Graduate scheme


Our Future Leaders Programme will ignite the leader in you. This unique programme is designed to develop Unilever’s Future Leaders (UFLs) by providing challenging and purposeful opportunities that accelerate their readiness to take on business leadership roles.

The Unilever Future Leaders Program (UFLP) is a global initiative enabling Unilever to build a strong talent pipeline that will support and lead our business growth. In the UK, our UFLP is a 36-month rotational leadership development program for which we recruit top-performing undergraduate talent who demonstrate the potential to become managers within our business. It’s designed to grow you into a manager, through hands-on learning alongside world-class experts. You’ll be hired into a function and develop your leadership skills by working on live projects which offer you all the experience you need to become ready for your first management role. At the heart of it, it’s about developing tomorrow’s leaders, today.

From Day 1, you will take on real business challenges within your own function and across the organization. Along the way you will develop deep core professional skills and leadership skills, and build a robust support network. On top of all that, you will have a lot of fun along the journey.

We look for people who want to get to grips with the inner workings of a vast business and a desire to understand how it works. It’s about commitment, real people skills and a deep-seated interest in the business as a whole. You’ll become part of a leading-edge company, where you’ll work with outstanding brands and outstanding people to drive sustainable business growth.

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2 billion consumers a day. Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes around the world, including Dove, Tresemme, Lynx, Lifebuoy, Shea Moisture, Persil, Domestos, Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum, Marmite, The Vegetarian Butcher, Graze, Vaseline, Sure, Wall’s, Colman’s and Pot Noodle.

Faced with the challenge of climate change and the desire for human development, we want to move towards a world where everyone can live well and within the natural limits of the planet. That’s why our purpose is ‘to make sustainable living commonplace’.

What We Offer

Not only do we offer a competitive salary of £35,000 and a pension scheme, but we also offer an annual bonus, subsidised gym membership, a discounted staff shop and shares. You’ll have the opportunity to work directly with our renowned and exciting brands in a flexible and hybrid working environment.

Diversity at Unilever is about championing inclusion, embracing differences, creating possibilities, and growing together for better business performance. To celebrate this, we have internal networks and communities created to raise awareness for a cause, which work to create change within the business. These networks include Proud, Empower, Enable and Unity and our communities include Thriving Parents, Carers and All Inclusion Club.

We give full and fair consideration to all applicants, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity.

We are a key advocate of wellbeing and offer a variety of support for our people including hubs, programmes, and development opportunities. We strive to achieve a family-friendly and inclusive workplace and to, above all, create possibilities for all.

Do you require any adjustments in the application or assessment process?

If you do need any adjustments, please inform the Talent Acquisition team who will contact you to discuss the accessibility options available. E.g., If required extending time spent in any ‘timebound’ assessments/interviews.

*We also provide accessibility options such as magnifying glass, decrease/increase font size, change font & colour, screen ruler, screen mask for everyone who would require support.

The role: Research and Development

For a business whose very purpose is to create a sustainable future, that future begins in Research & Development (R&D). This is the origin of ideas for brands, products, packaging, manufacturing, and technology. Your work could impact millions across the world. Our people make a big impact every day on a local level, across Europe, and the globe.

What will I be doing?

Every day you will be understanding what consumers want and need, developing the science and technology to bring new innovations to life. You’ll be helping to make our products more desirable, more inclusive, more efficacious, and kinder to the planet.

What do we look for?

  • We require a strong technical qualification in chemical/biological/physical/engineering/food related science/maths/coding/computer science or similar discipline

  • Motivated, authentic, and ambitious future leaders who can apply their qualification expertise in a business context

  • A forward thinking and passionate leader to contribute towards a cleaner, more sustainable future through exciting innovations.

  • Visionaries that will fall in love with the problem, not the solution - we need leaders who are hungry to solve some of the industry’s biggest challenges (sustainability for instance). Impact at this scale takes time!

  • Collaborative & inclusive individuals who are excited to work alongside an international network to create superior products for our consumers.

What will the programme involve?

Over three years and at least four placements, you will be inspired through a world-class development programme packed with a breadth of diverse experiences, challenges, and fun. You will build your personal leadership skills by working on live projects that offer you all the experience you need to thrive in your first leadership role. You will work with teams from different parts of our business, across 5 different business groups (Beauty & Wellbeing, Personal Care, Home Care, Ice Cream and Nutrition).

At Unilever, we believe that first-hand experience is the fastest way to learn. The Unilever culture is inclusive, collaborative, and encourages innovative thinking. Our high support, high challenge environment will support you to achieve your potential, whilst giving you the chance to develop industry leading skills through shaping your own career path according to your interests, strengths, and aspirations. With a strong performance culture, challenging goals, and continuous feedback, we will support you to achieve your potential in an inclusive environment.

During the three-year programme you’ll have the opportunity to work across a range of R&D areas, collaborating with a plethora of experienced leaders and technical experts. You could be unlocking the next generation of blockbuster technologies in Science & Technology, running consumer studies for global scale launches, creating new formulation designs in our advanced labs & Pilot Plants, or working hand-in-hand with our marketers to delight our consumers. The opportunities are endless!

Creative minds that can balance both deep technical expertise and commercial astuteness.


Your placements will rotate across different sites in UK & Ireland: Leeds, Port Sunlight, Liverpool, Colworth, and London (for out of function). You will have the opportunity to work in our Materials Innovation Factory at the University of Liverpool which houses one of the world's highest concentrations of automated and computer aided equipment to invent new ingredients formulated in new ways to deliver high level product performance. Therefore, you need to be flexible about your home base during the programme to optimise the wealth of opportunities available across our business locations. You will be supported with all your relocations.

Is travel required? 10-25%

Closing date:

We will close for applications as soon as we receive enough applications for the business area. We, therefore, advise you to apply as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

If you have any questions about your application or if you require special arrangements/reasonable adjustments to be made to complete any part of the application process, please contact the Graduate Recruitment Team.

Discovery Centres

Please note that the Research and Development discovery centres will take place in person, if you are selected to attend, you will need to be available on one of the following dates (2024): 22 nd January, 23 rd January, 24 th January or 25 th January.

Recruitment Fraud

Cyber criminals advertise fake job adverts with prestigious employers as a way of stealing information or even defrauding individuals out of money. In the most sophisticated cases, they will set up fake websites, which have a similar address to companies like Unilever. They even conduct fake telephone interviews and then offer candidates a role with the proviso they pay a fee for background checks or to cover work visa costs. These types of attacks are becoming more common as more people are looking for employment in the economic climate.

How is Unilever tackling this?

Many of Unilever’s recruitment sites publish a warning to candidates about recruitment fraud. The Cyber Security team also proactively scan for signs of people setting up fake Unilever sites and act to close them down.

What can I do?

If you become aware of potential recruitment fraud, spot fake Unilever recruitment adverts or fake LinkedIn profiles, report them via Una Live Chat.

Unilever does not accept responsibility or liability for any candidates who are financially impacted by recruitment fraud. Your vigilance is key!

More Details




Leeds, Port Sunlight, Liverpool, Colworth, and London

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