Work Placement / Internship

Internship (Undergraduate) - Sensory Science

Duration: 12 months

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British American Tobacco is a global business going through a hugely dynamic period in our 100+ year history. With consumers seeking more choice with expectations above traditional cigarettes, now is an exciting time to have a real say in what we do – a chance to feel the international impact of your work and the responsibility to own what really matter to our consumers. All sides of the business is fully thriving, from our traditional tobacco roots, which we have proudly grown into a market-leading enterprise, to our business in developing brand-new products that promote choice, where innovation thrives.

What’s best about our evolution is that science is at the heart of all of it. Our global R&D teams uncover the facts and drive us forward using the most cutting-edge technologies. We have over 200 different scientific methods – from analytical chemistry and toxicological profiling to future casting and battery design. Why work here? Because we’re not just any FMCG company: we’re industry leaders, game changers, world shapers.

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About the Placement Scheme

In the UK, we offer 12-months placement – starting 31st August 2020 – opportunities to undergraduate students looking to gain practical experience within a vibrant and innovative industrial setting. As part of the scheme, you will be partnered with a mentor, have regular reviews with your Line Manager and work on projects that impact the business.

Training and development is provided throughout the placement with successful applicants having multiple opportunities to develop transferable skills in addition to gaining ‘hands on’ experience in a technical discipline.

As part of the scheme students get a chance to cultivate their independent thinking and problem solving skills in addition to working in and contributing to a team. Cross functional/department working and participation in other research activities is also encouraged, where appropriate. Previous work experience in a practical ‘hands-on’ role would be useful but not essential.

Job Purpose

An intern role for someone looking to explore how they can apply consumer and technical insights learning to aid product development.

Wide ranging exposure to running sensory and consumer insights projects across current and new to world categories in a fast paced environment.

The sensory and technical insight team in Southampton is a core element delivering product insights needed to design and optimise cutting edge innovation in our industry.

With the continued focus of R&D being on the newest innovation and continued speed of innovation, there is a huge need for the business to gain more of an early read of product design and function.

The sensory function will have a dedicated state of the art facility on the Southampton site, which will have 2 rooms available for product testing in a research mode with consumers, as well as a room which will be used for expert smoking sessions.

The responsibility of this role will be to be a member of a vibrant sensory and technical insight team, evaluating innovations and competition products across all nicotine subcategories (combustibles, vaping, Tobacco heating, oral).

Through our technical insight consumer database, we are aiming to deliver over 1 project per week, along with 1 online survey per month – this role will have responsibility for executing and reporting on these projects.

Principal Accountabilities

Operational accountabilities
  • Plan, direct and supervise sensory activities for Sensory Panels to ensure that project timings are met.
  • Running product and concept research from writing the briefs, generating proposals, partnering with agencies, client meetings through to ensuring the delivery of the insight is accurate and compelling.
  • Executing sensory panels across the campus, across all product types – combustible, Vaping, tobacco heating products, and oral nicotine. This will include planning personnel, devices, consumables and writing questionnaires.
  • Report writing, using both qualitative and quantitative data to provide a descriptive and actionable story to product developers.
  • Issues recommendations to stakeholders based on aggregation and interpretation of sensory data and in-depth understanding of project objectives through close collaboration with Project Teams.
  • Presentation writing and delivery of findings to internal clients.
Guidance and Consultancy
  • Engages & interacts with relevant stakeholders to identify demand signals as well as opportunities for Sensory to cover X-Category projects and initiatives.
Sensory Governance
  • Ensure the panel quality is maintained through regular checks and assessments.
  • Ultimately responsible for the leadership and management of day to day Sensory Panel activities, whilst ensuring best practise implementation, alongside agreed priorities and aligned to the Global Sensory Strategy.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • The job holder should be educated to degree level in a scientific background
  • The job holder should have an interest in product development and how an idea gets translated into a functional product or service.
  • Knowledge of sensory methods and broad understanding of consumer research methods
  • Basic knowledge and understanding of the key business activities relating to the composition, manufacture, product design and evaluation of products to meet consumer and commercial needs within legislative and operational constraints. This can be provided by OTJ training.
  • In-depth understanding of applied statistics & tools
  • Understanding of how consumers interact with these products
  • In-depths sensory knowledge for category as defined per centre of excellence for each region
  • Creative, entrepreneurial, dynamic, tenacious, resilient, receptive to change, focused
  • Presentation and communication skills and experience.


  • Salary of £17,000 per annum
  • Subsidised gym membership (£15 per month)
  • Subsidised lunches
  • 25 days annual leave
  • Free on-site parking
  • Participation in the Discretionary Company Bonus Scheme
  • Participation in the Company Share Reward Scheme
  • Participation in the Company Pension Scheme
  • Private Healthcare Cover
  • Eligibility for Company Flexible Benefits Scheme
  • Employee Assistance Programme.


The selection process involves:

  • An online application (including the uploading of a CV, completion of application form)
  • A telephone interview
  • A face-to-face interview/Assessment Centre in Southampton.

Applications for multiple roles will be accepted.


Early applications are recommended and roles may be filled as suitable candidates are identified (potentially before the final closing date).

Essential requirements

We are looking for undergraduates who are undertaking an industrial sandwich degree course.

Candidates will need to have:

  • A relevant undergraduate degree (see individual placement opportunities), with a minimum predicted grade of 2:1.
  • The right to live and work in the UK.


How to Apply

Job ID Number: 22844
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Opportunity Overview

  • Tomorrow
  • £17,000 + benefits
  • 2:1 and above (expected)
  • Year-long
  • Southampton
    (Show map)

Preferred Disciplines...

  • Chemistry
  • Manufacturing
  • Pharmacology
  • Physics
  • Product Design
  • Science

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