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Laboratory Scientist Apprenticeship - Cell Engineering team

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
£21,000 + 11% benefits fund + bonus.
Closing date
25 Feb 2022

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At AstraZeneca, we put patients first and strive to meet their unmet needs worldwide. We’re deeply committed to our strategy of being a great place to work. For us, that includes fostering an environment where everyone can be among inclusive, supportive individuals with curious minds.

A company that genuinely follows the science and values individuals at all levels, you’ll be backed and encouraged to speak up, ask questions, and share ideas to push the boundaries of science and continuously learn and explore.

Make the start of your journey a lifechanging one

As part of our Early Talent Programme, you’ll be involved in projects and learning opportunities that have real impact from day one.

You’ll be part of our journey, helping us to provide life changing medicine to patients all over the world and transform lives for the better. You’ll make important contributions and embrace our values to deliver on our purpose. Because regardless of role or level, we all have an important part to play in making a positive difference.

You will be embedded in AstraZeneca’s Discovery Biology UK & US department (DB UK & US) based in Cambridge (UK) and join a community of scientists with broad technological expertise dedicated to drug discovery. You'll work within the Cell Science Neighbourhood of DB UK & US, with a focus on the generation of engineered cancer cell models, which will be used for the discovery of new targets and medicines.

As part of the Cell Engineering team, you'll use innovative gene editing technologies to generate modified cancer cell lines for target identification, target validation and drug development in the oncology disease area. You'll gain extensive expertise in the use of the revolutionary genome editing technology, CRISPR, to specifically alter the DNA of cancer cells, creating novel cellular models that will enable characterisation of oncological pathways. As part of this innovative team you'll have the opportunity to improve current CRISPR methods for use in preclinical model generation. As well as learning best practise cell culture techniques and various modes of gene editing, you will acquire skills in characterising gene sequences and protein expression such as digital PCR, western blotting and flow cytometry. Furthermore, you'll be given the opportunity to work within other groups in the Cell Science Neighbourhood, including the Cell Biology & Immunology team and the Cell Culture and Banking team. You'll learn how to follow standard operating procedures, keep highly accurate records and the principles of Good Laboratory Practice.

Training and Development

AstraZeneca will sponsor you through your Applied Bioscience - BSc (Hons) at University of Kent.

The apprenticeship combines working, earning a full-time salary, with fully funded part-time university learning (on average 1 day/week). This will give you the opportunity to gain a Applied Bioscience degree, just as you would if you went to university full-time, with the advantage of gaining relevant work-life skills and the excitement of helping to develop new medicines whilst taking your first steps towards a rewarding career.

We truly value Early Talent– their thoughts, ideas and contributions. So throughout the programme, you’ll be encouraged and inspired to speak up, have a voice and make an impact.

Skills and Capabilities

We would be looking for the following attributes from our successful applicants:

  • Enthusiastic individuals who are keen to learn and with a genuine curiosity for the science involved in creating new medicines.
  • Able to act independently but also to work and contribute in a team environment
  • Good organisational skills with an excellent attention to detail
  • The ability to work on multiple tasks and understanding how to prioritise
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills
  • A proactive approach to problem solving
  • An interest in learning how gene editing technologies work and how they can be used to advance drug discovery

Entry Requirements

Five GCSEs (or equivalent) grades 9 to 4, including English language and maths at a grade 4 or above

To have achieved or predicted to achieve a minimum of two A levels equivalent) including Chemistry or Biology.

Benefits, open and close dates

To apply for this position, please click the apply link.

Opening date of advert: 24th January 2022

Closing date of advert: 25th February 2022

This is a 4.5-5 -year fixed term contract opportunity based at Granta Park, Cambridge (We are due to move to the Discovery Centre, Trumpington in late 2022) with a starting base salary of £21,000 + 11% benefits fund + bonus.

Successful candidates will be asked to attend a virtual Assessment day on 26th April 2022

Should you require any reasonable adjustments or accommodations, please let us know on your application.

Start date for the apprenticeship programme is 5th September 2022

These positions are not open to those already educated to Bachelors degree level or above – for which we have specific Graduate Programmes, see our website for more details


AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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