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
Business Development Managerhttps://bit.ly/3kUGKniDrug HunterPortlandOR05/10/22
Scientisthttps://bit.ly/3kqAJPhMedicinal Chemistry and Molecular PharmacologyDrug HunterRemoteRemote204/28/22
Associate Director/Directorhttps://boards.greenhouse.io/totusmedicines/jobs/4354651004?gh_src=2586ae444usMedicinal ChemistryTotus MedicinesEmeryvilleCA802/20/22
Head of Drug Discovery for gREDhttps://careers.roche.com/global/en/job/ROCHGLOBAL202201104728EXTERNALENGLOBAL/Senior-Vice-President-and-Head-of-Drug-Discovery-gRED?utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=drughunterRocheSouth San FranciscoCA1502/22/22
Vice President,https://www.protagonist-inc.com/careers2/join-our-team/default.aspx?gnk=job&gni=8a78879e7ce7e84d017d52d042b518c4&gns=DrugHunterChemistryProtagonist NewarkCA1502/22/22
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
Principal Scientist https://careers.bms.com/jobs/R1550781?lang=en-usMedicinal Chemist & AI/ML Bristol Myers SquibbRedwood CityCA603/03/22
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
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 FranciscoCA1003/25/22
Directorhttps://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/2978756880/?lgTemp=jobs_jymbii_digest&eBP=NotAvailableFromMidTier&lgCta=eml-jymbii-organic-job-card&recommendedFlavor=IN_NETWORK&refId=HDUOjCsmTlVD1CdtjICfHA%3D%3D&trackingId=HDUOjCsmTlVD1CdtjICfHA%3D%3D&midToken=AQG96ivyPRIFqg&midSig=2in_25KleXkGc1&trk=eml-jobs_jymbii_digest-jymbii-30-job_card_mercado&trkEmail=eml-jobs_jymbii_digest-jymbii-30-job_card_mercado-null-6x7mst%7El1gw8020%7Eyn-null-jobs%7EviewMedicinal ChemistryBioTheryX, Inc.San DiegoCA1004/02/22
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
Associate Directorhttps://phg.tbe.taleo.net/phg03/ats/careers/v2/viewRequisition?org=SUPERGEN&cws=40&rid=583Process ChemistryAstex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.PleasantonCA1004/08/22
Vice Presidenthttps://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/3005485848/?lgTemp=jobs_jymbii_digest&eBP=NotAvailableFromMidTier&lgCta=eml-jymbii-organic-job-card&recommendedFlavor=HIDDEN_GEM&refId=HEFBKFKLQ4sfESkfyBScfQ%3D%3D&trackingId=HEFBKFKLQ4sfESkfyBScfQ%3D%3D&midToken=AQG96ivyPRIFqg&midSig=1dpgXDM4rtpac1&trk=eml-jobs_jymbii_digest-jymbii-40-job_card_mercado&trkEmail=eml-jobs_jymbii_digest-jymbii-40-job_card_mercado-null-6x7mst%7El1li27is%7E7s-null-jobs%7EviewMedicinal ChemistryPin Therapeutics, Inc. South San FranciscoCA1504/08/22
Director / Senior Directorhttps://app.trinethire.com/companies/33691-kinnate-biopharma-inc/jobs/59782-director-senior-director-medicinal-chemistryMedicinal ChemistryKinnateSan Francisco,CA704/15/22
Senior Scientisthttps://pfizer.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/PfizerCareers/job/United-States---Colorado---Boulder/Senior-Scientist--Medicinal-Chemistry_4845445-1Medicinal ChemistryPfizerBoulderCO304/15/22
Medicinal Chemist / Principal Scientisthttps://www.novartis.us/careers/career-search/job-details/343700BRNovartisEmeryvilleCA504/16/22
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
Founding Analyst (FA) https://deepscienceventures.com/cure-cystic-fibrosis/Gene TherapyDeep Science VenturesFlexible 04/22/22

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

TitleAreaCompanyCityState or CountryYears Post-PhD
Scientist IIhttps://sarepta.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/sarepta_external/details/Scientist-II--Discovery-Chemistry_R-01305-1?q=discovery+chemistryDiscovery ChemistrySareptaCambridgeMA405/05/22
Computational Drug Discovery Scientisthttps://bit.ly/DEScomp0322Drug DiscoveryD. E. Shaw ResearchNew YorkNY03/09/22
Drug Discovery Biologisthttps://bit.ly/DESbiologist0322BiologyD. E. Shaw ResearchNew YorkNY03/09/22
Principal Scientisthttps://jobs.jnj.com/jobs/2005871501W?lang=en-us&previousLocale=DrugHunterMedicinal Chemistry - Discovery ChemistryJohnson and JohnsonSpring HousePA705/18/21
Directorhttps://rometx.com/current-opportunities/director-chemistry/ChemistryROME TherapeuticsCambridgeMA10
Senior Principal Scientist/Directorhttps://boards.greenhouse.io/schrdinger/jobs/4107468003Chemistry, MedicinalSchrodingerNew YorkNY8
Principal Scientisthttps://jobs.jnj.com/jobs/2005871501W?lang=en-us&previousLocale=en-USMedicinal Chemistry - Discovery ChemistryJohnson and JohnsonSpring HousePA710/08/2021
Chief Scientific Officer https://jobs.lever.co/bioxceltherapeutics/ae125f80-d11c-4b84-bab2-85eeedc2d5c7/apply?lever-source=DrugHunterOncologyBioXcel Therapeutics, IncMorristownNJ1511/16/2021
Principal Scientist/Associate Directorhttps://jobs.jobvite.com/mersana/job/oPXBhfwoPharmacokinetics-Pharmacodynamics (PKPD)Mersana Therapeutics, Inc.CambridgeMA511/23/2021
Vice Presidenthttps://www.cerevel.com/careers/job-description/?id=e7db6d6a-433a-4f1f-bc44-ef307816d7aeMedicinal ChemistryCerevelBostonMA1501/01/2022
Vice Presidenthttps://careers.sagerx.com/job/SAGEUSR000961EXTERNALENUSMedicinal ChemistrySAGE TherapeuticsRemoteMA1503/03/22
Principal Scientist/Associate Directorhttps://jobs.jobvite.com/mersana/job/ol1BifwZ?__jvst=CareerSite&__jvsd=mersana&__jvsc=DrugHunterADMEMersana TherapeuticsCambridgeMA1503/21/22
Directorhttps://vrtx.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/vertex_careers/job/Boston-MA/Director-Medicinal-Chemistry_REQ-14593-1Medicinal ChemistryVertexBostonMA1203/22/22
Research Scientisthttps://vrtx.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/vertex_careers/job/Boston-MA/Medicinal-Chemistry-Research-Scientist_REQ-14808Medicinal ChemistryVertexBostonMA03/22/22
Senior Directorhttps://boards.greenhouse.io/tangotherapeutics/jobs/5024448003?s=LinkedIn&source=DrugHunterComputational ChemistryTango TherapeuticsCambridgeMA1503/25/22
Senior Scientisthttps://jobs.merck.com/us/en/job/R175240/Senior-Scientist-Peptide-Chemistry/?utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=job-share&utm_medium=DrugHunterPeptide ChemistryMerckBostonMA04/16/22
Founding Analyst https://deepscienceventures.com/cure-cystic-fibrosis/Gene TherapyDeep Science VenturesFlexible 04/22/22
Medicinal Chemisthttps://www.function-therapeutics.com/jobs/medicinal-chemistFunction TherapeuticsMilwaukeeWI05/11/22

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

TitleAreaCompanyCityState or CountryYears Post-PhD
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
Founding Analysthttps://deepscienceventures.com/cure-cystic-fibrosis/Gene TherapyDeep Science VenturesFlexible 04/22/22

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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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