Research & Development (Vaccines)

Join the GSK Research & Development (Vaccines) career path and work with other dedicated professionals from R&D to develop innovative vaccines that address real public health needs and have the potential to save the lives of many people worldwide. Our vaccines portfolio includes meningitis, rotavirus, hepatitis and influenza vaccines, and covers vaccines for children, adolescents, adults, travellers and the elderly.

We are looking for candidates with a degree in a scientific discipline such as biology, bacteriology, virology, immunology, animal science and (bio)chemistry. Paediatrics, infectious diseases and public health are also key areas of interest. We are interested in hearing from PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, medical doctors, veterinarians and pharmacists who want to work on projects that could have a powerful impact on people’s lives.

We offer you the chance to pursue a career centred on specific vaccine projects. You will have the opportunity to grow and develop within the company thanks to a tailored programme of training, mentoring and work experience.

What’s this area all about?

Our scientists look for new ideas and solutions to develop vaccine candidates, improve vaccines that already exist and make them accessible to the people who need them most, regardless of where they live. Currently, GSK has over 39 licensed vaccines and about 15 vaccine candidates in development, including those targeting malaria, HIV and tuberculosis as well as the potential Ebola vaccine.

The discovery and development of a new vaccine is a complex process that typically takes 10 to 12 years. It starts with the search for and discovery of new vaccine targets or vaccine strategies, followed by pre-clinical and clinical development. Many other departments play a role, such as regulatory, epidemiology, health economics, statistics and medical affairs. Often collaboration with public and private partners is involved. 

What is this career path like?

2 years
3 rotations

During this two-year graduate training programme you will gain a broad and insightful experience of GSK’s vaccines R&D business, thanks to three rotations within different R&D departments, including one six-month assignment abroad. You will start with a one-year rotation in a hands-on role involved with core activities in R&D Vaccines. You will also have the opportunity to see science in action in our labs, be part of a vaccines development project team, discover our clinical activities, experience contact with our customers or learn about the risk and compliance side of vaccine production.

You’ll have the chance to improve your technical skills while gaining valuable leadership training. The programme follows the 70:20:10 learning principle: 70% of your learning takes place on the job during your rotations, 20% is the support you’ll receive from a senior leader who will be your mentor throughout the programme, and the remaining 10% comprises formal leadership training sessions.

This experience will equip you to become a leader of the future and will provide you with a solid foundation for a variety of science careers within the pharmaceutical industry.

What will I learn?

You will see how biology, chemistry and medicine come together in the world of vaccines, and understand how different functions across GSK’s global business interact to make new products a reality.

You will learn about the process of developing vaccines, from the research laboratory stage, clinical testing, legislative and regulatory activities, production and supply chain through to delivery of the product to customers.

In addition, you will be part of a truly diverse network, working with graduates from all over the world. 

Where can I work?

The R&D career path is based at one of our three Vaccines R&D centres in Belgium, Italy or the US and there is the opportunity to carry out one six-month rotation abroad. 

What’s expected of me?

This is a challenging programme with a steep learning curve. You will have the opportunity to demonstrate your skills and be inspired to achieve your ambitions.

On a practical level, we will look to you to manage projects and prioritise a series of tasks. You’ll source and analyse information and report your findings to help us understand trends and facts. We’ll also need you to build strong working relationships with a wide range of people at all levels. 

What do I need to succeed?

This career path is highly competitive and attracts scientists from many scientific disciplines.

Ideally you will hold a PhD or Post-doctoral degree in a scientific field or an MD. Alternatively, you might have a Masters degree in a scientific discipline and an additional secondary degree (e.g. in business, finance or public health). A passion for science is essential, together with a real interest in the pharmaceutical industry and the whole vaccine R&D environment.

Candidates holding a double Masters degree or a PhD will have a maximum of two years’ professional experience. Post-Doctoral fellows will have a maximum of two years’ Post-Doctoral experience. Candidates holding a medical degree will have completed their foundation. All our candidates need to be fluent in English. Being able to speak the home site language is not mandatory.

You will need to be a good communicator who has the ability to deliver solutions, and who enjoys dealing with complexity and ambiguity. As a future leader, you will enjoy working with people across different functions and from different teams, and be keen to learn how to activate and motivate a team quickly.

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