Jobs in Contract Research: Medicinal Chemistry

I recently discovered a blog by a medicinal chemist who has shared some interesting career insights.  Medicinal chemistry, or pharmaceutical chemistry, is the discipline of designing and synthesizing new drugs, and it can be a very interesting career pathway for chemists looking for a job in the pharma or biotech sector.

In his post “Life with a Drug Discovery CRO“, the author describes what it was like to work for a contract research organization that specialized in combinatorial chemistry, synthesis, scale up and process development on behalf of big pharma clients.

How it worked for us in med chem was we would be presented with a project (in varying detail and with varying amount of leeway in our allotted tasks) with some fixed length of contract. Most were annually renewable and many continued for multiple years. The customers in question were a mix of pharma and start-up: for the established players, we were outsourcing for a project they did not have the internal capacity for (usually because there were more pressing projects and/or synthetic challenges to overcome). For the start-ups, we were their chemistry department.

Posted: June 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Preclinical R&D | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Revising a Science CV for the Pharmaceutical Job Market

One of the hardest things about making the transition from graduate school or the laboratory bench to a great job in the real world — like a pharmaceutical or biotech career, for example — is figuring out how to make your academic experience relevant to employers.

This article, “A Resume Makeover” from the journal Science has been online for more than 10 years, but offers great, practical advice on how to review and revise your CV to fit the needs of employers.  The example provided isn’t about a pharmaceutical job but the advice still fits!

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 23rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Resumes & CVs | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Getting Contract Medical Writing Jobs

A friend of mine who has been developing a career as a freelance medical writer recently asked me some questions that I thought might interest readers of this blog.  I’ve paraphrased:

I recently saw a medical writing contract role offered by a pharmaceutical company and wanted to try to get more info about what the opportunity might mean for me. It looks like another agency (recruiter? headhunter?) is listing the position, rather than the pharmaceutical company advertising the role directly. If I go through this agency, will they get a part of my hourly rate? Will their goal be to make me take a lower hourly rate than I’m used to charging?

Would an agency that presents me to the pharmaceutical company request that I always work through them for future engagements?

Is there a way to estimate the hourly rate for a contract medical writing position if it involves onsite work with a pharmaceutical client?

Finally, do you think that I can figure out where the position is being offered at the pharmaceutical company, and can I go to them directly?  Would HR have this info? Or are there other places within a pharma company that I could find this out?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 21st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Interview with a Medical Science Liaison

I know many people who come to this blog are especially interested in Medical Science Liaison careers and are interested in learning how to get an MSL job.

You might be interested in this interview with an MSL posted at Shannon Payne, a medical science liaison at a molecular diagnostics company, talks about her career path. She mentions that informational interviews were very helpful to her, helping her to refine her resume and identify jobs that would be the best fit for her.

She also discusses how the Medical Science Liaison role may change over the next 5-10 years:

“In my role as a Medical Science Liaison, there will be increasingly more stringent regulations on interactions between industry and researchers and clinicians. It will be more important than ever to produce the highest quality scientific evidence and facilitate that evidence speaking for itself. We will need scientifically trained communicators with a clear understanding of, and dedication to, working within the regulatory framework in order to educate researchers and clinicians on forthcoming products.”

Be sure to check out my earlier post on preparing for a career as a medical science liaison as well as a cautionary tale shared by one of our readers.

If you’re a currently a student, post-doc or scientist with access to a medical library, you might also be interested in checking out some journal articles about the medical science liaison role.

You may also wish to check out a new resource: MSL World, a niche career source entirely focused on the Medical Science Liaison role. I recently spoke with their founder and was impressed with their dedication to providing a quality resource.

Remember, knowledge is power!  Good luck in your job search!

Posted: March 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Medical Science Liaisons | No Comments »

Free ICH-GCP Good Clinical Practice training course back online!

Great news! I have been able to find a mirror of the free online ICH-CGP Good Clinical Practice training course developed by MIT. Please see the original post for the updated link.

Posted: March 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Education, ICH-GCP, Training | 2 Comments »