Laboratory Scientist Apprenticeship (Target Validation and Protein Production) - UCB

Cogent Skills
Slough, Berkshire
£16,000 per annum
31 Oct 2019
20 Nov 2019
Science / Research
Role Type
Apprenticeship, Degree
Start Date
24 months+

We’re seeking highly motivated scientists to join the Early Solutions department at UCB. Working within New Modalities, you will be responsible for lab-based tasks supporting therapeutic projects and technology development. It is a great opportunity to work in industry-leading labs at the cutting edge of drug discovery.

  • Salary: £16,000 per annum
  • Holidays: 26 Days + Bank Holidays
  • Qualifications: You must have gained a minimum of 80 UCAS points from a minimum of 2 A-level subjects including either Chemistry or Biology (or equivalent) and an additional Science or Maths.
  • Duration: 39 months
  • Location: Slough
  • Working Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am – 5.30pm with 1 hour lunch break
  • Start Date: January 2020
  • Closing Date for applications: 20th November 2019

Vacancy Description:

We are currently looking for highly motivated scientists to join the Early Solutions department at UCB's UK Discovery Research Hub in Slough. Working within New Modalities you will be part of a team of scientists developing novel protein-based therapeutics for areas of unmet patient need. You will be responsible for laboratory-based tasks supporting therapeutic projects and technology development. Using a range of cutting-edge scientific technologies, you will help to enable the laboratory to function effectively 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 UCB. This represents a great opportunity to work in industry-leading laboratories at the cutting edge of drug discovery.

Specific duties and responsibilities:

You will be responsible for laboratory-based tasks, which include sampling, testing, measuring, recording and analysing results. Techniques will include advanced molecular biology and DNA manipulation, microbial and mammalian cell culture, protein expression, purification and characterisation.

Tasks typically involve:

Performing experiments in order to produce data to support scientific investigations Carrying out tasks accurately and following strict methodologies to carry out analyses Recording all laboratory work to the agreed standards Ensuring the laboratory is well-stocked and resourced Helping interpret and present results in collaboration with other colleagues Keeping up to date with technical developments, especially those which can save time and improve reliability Following and ensuring strict safety procedures and safety checks

About UCB:

UCB’s UK site is located Slough, Berkshire where it houses the immunology research hub and the head office for the UK commercial organisation.   There are three buildings on the Slough site, housing around 600 staff.


UCB was founded in 1928 and was originally a chemicals manufacturer with a separate pharmaceuticals division. In 2004, UCB acquired Celltech, the UK’s leading biotechnology company, which brought expertise in antibody-based drug discovery to the company. Schwarz Pharma was acquired in 2007, bringing its own portfolio of neurology and urology products

The research hub in Belgium concentrates on CNS therapies while the UK research focus is on immunology. Here, UCB is researching drugs for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and osteoporosis. The site is renowned for its capabilities in antibody-based drug discovery and early development

UCB now focuses on severe diseases within immunology and CNS. UCB is active in a number of therapy areas including epilepsy, movement disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and allergy.

UCB is a top five investor in UK pharmaceutical R&D*, investing over £230 million in 2010. Globally UCB invests more than 20% of its sales revenue into R&D

In the UK, UCB's R&D, Commercial and Corporate functions are located in Slough, Berkshire. UCB employs around 600 staff in the UK, of whom about 400 are engaged in research and development activities. The company supplies over 40 UK-approved medicines

Person Specification

Desired Skills

Good written and oral communication skills Good ability to multitask Problem solving skills Good numerical and IT skills

Personal Qualities

Attention to detail Teamworker and considerate to members of team and wider organisation Highly motivated and drive to develop oneself Demonstrates reliability and integrity Enthusiasm

Required Qualifications

5 GCSEs (or equivalent) grade A*-C (4-9) inc Maths, English and Science You must have gained a minimum of 80 UCAS points from a minimum of 2 A-level subjects including either Chemistry or Biology (or equivalent, e.g. BTEC) and an additional Science or Maths.

Additional information

Cogent Skills is managing the recruitment process in partnership with UCB. The successful candidate will be employed by Cogent Skills Services but will undertake all on-job learning with UCB.

Training to be provided

Training to be provided will be a mixture of on-site training, e-learning and block release with Kent FdSc Applied Bioscience (Foundation Degree) with potential to progress to BSc (Hons) Degree in Applied Bioscience Training to be part of contracted hours making up the working week 

Things to consider

Please ensure that you currently live within or can relocate to a commutable distance of the site 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; and removal of all jewellery and make-up upon entry into controlled clean room areas). 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.

Cogent Skills offers a wide range of benefits to our employees, including:

26 Days Holiday entitlement (+ Bank Holidays) Opt in pension scheme – Workplace Pension Scheme Student discount card (NUS) Employee assistance programme Dedicated mentor for the duration of your Apprenticeship Discount at Pure Gym

Apprentices may be eligible for annual wage increments, subject to company budgets and satisfactory completion of goals.