ATA Level 5 Laboratory Scientist Apprenticeship - MedImmune

Cogent Ssc
£288.46 per week
07 Mar 2017
02 Apr 2017
Science / Research
Role Type
Start Date
We are currently looking for highly motivated young scientist to join the Formulation Team within the Biopharmaceutical department at MedImmune, the biologics division of AstraZeneca in Cambridge.

We are the global biologics research and development arm of our parent company AstraZeneca, a recognized global leader in biopharmaceutical research and development. By combining AstraZeneca's worldwide presence with our distinct and unique culture, processes, and standards, we continue to solve global healthcare challenges, redefine science, deliver better medicines, and help people live longer, healthier lives.

We develop medicines for unmet medical needs worldwide. We're an industry leader in personalized medicine - developing new products that may allow doctors to prescribe a specific, customized treatment for each patient's individual needs.

MedImmune's Formulation team in Cambridge are focussed on delivering key expertise in drug product development/presentation. The group is involved in formulation development, optimisation, product characterisation and stability studies of protein therapeutics. The candidate will design and execute experiments to support pre-formulation, formulation screening, biophysical characterisation studies, container closure compatibility studies, lyophilization and fill-finish. Write protocols, analyze data, interpret results and summarise results in reports and presentations with minimal supervision. Present findings in internal meetings. Function effectively and contribute actively to one or more project teams.

You will be joining a team involved, in the support of MedImmune's exciting early and late stage projects and the development of next generation therapeutics.

You will be responsible for a range of laboratory-based formulation tasks supporting exploratory new target projects, therapeutic projects and technology development. Using a range of cutting edge scientific technologies, you will help to advance antibody research projects whilst adhering to correct procedures and health and safety guidelines.

You will receive training in all techniques, and will have your own mentor to provide help and advice during your time at MedImmune.

In addition you will be supported and funded to undertake an accredited degree course part-time whilst working.

As an Apprentice Formulation Technician the candidate will have the opportunity to develop world class skills and knowledge with in many areas of the Formulation Sciences Group.

Following successful completion of the apprenticeship, the apprentice will have obtained a wealth of transferable competencies.


General workplace Health and Safety:

  • To be aware of and conduct work according to all current company policies and procedures e.g. Laboratory Code of Practice, chemical safety , Health and Safety.
  • To understand and comply with risk assessments & control including Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) assessments and Safety Data Sheets
  • To demonstrate appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) i.e. Lab coat, gloves

Laboratory Housekeeping:

  • To maintain housekeeping in accordance with company Standard Procedures
  • To report faults and seek diagnostic advice to maintain equipment in good working order
  • To order and control stocks of laboratory supplies and consumables

Environmental Management:

  • To understand the management and control of laboratory waste, the handling and disposal of chemical substances.


  • To understand and follow quality procedures to meet the requirements of quality standards relevant to their work
  • To understand and apply a variety of documents such as Standard Operating Procedures and Test Procedures


  • To understand goals and tasks assigned and where you are unsure, to question others to gain clarity of these tasks and goals
  • To effectively communicate to others (verbally and in writing) the detail of your tasks/workload on a daily/weekly or monthly basis either on a 1-to-1 basis or in team meeting environments.

Team Work:

  • To effectively work within a team and be able to deliver upon team goals as well as individual goals


To prepare for, and perform laboratory experiments and tests to produce reliable, accurate data to support R&D

Laboratory techniques:

  • Prepare for and perform laboratory techniques following any specified methodologies
  • Weighing
  • Pipetting
  • Filtering
  • pH measurement/adjustment
  • Reagent preparation
  • Temperature control and monitoring of refridgerated reagents

Role specific technical ability:

  • To demonstrate technical competence in the use of specified instruments and equipment following Standard Procedures
  • HPLC
  • Spectrometers
  • Microscope
  • Light scattering tools
  • Automated sample preparation
  • Buffer preparation
  • Excipient storage and usage

Role specific competencies:

To perform role specific tasks within the Formulation department:

  • Analytical mind-set
  • Understanding of good working practices
  • sample data input to specialised database
  • Automation
  • Freeze drying
  • Digital scanning
  • Protein handling
  • Data consolidation


  • To complete documentation proficiently including relevant calculations
  • To understand error reporting and correction techniques e.g. for traceability
  • To demonstrate an understanding of the relevant good documentation practices. To keep accurate records of laboratory work undertaken and results
  • To contribute to the preparation of reports to a level commensurate with job role
  • Use of electronic laboratory notebooks in undertaking and recording laboratory tasks

Problem solving:

  • To identify sources of error and how they can be reduced by demonstrating problem solving techniques
  • To demonstrate an open-minded approach e.g. more than one solution to a problem
  • To understand the importance to report errors and/or problems to formulation team members and demonstrate this in everyday working
Requirements and prospects Desired skills
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Good numerical and IT Skills
  • Excellent team player - ability to get along with colleagues and work as part of a team
  • Drive, enthusiasm and ambition with a can-do approach
  • Flexible attitude to work - ability to adapt to changing demands and requirements
  • High degree of integrity and trust
  • Ability to multitask
  • Problem solving skills
  • Demonstrate a progressive attitude towards developing their knowledge and skills.
  • High attention to detail.
Personal qualities
  • Motivated and enthusiastic
  • Have a passion for science and delivering results
  • A genuine motivation to drive own development
  • Be driven by a desire to make a difference to the lives of patients suffering with severe disease
  • Self-motivating with a desire to learn and push the boundaries of the role
  • Ability to deal with priority decision making
  • Excellent interpersonal and self- management skills
Qualifications required
  • Will possess 3 A levels (or equivalent), two of which must be in a science subject (ideally biology) at grade B or above.
  • 5 GCSE's at grade C and above including Mathematics and English (or equivalent).
Future prospects Because of the technical experience you will gain from this role, you will gain skills which many graduates have yet to develop. If you demonstrate practical ability in addition to problem solving ability there are limitless opportunities for progression within the Life Sciences sector

Things to consider The individual will be working within a laboratory environment and must therefore adhere to site dress code procedures and personal hygiene standards during testing activities (e.g. correct use of PPE such as laboratory coats and glasses). The individual will be required to handle hazardous materials (e.g. chemicals, microorganisms) and so must adhere to the relevant procedures. The work pattern involves day and shift working dependent upon the needs of the business. Please see link for travel: Apprentices may be eligible to annual wage increments subject to company budgets and satisfactory completion of goals.