Research & Development

Patient-focused research and development (R&D) is the heart of our business. One in three of our 16 candidate vaccines targets diseases particularly prevalent in the developing world, including the World Health Organisation’s three priority diseases - HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. We seek to discover and develop new vaccines, to protect against diseases where vaccines are not yet available and to improve on those vaccines that already exist. The discovery and development of a new vaccine is a complex process that typically takes between 10 and 12 years and generally involves collaboration with public and private partners. We invested £496 million in core vaccines R&D in 2013 and we currently have over 100 R&D partnerships that support our vaccine R&D programs.

Available roles

Scientist in lab

Opportunities exist for R&D scientists in Vaccines.

Our R&D organisation attracts scientists from most disciplines including medical or veterinary physicians, chemists, biologists, statisticians, pharmacologists and microbiologists. Some apply their scientific skills to carrying out innovative research. This ranges from early science on fundamental and applied immunology to work on vaccine targets, delivery systems and manufacturing technologies. Others apply their scientific or medical training to early and late development clinical trials, or to clinical operations, safety, regulatory & medical affairs, epidemiology, health economics or statistics. Other scientists or physicians monitor the quality of our research and ensure that we adhere to the highest standards of existing regulations.

Most importantly, if you join R&D, there will be plenty of opportunities for development and growth into other roles within the company. Essentially, you’ll be able to build a career that is well-rounded as well as having great depth.

Working in R&D

GSK employs more than 12,000 people on vaccine-related work at 13 sites worldwide, of whom, more than 1,600 scientists work on the development of new vaccines.

Every role is different – but our research teams are united by one thing: a dedication to help protect patients through generation and delivery of high quality products.

Our core approach to vaccine R&D is to bring together the best science has to offer to drive innovation. As part of a large research-based company, we have significant scale, resource and expertise that we can bring to the search for new vaccines. We have created agile and accountable early-stage R&D groups. These are tasked with seeking out the biological targets involved in disease and continually strive to overcome vaccine-related challenges. It means there’s a real sense of purpose in R&D. We give our scientists responsibility, and achievement is recognised and rewarded. In addition, we have set up an original internal framework, enabling scientists to test their ideas and stimulating innovation through ‘intrapreneurship’.

Our R&D efforts also include the lifecycle management of vaccines already on the market and those that we anticipate will emerge from the pipeline. We do this to extend the reach of our vaccines, adapting them to ensure they meet the needs of patients.

There are not many jobs where your day-to-day work will result in advances in vaccine R&D that have the potential to transform global health.

Our people are continually given opportunities to learn through new scientific projects, jobs or experiences – working with internal experts and often collaborating with external experts in their fields.

So if this appeals to you, now’s the time to join us.

Who we're looking for

We appreciate people who care about quality science, like to satisfy their scientific curiosity, and are keen to contribute to making discoveries that benefit society. You should combine scientific or medical expertise with the ability to work collaboratively as part of a multi-disciplinary team. In a constantly changing scientific and business environment, you will need to be able to adapt readily and to keep learning and evolving. Above all, we look for people ready to share our values of transparency, respect for people, integrity and patient focus.

We are proud to promote an open culture, encouraging people to be themselves and giving their ideas a chance to flourish.