Work Placement / Internship

Biological Sciences – Industrial Placement Programme 2022

Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Six Roles/Multiple Vacancies.

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Multiple roles available. 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.

Want to solve some of the world’s biggest health challenges?  

With over 300 years of innovation, we’re a science-led global healthcare company that discovers, develops and manufactures innovative medicines and vaccines. Our industrial placements are real roles with real responsibility, where you can gain experience in a purpose-led, performance-driven healthcare business. Join us and help millions of people do more, feel better, live longer. 

"I got so much more out of my placement than I expected!"

Be open to different sectors – Emily did a mechanical engineering degree and applied to an industrial placement with GSK, who lie within the pharmaceuticals sector. To watch the full Gradcracker/GSK webinar, click here.

GSK are a science-led global healthcare company that researches and develops innovative Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines 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, you will be supported and given training (laboratory and office practices, where applicable) until confident to work independently - with a focus on GSK health and safety requirements.  You will be enrolled in GSK internal courses to develop your knowledge of company policy and for your personal development including opportunities to attend seminars led by GSK scientists and networking opportunities.  

Role 1: Functional Genomics 

The Functional Genomics (FxG) department 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-characterised human cellular models.  

We have exciting opportunities for industrial placement students to join the Genome Biology and Omics Technologies groups within the Functional Genomics Department. Students would be primarily aligned to one of the key areas; although opportunities for cross-disciplinary training may be expected as required by role.

Key area 1 – Translational In-Vitro Models: The application of advanced cellular models to support FxG programme efforts.  Daily tasks include: 

  • The maintenance and use of physiological and disease relevant human cell culture systems to support cell-based screening assays 
  • This could include stem cells, primary cells, organoids or other complex in vitro cell models  
  • Use of biochemical assays, immunoassays, flow cytometry, image cytometry, lab automation and high content image analysis 
  • Genome editing procedures in any of these cellular systems and applying these to support ongoing target discovery and validation efforts. 

Key area 2 – Gene Editing and Genomics: The application of gene editing, genomics and transcriptomics to support FxG programme efforts. Daily tasks include: 

  • Cell culture and cloning/construct generation 
  • CRISPR genome editing, transfections, PCR, sequencing, western blotting 
  • 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.   
  • Working in our state-of-the art Stevenage R&D facility, this is an excellent opportunity to acquire and apply a range of new skills in one or more areas as part of real, ongoing drug discovery projects. 

Role 2: Cell and Gene Therapy – Product Development and Supply 

The Product Development & Supply team is responsible for developing and manufacturing cutting edge medicines through gene modification of patient cells from early phase to launch, and the development of innovative technologies to enable step-change improvements to cell and gene therapy (CGT) manufacture.    

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 ex vivo 
  • Formulation of the drug product  
  • Analytical development to ensure product quality  

 You will 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:   

  • Learn techniques and apply them to your project  
  • Use a variety of analytical methods to generate data for process development activities 
  • Learn to analyse and interpret data  
  • Use and evaluate state-of-the-art technologies, to improve our manufacturing process and analytics 
  • Test and optimise automated solutions. 

Role 3: Biochemist 

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 to 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 many 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. 

Role 4: Novel Human Genetics 

The Novel Human Genetics Research Unit based at the Stevenage research and development hub is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of passionate scientists striving to develop novel medications for some of the world’s 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 increases the chance of success in the clinic and ultimately in delivering medicines to the patients that need them.  The unit is responsible for progressing drug discovery programmes from target identification all the way through to Phase I clinical trials; incorporating 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 our key programmes under the supervision of dedicated and experienced leaders. You will be comprehensively trained in a range of 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, developing networks and learning about the pharmaceutical industry along the way. We are looking for enthusiastic and conscientious young scientists for this role and if you think that this could be you, we encourage you to apply.  

Role 5: Biopharmaceutical Product Development 

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.   

We work within a friendly but challenging environment.  All opportunities to attend lectures or other learning opportunities are encouraged. The student should be an enthusiastic team player, have good communication skills and a proactive attitude. You should be keen to learn, self-motivated, ready to take on new challenges and have some experience in laboratory science.  

Role 6: Oncology Cell Therapy  

Adoptive cell therapy aims to treat cancer patients with modified immune cells that infiltrate tumour tissue and specifically kill the tumour cells. The Oncology Cell Therapy (OCT) Research Unit is responsible for cell therapy programmes at an early stage of drug discovery, evaluating new tumour cell targets and generating novel approaches to enhance efficacy in patients with solid tumours.   

Our unit comprises scientists from a range of scientific backgrounds and experience, and we have successfully hosted many students.  You will become an active member of the Unit and your work will directly support ongoing programmes. 

We welcome highly motivated and enthusiastic students, preferably with an interest in oncology and/or immunology.  Throughout the placements a deeper understanding of immunology, T cell function and tumour biology will be gained, making the positions of interest for those with future career aspirations in an Oncology field. 

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.  Experience likely to be gained include primary and engineered cell culture; flow cytometry, molecular biology and cell imaging; cell viability and cytokine assays, with full training & support provided.  You will also develop your broader scientific research and professional skills within this environment, e.g. experimental design, accurate experimental record keeping, data analysis, reporting and presentation skills.   

Degree requirements:  

  • You will have completed a minimum of 2 years of your undergraduate degree; but will not have graduated at the start of your placement. You may be expected to provide evidence from your university to show you will be an undergraduate student for the duration of the placement year and they are supportive of your placement. 
  • Must be currently undertaking a Life Sciences degree. This includes, but is not limited to, Biological Sciences, Biochemical Engineering, Biomedical Science, Pharmacology, or Biotechnology.  


  • A salary of £21,000, plus a bonus  
  • Access to GSK resources such as employee assistance programmes, private healthcare, and training and development.  

Application deadline: We recommend you apply as soon as possible, because we accept ongoing applications and will close this vacancy once we have enough applications.  

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Opportunity Overview

  • Ongoing
  • Multiple vacancies
  • £21,000 + benefits
  • All grades
  • Year-long
  • Stevenage, Hertfordshire
    (Show map)

Preferred Disciplines...

  • Bioengineering
  • Biology
  • Biomedical
  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Science
  • Pharmacology

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