colleagues, and it was exciting to work on innovative science in a world-leading department.

I've recently moved onto my second rotation in Drug Substance Manufacture, a function within the R&D Supply Chain branch of PT&D. Here I've been able to contribute towards the large scale manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients for the supply of medicines to patients on clinical trials. As a chemist, it's fascinating to see how chemical processes transition from the lab to this drastically different environment, and the experience has provided me with a valuable insight into this key part of the drug development process.

What attracted me to the PT&D Graduate Programme was the breadth of opportunities that are available to graduates, and the emphasis on personal development. There's a huge range of potential roles that you can work in over the three rotations of the programme, and with the guidance of your assigned mentor, you're encouraged to develop a diverse skillset across multiple business areas. People at AstraZeneca are extremely receptive towards graduates, and there is an excellent support network in place to ensure that you get the most out of the programme and help you realise your future career aspirations going forward.

My advice to anyone considering applying for the programme would be to go for it. PT&D is an incredibly diverse area to work in, with innovative science having a real impact on the business and the patients that it serves. If you're willing to learn, you can get a huge amount out of the programme, no matter what your background is.

Meet Grace

Meet Grace

Grace is a scientist within product development at AstraZeneca.

2011–2013 Worked part-time at Urban Pharmacy and then in 2013 Graduated from Queens University Belfast with a masters degree in pharmacy and began a pre-registration training year at Urban Pharmacy before joining AstraZeneca’s pharmaceutical technology and development graduate scheme in 2014. In 2016 Finished the graduate scheme and was appointed to a permanent position as a scientist.

I first became interested in the pharmaceutical industry while I was at school. I was fascinated by the process of taking a molecule and turning that into something that you could find on the shelf of your local pharmacy. Wanting to find out more about that motivated me to study pharmacy. For pharmacy students there is a well-worn path to working in community or retail pharmacy. At this point I hadn’t pinpointed the particular field of pharmacy that I was interested in, so I focused my attention on retail pharmacy.

Changing plans

My university expected me to complete a number of placements during my degree. Alongside these university placements I maintained a part-time job at an independent community pharmacy and carried out some voluntary work experience at a hospital in order to get a broader range of experience.

Community pharmacy focuses on the individual needs of patients and through working in this area I learned a lot about communicating with patients, as I had to explain the side effects of medication and so on. However, what I didn’t get was an opportunity to delve deeper into the science behind the medication that I was dispensing. In my final year at university I undertook a research project and realised the questions that I had about the process of developing pharmaceuticals could only really be answered in the research field. After this I became more drawn to research and industrial pharmaceutical work and decided to pursue a career there instead of in community pharmacy.

Making work experience work

When it came to my assessment centre, a concern of mine was that I would come up against candidates from engineering, chemistry or pharmacy backgrounds who would have more relevant industrial work experience and more technical knowledge.  So, I aimed to emphasise the strengths and skills that I had developed through community pharmacy. Skills such as communication and an understanding of the business side of the pharmaceutical industry really helped me; I think I showed that I had the potential for learning the more technical side of things.

Laboratories and learning

My graduate scheme was structured around three rotational placements over the course of two years. Two of these rotations involved developing products through lab-based work while the third was in supply chain, looking at the business aspects of delivering drugs to patients and ensuring that the development of products followed a strict timeline and met objectives.

In my current role as a scientist I work to design and develop products that can treat patients with a number of conditions. At a simple level it involves turning molecules into medicines that can be tested at clinical trial, but this work also has the potential to change people’s lives. The nature of research work means that a lot of the time an experiment won’t have the results that you were expecting. By nature I’m a perfectionist, so this can become frustrating, but it makes eventually getting the result you hoped for even more rewarding. I’ve had to learn to adapt when things don’t go to plan and to ask for help from people with more experience. Hearing stories about how our products have been successful and improved the quality of people’s lives provides constant motivation for whenever the work gets repetitive.

Breaking new ground

In the time since I joined, two new breakthrough oncology drugs, Lynparza and Tagrisso, have been approved and made available to patients. Usually the drug development process (from starting clinical trial to approval) can take anywhere between six to 12 years. However, because of the hard work of my colleagues, Tagrisso was approved only two and a half years after starting trials. In order to carry this out the development had to be strategically planned and timed to perfection.

In the short term, I want to continue to develop my technical knowledge and work in product development. Colleagues have highlighted my strong communication and business skills, due to my experience from working in community pharmacy and in the supply chain, and so at some point I’d like to move into management. At AstraZeneca I’ve got to experience some really amazing work by scientists who are at the top of their field and I’d like to continue to learn from them and help drive projects to completion.

Follow your own path

My advice for current student would be not to be afraid of diverging from the status quo. Undergraduate students may have a tendency to follow the same path as the majority, and so I took a risk in focusing on something different. Doing so gave me a differing set of experiences and skills that made me stand out in the application process and continue to be useful. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and have the courage to pursue opportunities that arise. 

Frequently asked questions

How will the programme work?

You would join AZ on a two year fixed term contract and complete three placements, of eight months duration each, across different parts of Pharmaceutical Technology & Development.

There are a wide variety of placement options available, allowing you to gain a breadth of experiences across multiple functions such as Product Development, Chemical Development, Pharmaceutical Innovations and R&D Supply Chain.

Each graduate will take a different route through the programme, based on your personal background, skills and career aspirations.

Will I have a choice of where my placement would be?

Yes, you will be encouraged to discuss placement opportunities with your managers and mentor throughout the programme and submit preferences in where you would like to be based.

You won't be asked to state preferences for all three placements up front, so while you learn about the different functions and departments within AZ you will be able to tailor your placements to meet your own interests and career aspirations.

What kind of work will I be doing?

All of our graduates are fully immersed within teams in the organisation and take on real roles and responsibilities from day one.

Your day to day activities will depend on the team and projects you are working in, and you could be based in a variety of different environments including the development or analytical labs, large-scale labs and pilot plant, an office environment or a combination of these. Wherever you are based the projects you will be working on will be real projects, with the potential to benefit patients worldwide.

Does the programme require previous work experience in the pharmaceutical industry?

Though some experience of working in the pharmaceutical industry may be advantageous, it is not a requirement for this programme.

You should be prepared to highlight the skills that you have gained from any work experience you have that may be transferrable to the graduate programme, regardless of the sector you gained this experience in.

Will I obtain a permanent role at the end of the programme?

We are not able to guarantee you a permanent role at AstraZeneca at the end of the programme. Our graduate programme is very much part of our broader strategy in terms of developing the next generation of scientists so we do expect some of our graduates to move into permanent roles, however whatever the outcome for you we are confident that you will benefit significantly from the skills, network and experience that you would obtain from the completion of the programme.

There are also possibilities to continue towards a doctoral thesis with the connections made from the graduate programme.

Will I have an opportunity to work overseas as part of the programme?

We do offer some international placements as part of the programme but this is not guaranteed.

What are the opportunities for development on the programme?

You will be encouraged to grow and develop throughout the 2 year programme. A number of development opportunities will be put into place, including relevant technical and placement specific training.

All graduates will also be enrolled into our global graduate development programme.

What does the global graduate development programme cover and how will it work?

The development programme will focus on the skills that you need to be successful, including leadership and self-management without forgetting the scientific expertise.

There will be 3 development modules across the course of the 2 year programme where you will be given the opportunity to develop softer skills (leadership, communication, self-management) and you will come together as a global graduate cohort at one of our sites to complete these. Each module will include a series of workshops, individual and group tasks.

It can also be seen as the opportunity for you to network and share ideas with other graduates from our global graduate cohort.

What opportunities will I have to present my work?

There are many opportunities for graduates to present their work. This could include sharing their progress with other team members in project meetings, taking part in graduate presentation sessions or presenting to a wider audience at department or site-wide events (such as Science Days).

There may even be opportunities to present at external conferences and events.

How many positions are you recruiting?

Globally we are looking to recruit 6 graduates onto the programme. This usually equates to 3 graduates based in Macclesfield, UK and 3 graduates based in Gothenburg, Sweden.

What countries are you recruiting in?

We will have PT&D Graduates based in Gothenburg, Sweden and Macclesfield, UK.

What will the selection process look like?

We have developed a robust selection process that will enable us to ensure that we select the best candidates to join our programme sharing the same AZ values as we do. This will consist of a number of different types of exercises and interviews that will test your technical knowledge and interpersonal skills.

You will be provided with detailed information on how you can prepare for one of our selection events should you be shortlisted. Our assessment centres are very much a two way process and this is our opportunity to find out about your suitability for a place on our programme but it is also your opportunity to find out whether the programme is right for you. 

When can I expect to hear whether my application has been successful?

We aim to contact all candidates within 4-5 weeks from the closing date to confirm whether you have been shortlisted to progress within our process.

What if I cannot make the selection dates that you have indicated?

We will be unable to offer an alternative date for candidates who cannot make the assessment dates. We therefore include details of our assessment dates on our advertisements so candidates are clear about this when they submit their applications.

Will I be provided with relocation support?

All graduates who join the programme are provided with relocation assistance and help with expenses coming from setting up home in a new area if required.

Graduates going on international placements are also provided with settling in support where we will provide assistance with the establishment of national insurance numbers and bank accounts, and relocation support from an external vendor to help you to find a place to stay.

Explore our other programmes

Operations Global Graduate Associates Programme

Locations: Global opportunities available 
Salary: Competitive

This programme is currently closed. Be sure to check this page regularly for any updates.

About Operations

Our Operations organisation's goal is simple. To make sure our patients worldwide are supplied with cost-effective, life-changing medicines. That makes Operations the vital connection between our Research and Development lab and the pharmacy shelf. We operate in over 100 countries, and our medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

We're a team of around 50,000 people, working across the globe, driving innovation to solve some of the most serious medical issues facing mankind today. With manufacturing plants in 16 countries, we're committed to ensuring a reliable supply of medicines, where and when they are needed most.

Programme details

About the programme

Our ambition is to improve the lives of 200 million patients, and be a $50 billion company, by 2025. To do that, we need high-calibre graduates, with potential and ambition to become one of the leaders of the future, to join our Operations Global Graduate Associates Programme.

Operations is one of the largest, most important areas of our business, accounting for 11,000 people, and our supply chain truly is world-class. This is your opportunity to work on real, life-saving projects right from the start, supported by the best colleagues the industry has to offer.

AstraZeneca's Operations business is organised into:

  • Four supply areas: Americas; Europe; Middle East and Africa; Asia Pacific; and Biologics
  • Three global functions: External Sourcing, Quality, and Supply Chain & Strategy
  • Two corporate functions: Global Procurement and Corporate IT

How does the programme work?

A key element of this three-year programme is leadership development. The first two years will be split between three different placements, and each role with give you valuable insight on how to influence decisions across a range of business areas. Depending on placement selection, there may be opportunities to live and work abroad to really embed your understanding of different cultures. 

By giving you vital pharmaceutical industry exposure, this graduate programme is the perfect springboard to a senior job opportunity within AstraZeneca. Throughout the programme you'll be frequently encouraged to review your progress towards achievement of role objectives and personal development plans with your manager. You'll get the training, experience and support you need to develop a career you can be proud of.

What does the programme involve?

Starting in September 2019, the programme lasts three years. Three placements, each lasting eight months, will give you a great insight into our business and the chance to influence the direction in which we're moving. You'll then progress into a consolidation role for your third year and all progression is subject to performance. In our global and regional functions, you could develop knowledge of supply chain, logistics, external sourcing and global quality. You'll also have the chance to work in two corporate functions, Procurement and Information Technology, as well as in Engineering.

Your programme will provide an invaluable blend of on-the-job experience and coaching. There will be a huge support network behind you, including a mentor and programme manager, and we'll encourage you to develop your own network of contacts. We'll let you know before the end of your second year whether we'll be offering you a permanent, post-programme role, which we do for 90% of graduates.

Essential requirements

What we're looking for:

  • Graduates in any discipline who have completed their first degree with a minimum of a 2:1 or MSc in 2018, or are due to graduate by September 2019
  • Passion to work in pharmaceuticals, particularly in Operations, with a real desire to make a difference to patients and our business
  • Ability to quickly understand our environment, and the curiosity and flexibility to work anywhere within Operations
  • Strong business acumen, leadership potential and change management capabilities
  • The confidence and vision to look at, and challenge, existing ways of working
  • Valid passport, geographical mobility, and willingness to spend a period of time living and working overseas
  • Fluency in English.

Meet our people

Meet Olivier

Meet Olivier

My view of the program

As part of the Global Operations Program, and the three 8-months assignments it offers, I have been able to experience diverse roles that focused on various areas of the business, in both global and local manufacturing environments. In addition, the program has provided me with a great opportunity to an international rotation to Sweden.

Everyone within AstraZeneca understands what it takes to work in this entrepreneurial and innovative industry, and they are very open to change. That is why my first role allowed me to challenge status quo of existing ways of working, increasing the pace to manufacture products. As a result, I am proud to say I’m able to have real impact, changing the way we work, ensuring everything we do is actually value adding.

My key learnings and experience

During the program, I’ve learned a few key things. Firstly, Background does not matter, whether you are a lab trained scientist or have a business masters age, you are stimulated to learn, grow and challenge yourself in any role. Age is not relevant as well, even though everyone from the program is fresh out of university. There is a great trust and support within the roles, where you are being coached for success, whilst being involved in impactful projects. Finally, the diverse roles are giving access to all aspects of the business and you’re engaging with people working at every stage, which provides you with a broad understanding of the company.

My next steps

My advice; know what drives you and where your ambitions lie. If you know what makes you happy, and how this can positively affect the company, there is a mutual beneficial match for the future between you and AstraZeneca. One of the key questions asked during the interview at the assessment center, was where do I see myself in five years’ time and knowing both the development and growth of the company, the demands of the program and what I wanted to get out of the opportunity for myself, I have been able to answer this question. Having this understanding and appreciation of how the business is developing and the direction in which it is moving is essential to being a successful applicant, employee and individual.

It is important to have a logical explanation for why a business should invest their time and resources in you and why you want to be there. For me, it is that every day I have the opportunity to come to work to try to make a real difference in the quality of life for people.

Meet Ãsa

Meet Ãsa

A few years ago, while I was studying Bioengineering in Sweden, I was introduced to AstraZeneca at a careers fair. I was intrigued, and after some more research, I decided to apply for the graduate programme.

I always hoped I would work in the pharmaceutical industry and AstraZeneca has a lot of presence, so I knew it was a great opportunity. It also gave me the chance to work abroad, my first role was in Belgium.Science is so interesting to me. It's fascinating to study, and I've always been attracted to finding solutions and developing innovations. Working here means I get to interact with teams who are brainstorming new things. It's cool to see what we can achieve, and developing drugs that have a great impact on people's lives. We can actually be part of these positive changes.

My job is completely different every day, but that's why it's fun. Often I have meetings with my project teams, and we do this virtually because my colleagues are based all over the world. I can have a call with China in the morning and the United States later on. My role is really to try and get things going to make sure we have movement on our projects. The most exciting part of my role is that I can help impact the long term strategy for Operations at AstraZeneca. I have a chance to put my own mark on it.

The programme is such a great opportunity, I was able to work and live in four different countries. There are very few people that I know who have been able to do that. It's great to try different types of roles and it makes it easier to discover what you want to do. It's also a chance to create a global network. I think that's really powerful, plus having friends all over the world is amazing. It's a very unique programme, and I still work closely with many of the people I met on the programme.

I try not to plan my career too carefully, but I would love to have line manager responsibilities one day, or work abroad again. Either way, I hope I'll still be able to make an impact to the way we do things.

To anyone considering the programme, I would say it's a wonderful opportunity. It's not just a great chance to get to know the company and try out various roles, but it gives you a cultural awareness. It's a real eye opener.

Meet Jordan

Meet Jordan

Joining AstraZeneca’s Global Operations Associate Program has been one of the best decisions I have made. The program structure and AstraZeneca’s invigorating culture has created a comfortable and exciting, yet challenging learning environment for me to begin my career. From the very start, I have been offered countless opportunities, ranging from serving as a project lead to obtaining various professional certifications.

As I have progressed through different rotations and worked internationally, I have received support and coaching by great leaders who mirror the companies’ values and strong focus on development. The diverse experiences and mentorships the program provides has enabled me to determine the path I want my career to follow. Regardless of what functional area I have worked in throughout my rotations, it has been rewarding to know that I made a meaningful difference in our patients’ lives.

Coming to work at AstraZeneca every day makes me proud, and I am grateful that the Program has helped shape me into a stronger leader.

Meet Gao Bin

Meet Gao Bin

Hi, I'm Gao Bin and I joined AstraZeneca in 2009 after getting my master's degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, where I studied Biochemical Engineering. I spent the majority of my six years at the AstraZeneca Wuxi supply site, starting in the Engineering and SHE department, and then moving to Technical Function. I also had an international assignment in the UK working in the Global Engineering Procurement team.

After I returned to China from the UK, I rejoined the Technical Function, and moved to Supply Chain in 2012. In February 2015, I moved to my current role, as an Asset Planner. I manage the planning activities, from material purchasing, to production to distribution.

The science in my role is really technical, so I don't have a lot of interaction with it, but in Operations, science gives us the support we need to get the job done.

My whole journey at AstraZeneca has been exciting. I've had a lot of rotations, so I'm really interested in new things and am really keen to learn new skills and gain more knowledge. The most exciting role I had was contributing to a project to build a distribution facility in China. It was great to design a really big warehouse with the latest technology, and also to collaborate with different people globally. Now the project is in progress and the facility is nearing completion. Last month, I visited the site and it's still under construction but it's amazing to see it become a reality.

To others considering the global graduate programme, my advice would be to be confident in your learning ability. Also, be positive. During the journey, there might be something that you aren't so happy with, some of the rotations may not suit you or you might not enjoy them, but every opportunity for a graduate is a learning opportunity, so we can learn from every rotation.

Finally, I would say be proactive. We join the company as a blank page, but if we want to be a high level leader, we need to learn. Try to look for every opportunity to learn. Don't be afraid to ask questions, don't be afraid to try new things and try to get out of it as much as you can. Get out of your comfort zone.

Meet Victor

Meet Victor

Hi, I'm Victor and I'm a Supply Planner with AstraZeneca in Brazil. I'm responsible for the production planning of the delivery of our products to Latin America.

I did a Pharmaceutical Science degree at university, and was always very aware of AstraZeneca. I knew of the company before I heard about the global graduate programme, so when a friend suggested the programme to me, I jumped at the opportunity.

My first role was as a planner in Brazil. After that I moved on to a packaging production role, and my third rotation was as a Supply Chain manager in Mexico.

AstraZeneca is such an innovative company, and you really have a chance to see how, with science, the company is seeking new ways to develop life-changing medicines. This is something that attracted me, as well as the opportunity to participate in a global programme, gaining international experience and being in an exciting, supportive work environment.

I think the coolest thing about science is that you can gain so much knowledge of how the body, and diseases work, and try to find medicines that are going to meet the needs of the body, or prevent future illness. Plus, we get to help improve the quality of life. Science can save lives, and provide quality to patients' lives, so those people and patients that are affected, are happy and can lead a full life.

My role is all about helping to make sure these important medicines reach the patients, so that's very rewarding. Knowing that the products are available in our distribution centres and that they will be available for patients when needed, is mission accomplished.

In the next five years, I hope to build a career in supply chain, mostly in the demand area closer to the marketing companies and distribution centres that we'll have in the future. For now, I'd like to stay in Brazil, but in the future I'd love to have more international experiences, which the company definitely supports.

My advice to others considering the global graduate programme is to reach out for hands on experiences where you can have greater responsibilities and learn more. Learn as much about the pharmaceutical industry and the company as you can. You should want to learn what AstraZeneca represents and what our products represent.

Business areas within the graduate programme

Opportunities exist for graduates across each of our global and regional supply & quality functions as well as our three corporate functions.

Pharmaceutical Supply & Quality

Pharmaceutical Supply & Quality

  • Participating in a variety of lifecycle management & improvement projects to broaden knowledge and experience of AstraZeneca's pharmaceutical supply chains & their Quality processes
  • Understanding, managing & communicating demand, supply, packaging or Quality plans between customers, distribution networks, sites or regions
  • Analysing data (demand, supply, metrics) and producing clear management proposals to improve supply chain and Quality performance
  • Developing and implementing forecasting processes
  • Identifying & facilitating improvement activities to have a positive cost and lead-time impact on the global supply chain
  • Reviewing & evaluating stock levels, minimum order quantities, supplier & QA lead times on a regular basis to identify continuous improvement opportunities including, but not limited to, inventory reductions.

Pharmaceutical Procurement

Pharmaceutical Procurement

  • Carrying out sourcing and supplier management activities by purchasing products and services in line with organisational objectives and category & sourcing strategies
  • Researching & assisting in selecting potential sources of materials / services
  • Contributing to the preparation of competitive bids, quotations and proposals with accurate specifications, terms and conditions
  • Contributing to cost reduction, cost avoidance, cost containment programmes
  • Analysing supplier market information and leveraging this to support effective sourcing decisions.

Information Technology (IT)

Information Technology (IT)

  • Working with Business Analyst community in gathering functional and technical requirements from our business users in order to develop new go-to-market solutions
  • Benchmarking and analysing new services focused on social networks and new media;
  • Portfolio planning & programme and project management
  • Managing our landscape of services
  • Overseeing applications, infrastructure environment and processes
  • Directing architectural alignment
  • Enhancing business interactions through high-performing and easy-accessible mobile applications.

Pharmaceutical Engineering

Pharmaceutical Engineering

  • Managing technical projects and systems to ensure that downtime is minimized
  • Developing an understanding of the principles and concepts associated with specialist engineering areas
  • Providing technical guidance and coaching
  • Dealing with technical situations independently
  • Handling more complex work activities or in making more sensitive engineering judgments or decisions
  • Regularly exchanging complex information, mostly guiding and advising others, who may not have a technical and/or engineering experience or understanding
  • Interfacing with other internal functions and external groups, e.g. contractors, suppliers and service providers.

Frequently asked questions

Which formal qualifications do I need?

Graduates in any discipline who have completed their first degree with a minimum of a 2:1 or MSc in 2017, or are due to graduate by September 2018.

When must I have graduated?

You must have graduated within the past two years and by September 2018.

How, and when, should I apply?

Applications should be submitted online, and by the dates stated above. 

What should I focus on in my application?

Your application should aim to show the skills, qualifications and experience you have that are relevant to this programme. You should also tell us what you know about AstraZeneca and its Global Operations organisation.

It would be helpful for you also to describe your motivations; career aspirations; your strengths and weaknesses and any examples of where you believe you have shown great judgment, drive or influence.

What should I attach with my application?

Please attach a CV to your application and any other documentation that shows your suitability for one of our roles.

Your CV should show relevant dates; education establishments; work experience and any other relevant skills and experience that you have in support of your application.

Can I apply for more than one graduate position?

There is no requirement for you to submit multiple applications for each position you are interested in. In your application you can however indicate which of the disciplines within Operations that you wish to be considered for (e.g. Supply Chain, Quality Management, Procurement or Information Systems).

You may express a preference to be considered for more than one of the disciplines.

What should I attach if I have not yet completed my master’s degree?

Please indicate your expected final degree level and attach copies of any reports or certificates you have received in support of this expected outcome.

Am I guaranteed a job when I finish the programme?

Roles will be offered to those graduates who meet the required performance levels and have demonstrated the required levels of ambition & proactivity throughout the programme. Should you not be on target to achieve any of these criteria, this will be discussed with you throughout the programme as part of the normal performance management processes.

Our intention is to ensure there are no surprises at the end of the graduate programme!

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