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Biological Sciences – multiple roles available

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GSK are a science-led global healthcare company that researches and develops innovative Pharmaceuticals, Vaccines and Consumer Healthcare products. Our challenging and inspiring mission is to enable people to do more, feel better and live longer by developing innovative products and improving access to healthcare for patients around the world.

Whatever the role, you will experience working in a fast-paced research environment with access to cutting edge technology, whilst interacting with industry-leading scientists across multiple disciplines and sharing different experiences. During the internship, the IP student will be supported, given training (laboratory and office practices) daily where applicable until confident to work independently and within GSK health and safety requirements, enrolled in several GSK internal courses as part of company policy, enrol in personal development courses and networking opportunities throughout the year and attend seminars led by GSK scientists.

We recruit on an on-going basis and prioritise applications based on the application date.  


Please read below about the positions we are recruiting for, when you apply you will be able to select 3 preferences. We will accommodate your preference where possible.

Role 1: Cell & Gene Therapy

Location: Stevenage

The Product Development & Supply team is responsible for the Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC) in Cell and Gene Therapy at GSK, developing and manufacturing cutting edge, personalised medicines through gene modification of patient cells.

You will be involved in the development of CGT platform technologies and participate in activities related to the understanding and improvement of the medicines that we produce. You will be responsible for developing and applying high quality science, alongside recording and communicating experimental results. You will also be expected to actively contribute to team culture and the day to day running of the laboratory and projects.

During the placement, you will focus on the development of technologies for ex vivo oncology gene therapy platform. Potential projects are spread across the different stages of producing CGT medicines: 

  • Process research to understand the process biology
  • Manufacture of viral vectors for gene delivery
  • Processing of patient cells for genetic modification outside of the body (ex vivo)
  • Formulation development
  • Analytical development to ensure product quality

You will have the opportunity to be exposed to and trained in a variety of disciplines and techniques by subject experts, while being supported by your manager. The project will help you acquire a wide range of scientific skills, for example: using a variety of analytical methods to generate data for process development activities; learning to analyse and interpret data; using and evaluating state-of-the-art technologies, to improve our manufacturing process and analytics; and testing and optimising automated solutions.

Role 2: Novel Human Genetics

Location: Stevenage

The Novel Human Genetics Research Unit at Stevenage comprises of a multidisciplinary team of passionate scientists driving to develop novel medications for some of the worlds most pressing diseases. We utilise expansive genetic data sets to direct our studies and progression points with the knowledge that having genetically validated drug targets increase the chances of success in the clinic and delivering medicines to patients.  The unit is responsible for progressing discovery programmes from target identification through to Phase I clinical trials, this space includes target validation, lead discovery, lead optimisation, pharmacokinetics and biomarker strategy.   

As an Industrial Placement student within the research unit you will be fully integrated into the field of drug discovery. You will be working within state-of-the-art labs at Stevenage conducting experiments and contributing to programmes under the supervisions of dedicated, experienced leaders. You will be comprehensively trained in lab scientific techniques (such as cell culture, CRISPR, molecular biology techniques, pharmacology studies and protein analysis) in addition to scientific writing and communication skills. You will play an integral role within the department and we look forward to your application. 

Role 3: Biopharm Molecular Discovery

Location: Stevenage

At GSK we believe that Biopharm medicines are key to achieving our ambitions in immuno-oncology and immunologically driven diseases. We are growing our UK-based Biopharm team focussed on Medicines Discovery, using cutting edge technologies to bring medicines of the future faster to patients.

GSK has a thriving team of Biopharmaceutical scientists across discovery, development and manufacturing and we are building a state-of-the-art end to end Biopharm capability which delivers efficient discovery of antibody molecules that are selected and engineered for rapid development. Together with our therapy area partners, GSK Biopharm are discovering, developing and manufacturing novel medicines to benefit patients around the globe.

Within the Discovery department there are several vacancies for industrial placement students. These vacancies are ideally suited to undergraduate science students keen on exploring and developing a lab-based scientific career in an exciting and fast-paced environment using cutting edge science. You should be an enthusiastic team player, communicative, self-motivated and have some experience in laboratory science. Ideal applicants will have some prior understanding and a desire to develop their careers and skills further in at least one of the following specialities: Molecular Biology; Cell Biology; Immunology or Protein Biochemistry. You will be offered a role to complement your academic studies and training in all laboratory techniques. You will gain an excellent understanding of the drug discovery process in a variety of scientific areas and invaluable experience working in a strong team environment within a state-of-the-art and world-leading R&D Facility.

Role 4: Functional Genomics

Location: Stevenage

The Functional Genomics (FxG) department at GSK comprises several disciplines that provide the deep scientific knowledge and technical capabilities required to discover and validate potential novel therapeutic targets through the application of extensive genetic analyses, high throughput genome editing and endophenotyping in well-characterized human cellular models. We have exciting opportunities for industrial placement students to join the Tissue Cell Sciences, Gene Editing and OMICS groups within the Functional Genomics Department.

Students would be primarily aligned to one of these three groups; although opportunities for cross-disciplinary training may be expected accordingly.

1 – Tissue Cell Sciences – the application of advanced cellular models to support FxG programme efforts. Tasks include the maintenance and use of physiological and disease relevant human cell culture systems to support cell-based screening assays. Use of biochemical assays, immunoassays, flow cytometry, image cytometry, lab automation and high content image analysis.

2 – Gene Editing - the application of gene editing, to help in the development of new capabilities for the group. Tasks include use the application of CRISPR tools in disease relevant human cell culture systems to conduct arrayed or pooled CRISPR screens. Use of cell culture and cloning/construct generation, CRISPR genome editing, flow cytometry, lab automation, transfections, PCR, sequencing.

3 – OMICS - The application of genomics and transcriptomics to support FxG programme efforts. Tasks include preparing samples to be assayed with broad range of genomics methods (e.g. RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, Single Cell transcriptomics), design and implementation of genomics and transcriptomics experiments, development of novel genomics assays and NGS data analysis.  

Role 5: Protein and Cellular Sciences

Location: Stevenage  

Protein and Cellular Sciences (PCS) is an early stage drug discovery department within GSK, which uses advanced technologies to generate and validate protein and cell-based reagents in support of both small molecule and biopharmaceutical programs. Vectors are designed and produced using a range of molecular biology and genetic engineering techniques (gene cloning, DNA sequencing, PCR), and expression carried out using bacterial and mammalian cell culture systems (e.coli, HEK transient, CHO stable). Proteins are purified using appropriate chromatographic techniques in conjunction with programmable purification platforms (affinity, ion-exchange, size exclusion chromatography), and characterised using state-of-the-art analytical tools (mass spectroscopy, electrophoresis, reversed phase chromatography).

We are seeking to recruit undergraduate students with both an enthusiasm for protein biochemistry and cell biology, and an aptitude for practical work. Successful candidates will have the opportunity to participate in a diverse variety of ground-breaking research projects ongoing within the group, and to acquire extensive practical experience of many laboratory techniques commonly in use throughout the biochemical and pharmaceutical industry. The placement will also provide an opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the drug discovery process within an industrial environment.

Role 6: Oncology Cell Therapy

Location: Stevenage

The Oncology Cell Therapy Research Unit is focussed on the development of Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) and T Cell Receptor (TCR) cell therapies to treat solid cancers (June et al., Science 359, 1361-1365, 2018).  Our unit comprises talented scientists from a broad range of scientific backgrounds and experience, with a focus on overcoming efficacy limitations for cell therapies in solid tumours.  Our Industrial Placement position will afford the opportunity to contribute and support the Oncology Cell Therapy programmes.  You will be an active member of a project team and your work will directly contribute to answering research questions.

We are seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic student, preferably with an interest in oncology and/or immunology.  You will have an aptitude for practical work, be able to work accurately and methodically, possess good communication skills and display a keen interest in expanding your skills.  Practical techniques likely to be gained include primary and engineered cell culture, flow cytometry, cell imaging, multiplex cytokine assays and cell viability assays, with full training & support provided within our state-of-the-art facilities.  You will also develop your broader scientific skills within this professional environment, such as accurate experimental record keeping, data analysis, reporting results and presentation skills.  There will also be close interactions with a variety of teams at GSK.  Throughout the placement a deeper understanding of immunology, T cell function and tumour biology will be gained, making the position of interest for those with future career aspirations in an Oncology field.

Role 7: Biopharmaceutical Product development

Location: Stevenage

Biopharm Process Research (BPR) is dedicated to de-risking and accelerating GSKs portfolio of biopharmaceuticals from Discovery Research into Clinical Manufacture. By applying state of the art bioprocessing technology, BPR screens candidate molecules for ‘manufacturability’ and quality prior to transfer to late-stage development & clinical manufacturing. As part of our continuous improvement of our manufacturing platform, the successful students will be deployed across the department to evaluate and embed new technologies or data solutions to improve our ways of working and our scientific output.

During the placement, the student will be responsible for organising, performing and reporting project work experiments. The successful candidate will be required to generate high quality results within agreed timelines and be able to participate in the evaluation and interpretation of experimental data. The ability to work flexibly and collaboratively in a team environment is required and is ideally suited to a person who is keen to gain experience in a multi-disciplinary department delivering next generation medicines to patients.  The scope of our projects covers a broad range of technology areas and allows for regular interaction with other groups within GSK R&D at Stevenage and in Upper Merion, USA.

Role 8: Structural & Biophysical sciences

Location: Stevenage

Structural & Biophysical Sciences (SBS) is a part of Medicinal Science & Technology at GSK focusing on early stage small molecule and antibody drug discovery.  This department uses state-of-the-art technologies, such as X-ray crystallography [1], electron microscopy [2], hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry [3] and surface plasmon resonance [4], to support drug discovery efforts as part of therapeutic program teams.  Our goal is to understand how small molecules and antibodies interact with disease causing proteins and help translate this knowledge to better design new medicines.

We are a diverse team of about a dozen people, ranging from experienced researchers with decades of drug discovery expertise, to early career scientists yet to complete their PhD/BSc studies. As individuals we enjoy a challenge, but also working as a team, as the complex questions we are asked to solve often require us to work closely together and with colleagues from other departments such as computational chemistry, medicinal chemistry and biology.

We are seeking two enthusiastic students with an aptitude for problem solving, good attention to detail and a keen interest in biophysical and structural sciences to join our group for a year. The roles are primarily laboratory based although computational competence and experience in scientific software such as Excel, Graphpad, R, Coot, Pymol, etc is desirable.

[1] Nature Comms, Hutchinson et al., 8, 15827, 2017.

[2] PNAS, Wyllie et al.,116(19), 9318-9323, 2019.

[3] Curr. Op. in Structural Biology, Marciano et al., 28, 105-111, 2014.

[4] J. Med. Chem., Talibov et al., 59, 2083-2093, 2016.

Role 9: New Chemical Entity (NCE) Molecular Discovery

Location: Stevenage

Our NCE Molecular Discovery department in Stevenage comprises around 100 scientists with diverse scientific backgrounds with access to a large array of methods to determine the biological properties of potential drugs and help shape their development towards producing new medicines. We are seeking enthusiastic individuals with a flair for practical work to support our current efforts in drug discovery. During your placement you will receive training & support within our state-of-the-art facilities in Stevenage, covering areas ranging from management of our extensive compound collection through to delivery of key biological assay data. As well as gaining experience working within a big pharmaceutical company, we can offer exposure to a range of research techniques including advanced robotics technology; automated electrophysiology; high content imaging; in vitro pharmacology & enzymology. Successful candidates will be supported within teams where attention to detail, maintaining schedules and high-quality standards are critical to success.

Role 10: Synthetic Biochemistry

Location: Stevenage

The Synthetic Biochemistry group is an enterprise group within the Cell and Gene Therapy department, supporting several business areas within R&D and Pharma Supply Chain. Our group’s mission is develop and deliver enzymes as biocatalysts, for tools in the synthesis of small molecule APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients). Using biocatalysts in the synthesis of APIs can offer a number of advantages over traditional synthetic processes – including increased selectivity and reduced environmental impact. The group employs a range of state-of-the-art biochemistry, molecular biology and analytical techniques to identify and engineer enzymes for this purpose. A successful candidate will work with a range of these techniques and will have the opportunity to contribute to enzyme panel builds, using molecular biology techniques to clone enzyme candidates, develop and optimise expression of recombinant enzymes on a variety of scales, and develop assays to assess the activity of enzymes using UPLC/GC. Many of these tasks will involve the use of automation to facilitate high-throughput experimentation.

Roles 11-16 - Adaptive Immunity

Adaptive Immunity relies on the coordination and expansion of specific adaptive immune cells. Immune memory follows the adaptive response, when mature adaptive cells, highly specific to the original pathogen, are retained for later use. The Adaptive Immunity Research Unit is positioned to optimise our opportunities in this exciting area of research. The team has access to unprecedented genetic resources through GSK’s collaboration with 23andMe, FinnGen and Open Targets combined with cell specific epigenetic datasets and functional genomic screens to identify pathogenic cell types, pathways and targets. Our Research Unit consists of six large groups focused on different aspects of adaptive immunity

You will be based within a state-of-the-art collaborative research lab and you will be trained and mentored by an individual supervisor. You will work within a multidisciplinary team where the research you conduct will support an active drug discovery program. We offer an outstanding training program where you will experience a range of laboratory techniques that are applicable to modern drug discovery such as primary cell isolation, cytokine & immune cell profiling through flow cytometry, ELISA and MSD, transcriptomic analysis and many others. By the end of the placement you would have gained sufficient experience to be autonomous in designing and conducting experiments, documenting and reporting your scientific findings and understanding how a large multidisciplinary team interacts. Furthermore, you will gain valuable transferable skills such as effective communication, time management and organisational skills.

Degree Specifics: Must be studying Life Science undergraduate degree for example in Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Immunology, Pharmacology, Genetics or Computational Biology.

Location: Stevenage

Multiple positions are available within the different groups.  Please read below about the different positions we are recruiting for across Adaptive Immunity.  We will accommodate your preference where possible.

Role 11: Adaptive Immunity - Research Group 1: Immunoregulation (2 lab-based positions available)

 In Biology Group 1, our aim is to develop medicines that re-balance the immune system, which is dysregulated in many diseases, by restoring and augmenting mechanisms that normally regulate immune function in health. Work in the group is focussed particularly on approaches to enhance the numbers and/or function of regulatory T cells (Tregs), which play a critical role in preventing autoimmunity and inflammation, through either direct targeting of T cells or by modulating the antigen-presenting cells that control Treg differentiation. 

Role 12: Adaptive Immunity - Research Group 2:  Cell-Cell Communication and Priming of the Adaptive Immune System (2 lab-based positions available):

Effective communication between the humoral and cell-mediated components of our immune system is essential to ensure effective clearance of pathogen but also to ensure homeostasis within the immune system is maintained. Dysregulation of this communication can cause diseases and is implicated in a number of autoimmune conditions. Our research focuses on understanding how different components of the immune system communicate to prime an adaptive immune response as modulating these interactions allows us to develop novel therapeutics. Our group provides drug discovery expertise in biology, immunology and assay development and are particularly interested in understanding how targeting the myeloid lineage can modulate the adaptive immune system.

Role 13: Adaptive Immunity - Research Group 3: Barrier Dysfunction and B Cell Biology (2 lab-based positions available)

Maintenance of a healthy immune defence at barrier sites requires a careful balance between effectively recognizing and responding to pathogenic challenge and, at the same time, co-existing with site-specific commensal microbiota. Additionally, barrier sites need the ability to resolve inflammation and promptly repair in response to injury. Failure in any of these functions can lead to severe chronic immune disorders. The interaction between epithelial cells lining the barrier sites with that of immune cells is key in regulation of the barrier response. Integrating genetic and genomic findings, we are working on novel biology in this area to further understand barrier immunity and impact of pathogenic B-cell biology in the context of disease, with the opportunity to find drug targets to correct impaired mechanisms.

Role 14: Adaptive Immunity - Research Group 4: Immuno-epigenetics (1 bioinformatics position and 1 lab-based position available):

 We are looking for two highly motivated Industrial Placement students to join us in the Immuno-Epigenetics Biology.  Our focus in this exciting and fast-moving field is to target transcriptional mechanisms to modulate the immune system with the aim to develop new medicines for immune mediated diseases. Depending on your exact project, both roles on offer may be involved in investigating the molecular function of human immune cells, including T cells, B cells, dendritic cells and macrophages.

Bioinformatics - The project will be in silico based, learning about types of bioinformatic analysis which are currently utilised in our research unit.  These might include working with publicly available data platforms such as Ensembl, Open Targets, Human Genome Browser (UCSC), ImmProt, OMIM, Human Protein Atlas, GWAS catalogue etc., as well as some bespoke software designed for pathway analysis such as MetaCore. Depending on the project and your enthusiasm to learn how to code, some types of analysis using R programming language might also be involved.

Lab Based - This project will be lab based, applying a range of techniques which are currently utilised in our research unit,  including cell culture, cell transfection, flow cytometry, quantitative gene analysis, protein quantification by ELISA, MSD, Luminex or Western blotting, epigenetic signalling including ChIP (chromatin immunoprecipitation) and ChIP-Seq, as well as CRISPR.

Role 15: Adaptive Immunity - Genomic Immunology (1 lab/in silico-based position available): 

 The Genomic Immunology group is harnessing genetics, functional genomics and immunophenotyping to identify and validate novel therapeutic targets. We have access to unprecedented genetic resources through GSK’s collaboration with 23andMe, FinnGen and UK biobank and use in silico computational approaches to identify genes genetically associated with immune diseases and generate insights into their function. Further, we deploy single cell expression analyses to discover novel pathogenic immune cell phenotypes and gene editing screens to study the function of molecular pathways in these cells. In the quest for novel targets we work across the immunological areas described above but also seek to discover novel cellular and molecular mechanisms aligned with the unmet medical need across multiple immune diseases.

Role 16: Adaptive Immunity - Experimental Quantitative Pharmacology (2 lab positions with the potential for in vivo experience available):

Experimental Quantitative Pharmacology is responsible for organising and carrying out in vivo and ex vivo work, including translating data to inform clinical progression. We apply an integrated multi-disciplinary and quantitative approach to evaluate the efficacy of novel therapies in rodent systems. The group is formed of scientists with a wide range of backgrounds including immunology and cell and molecular biology who work closely with bioanalytic and modelling scientists, in vitro scientists from the 5 other research groups, and many more to support the adoption and advancement of drug discovery programs.


Close Date: Friday 16th October 2020

If you have what we’re looking for apply today!

This opportunity has the following recruitment stages you must successfully pass to be offered a placement year with GSK for 2021!

  1. Eligibility Form
  2. Online Assessment
  3. Application Form
  4. Virtual Assessment Centre​


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