Level 5 Technician Scientist Apprenticeship (DMPK) - Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Cogent Skills
Abingdon, Oxfordshire
£17,500 per annum
Closing date
3 Nov 2021

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The Laboratory Scientist Apprentice will carry out both routine and more complex scientific experiments and perform a variety of technical support functions within the Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics Department that may directly impact the research and development of new products, taking responsibility for the quality and accuracy of the work

Salary: £17,500 per annum

Holiday Entitlement: 28 days plus bank holidays

Qualifications Required: 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

Location: Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Working Hours: 40 hours per week. Monday to Friday with 1 hour unpaid lunch breaks

Duration: 39 months

Start Date: January 2022

Interview Date: W/C 22nd November 2021

Closing Date for applications: 3rd November 2021


Download and complete this application form, then click the "apply now" button to submit this.

There is a section at the end where you must in put answers to the following two questions;

  1. Can you tell us about a recent news story relating to a scientific or medical advance that particularly interested you, and why? How would you try and find out more information about the detailed science aside from normal news websites?
  2. Please tell us about your specific interests in Biology or Chemistry. Why did you like a particular part of your A-level course and how has it inspired you to pursue Biology/Chemistry research further by applying for this apprenticeship at Vertex Pharmaceuticals?


Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics (DMPK) is the study of how potential drug molecules are absorbed, distributed, metabolised and excreted from the body.  DMPK scientists work in unison with other key functions in Drug Research and Development (such as biology and chemistry).

This role offers a unique opportunity to complete a hands-on, dedicated training program in lab practice and education within biopharmaceutical research and development, learning from the ground up to develop scientific knowledge to help advance our understanding of how biology, chemistry, physiology and mathematics affect drug candidate progression.

  • Demonstrate and explain the principles of laboratory techniques and scientific experimentation to contribute to the development of scientific technical projects
  • Develop and apply a theoretical knowledge of the advanced science and technology required to progress in the job role and relevant area of specialism
  • Understand the business environment in which the company operates including personal role within the organisation, ethical practice and codes of conduct
  • Work safely within a laboratory environment, maintaining excellent housekeeping whilst following appropriate safety, environment and risk management systems
  • Promote and ensure the application of quality standards relevant to the workplace
  • Work autonomously to generate, analyse and interpret scientific data and present the results of laboratory work and problem solving clearly and concisely in written and oral form
  • Undertake continuous performance improvement within the scientific and technical environment
  • Use creative thinking and problem solving to challenge assumptions, innovate, make new proposals and build on existing ideas
  • Plan and prioritise tasks, review and evaluate progress against objectives and investigate alternative scenarios
  • Communicate effectively using a full range of skills: speaking to a scientific and non-scientific audience, active listening, professional writing, professional body language, scientific presentation
  • Demonstrate reliability, integrity and respect for confidentiality on work related and personal matters, including appropriate use of social media and information systems
  • Interact effectively within a multi-disciplinary project team
  • Understand the impact of work on others.
  • Manage time effectively, being able to plan and complete work to schedule
  • Handle change and respond to change management processes
  • Take responsibility for personal development, demonstrating commitment to learning and self-improvement.


Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious and life-threatening diseases.

We discovered and developed the first medicines to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF), a rare, life-threatening genetic disease. In addition to clinical development programs in CF, Vertex has more than a dozen ongoing research programs focused on the underlying mechanisms of other serious diseases.

Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, our corporate headquarters is now located in Boston’s Innovation District, and our international headquarters is in London, United Kingdom. We currently employ >2000 people in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia with nearly two-thirds of our staff dedicated to research and development.

Vertex’s Oxfordshire Research Centre is dedicated to the discovery of transformative medicines for several serious rare diseases. A team of 150+ multidisciplinary scientists work together to discover and optimise new chemical entities in state-of-the-art laboratories.


To be eligible for this position you will need;

  • 5 GCSE’s (or equivalent) grade A*-C (4-9) including 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

Skills required:

  • 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


Level 5 Technician Scientist Standard.

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


Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship you will be eligible to apply for other positions within the business.  The training will expose the apprentice to a wide range of skills and competencies which would make them well placed for further study or suitable for many job opportunities in the life sciences sector.


  • 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.
  • All applications to be made through Cogent Skills Recruitment – Cogent Skills will be the direct employer for this Apprentice

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