drug discovery careers

This drug discovery careers board lists job opportunities in drug discovery, including for project team leadership, R&D, and management roles in medicinal chemistry, in vitro and in vivo pharmacology, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, pharmaceutics, and drug development. You can also read more about how to get a job and how to build a career in drug discovery below.

US West | US East | Europe and UK | How to Get a Job in Drug Discovery

Use this form to list a drug discovery career opportunity or related job posting on this page, on the home page, or in our e-mail newsletter.

Eligible Drug Hunter newsletter subscribers can share relevant drug discovery career opportunities free of charge. Premium Members and contributors including reviewers can also share relevant opportunities in the e-mail newsletter free of charge, subject to availability.


US West Coast (e.g. Biotech Startup Jobs in San Francisco, San Diego, and Seattle)

TitleAreaCompanyCityState or CountryYears Post-PhD
Executive Assistant to CEO & CBOhttps://bit.ly/3dWVNg6Drug HunterPortlandOR708/30/22
Operations Managerhttps://bit.ly/3wE2E4QDrug HunterPortlandOR508/30/22
Product Managerhttps://bit.ly/3Ayh6MSDigital ServicesDrug HunterPortlandOR208/30/22
Scientific Writerhttps://bit.ly/3AWqrzqDrug DiscoveryDrug HunterPortlandOR708/30/22
Executive Editorhttps://bit.ly/3CZmBHlDrug DiscoveryDrug HunterPortlandOR1508/30/22
Senior Scientist IIhttps://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/2803464477/?lgTemp=jobs_jymbii_digest&eBP=NotAvailableFromMidTier&lgCta=eml-jymbii-organic-job-card&recommendedFlavor=SCHOOL_RECRUIT&refId=vmxhGCKh6wF88M52wY0lwg%3D%3D&trackingId=vmxhGCKh6wF88M52wY0lwg%3D%3D&midToken=AQG96ivyPRIFqg&midSig=2flxnWspB4xa81&trk=eml-jobs_jymbii_digest-jymbii-34-job_card_mercado&trkEmail=eml-jobs_jymbii_digest-jymbii-34-job_card_mercado-null-6x7mst%7El00g4cod%7Epr-null-jobs%7EviewMedicinal ChemistryAria Pharmaceuticals Palo AltoCA1002/24/22
Associate Director/Directorhttps://jobs.lever.co/bridgebio/37b59a42-867b-4fa6-ba23-90a4174cded8?lever-origin=applied&lever-source%5B%5D=LinkedIn+Paid&lever-source=DrugHunterDrug Substance Development & ManufacturingCalcilytix TherapeuticsSan FranciscoCA1003/03/22
Executive Directorhttps://vrtx.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/Vertex_Careers/job/San-Diego-CA/Executive-Director--Medicinal-Chemistry_REQ-14762?source=DrugHunterMedicinal ChemistryVertexSan DiegoCA1503/22/22
Associate Director / Directorhttps://jobs.lever.co/Septerna/6f923951-d959-4de9-8b42-363c5fd22cb7Computational ChemistrySepternaSouth San FranciscoCA1203/25/22
Directorhttps://boards.greenhouse.io/treelinebiosciences/jobs/4409561004?gh_src=DrugHunterDrug Discovery and Translational BiologyTreeline BiosciencesSan DiegoCA804/02/22
Directorhttps://jobs.lever.co/Plexium/155bde76-98f7-49e2-b4c5-fc0f29a51911/apply?lever-source=DrugHunterComputational ChemistryPlexiumSan DiegoCA04/05/22
Director / Senior Directorhttps://app.trinethire.com/companies/33691-kinnate-biopharma-inc/jobs/59782-director-senior-director-medicinal-chemistryMedicinal ChemistryKinnateSan Francisco,CA704/15/22
Scientist I/Scientist IIhttps://carmot-therapeutics.breezy.hr/p/33c91c467c2a-scientist-i-scientist-ii-medicinal-chemistry?source=carmot-therapeutics.us/pipeline&popup=trueMedicinal ChemistryCarmot Therapeutics, Inc.BerkeleyCA04/17/22
Business Development Manager https://bit.ly/3GQadcnoptibriumNorth America06/02/22
Associate Director / Directorhttps://jobs.lever.co/Septerna/6f923951-d959-4de9-8b42-363c5fd22cb7Computational ChemistrySepternaSouth San FranciscoCA1207/10/22

US East Coast (e.g. Pharma and Biotech Careers in New York, Boston, and North Carolina)

TitleAreaCompanyCityState or CountryYears Post-PhD
Medicinal Chemistryhttps://bit.ly/3C1a7OuD. E. Shaw ResearchNew YorkNY09/21/22
Computational Drug Discoveryhttps://bit.ly/3LzLQlrD. E. Shaw ResearchNew YorkNY09/21/22
Drug Discovery Biologisthttps://bit.ly/3dva57UD. E. Shaw ResearchNew YorkNY09/21/22
Senior Scientisthttps://sarepta.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/sarepta_external/details/Senior-Scientist--Discovery-Chemistry_R-01407-1?q=senior+scientistDiscovery ChemistrySarepta TherapeuticsCambridgeMA507/13/22
Medicinal Chemisthttps://www.function-therapeutics.com/jobs/medicinal-chemistMedicinal ChemistryFunction TherapeuticsMilwaukeeWI05/11/22
Directorhttps://rometx.com/current-opportunities/director-chemistry/ChemistryROME TherapeuticsCambridgeMA10
Senior Principal Scientist/Directorhttps://boards.greenhouse.io/schrdinger/jobs/4107468003Medicinal ChemistrySchrodingerNew YorkNY8
Senior Directorhttps://boards.greenhouse.io/tangotherapeutics/jobs/5024448003?s=LinkedIn&source=DrugHunterComputational ChemistryTango TherapeuticsCambridgeMA1503/25/22
Principal Scientist/Associate Directorhttps://jobs.lever.co/atavistik-bio/de293c38-efb6-4e87-a0b1-e79e87ac80e2?lever-source=DrugHunterComputational ChemistryCheminformaticsCambridgeMA508/28/22

International (e.g. Opportunities in European Pharma Companies and the UK)

TitleAreaCompanyCityState or CountryYears Post-PhD
Senior Biologisthttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1vpAEeXzGZfqpq1Bleo6nutNBwaKwPA3V/view?usp=sharingBiologyAqemiaParisFR09/01/22
Senior Medicinal Chemisthttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1Nlakhg8SyBEf25brnBkLrl-nWEKTQmvO/view?usp=sharingMedicinal ChemistryAqemiaParisFR09/01/22
Senior Drug Hunterhttps://bit.ly/3no1ULLComputational ChemistryAqemiaParisFR10/22/21
Director of DMPKhttps://amphista.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=22&source=DrugHunterDiscoveryAmphista TherapeuticsGreat AbingtonUK02/20/22
Principal Scientist https://careers.roche.com/global/en/job/ROCHGLOBAL202208130029EXTERNALENGLOBAL/Principal-Scientist-Medicinal-ChemistryMedicinal ChemistryRocheBaselCH508/14/22

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List an Open Position

Use this form to list a drug discovery career opportunity or related job posting on this page, on the home page, or in our e-mail newsletter.

Eligible Drug Hunter newsletter subscribers can share relevant drug discovery career opportunities free of charge. Premium Members and contributors including reviewers can also share relevant opportunities in the e-mail newsletter free of charge, subject to availability.

How to Get a Job in Drug Discovery

How do you become a drug hunter? After working in the industry ourselves and talking to thousands and thousands of biotech and pharma R&D leaders, here are the three most important characteristics of a great drug discovery hire:

  • Be somebody others want to work with
  • Demonstrates extraordinary expertise in at least one area
  • Demonstrates sincere interest in the role

Be somebody others want to work with

Drugs are discovered by a community of researchers, not individuals. It takes a village to make a drug! Whether you work at a small biotech, a large drug company, an investment firm, or even academia, you’ll need to work with other individuals to make great things happen. While individuals are often celebrated as heroes in the media, everybody in the industry knows that every great drug is the result of teamwork, teamwork, teamwork.

It’s impossible for anybody to know everything about anything nowadays. In order to succeed in an area as technically complex as drug discovery, you need a team of people who are all experts and who work well together. If you want to become a drug hunter, you have to be somebody that others want on their team. That means being somebody who offers to help others, being somebody who is honest and candid, being somebody who is positive and passionate about their work, and just being somebody who’s pleasant to be around!

Demonstrate extraordinary expertise in at least one area

Drug discovery is incredibly technically complex, so each person on a drug discovery team has to carry their weight in at least one area of expertise. Nobody can know everything about anything, but you should prove that you can become an expert in at least one thing. Olympic athletes often find success later in their careers because they’ve learned how to get really really good at something. If you demonstrate that you can be a world leader in any super niche topic, whether it’s how to make single enantiomers of molecules, or how to run one particular biological assay that nobody else understands, that’s a great start!

Obviously, the more relevant your field of expertise is to pharmaceutical drug development, the better! Organic synthesis, biochemistry, chemical biology, medicinal chemistry, and pharmacology have all traditionally been important fields to the industry, though the industry is becoming more flexible in what kinds of backgrounds are sought out initially.

Demonstrate sincere interest in the role

The easiest way to flunk an interview is to look bored. People want to work with people who want to be on their team! When applying for a role, it’s great to already have in mind what you want out of it and why you’re applying. Nobody likes to hear that you “just need a job.” Your future team members want to know why you think they’re special, and why when you join their team you’re going to be an equally happy camper. If you love what you do and you can’t wait to join a company, it will radiate!

Study the companies that you’re applying to, be selective with the teams you interview with, and really focus on areas that you think you’ll really shine in. It’ll set the tone from the moment you walk into the door and everybody will be able to tell.

Building a Career in Drug Discovery R&D

Many of the same principles that apply in finding a job to begin with also apply and building and growing a satisfying career in drug discovery research and development. Initially, growing your career is about growing technical expertise and building relationships. You’ll need to develop your knowledge not just of your specialized area, but also of adjacent areas, such as pharmacology, pharmaceutics, and clinical development, to understand how to best serve your teammates.

Building relationships cannot be understated. In order to affectively serve your team and to serve patients, you’ll need to be able to draw on the strengths and talents of people who aren’t directly on your team. You’ll need to be the type of person who can reach out to clinical key opinion leaders to figure out what drugs you should be working on, who can push and pull on other departments internally to advance projects, and who can find external partners like CROs, CMOs, and suppliers who can support your company’s work.

An easy way to start growing your knowledge just by exploring our sites resources! You can find conferences and events to learn from and network with other professionals here as well, and grow your knowledge a little every day by reading our science-based newsletter.

We wish you the best of luck on your drug discovery journey, and hope to meet you in person someday!

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