Science & Technology

Drug Discovery Project Leader

Not Specified

For 70 years, Charles River employees have worked together to assist in the discovery, development and safe manufacture of new drug therapies. When you join our family, you will have a significant impact on the health and well-being of people across the globe. Whether your background is in life sciences, finance, IT, sales or another area, your skills will play an important role in the work we perform. In return, we’ll help you build a career that you can feel passionate about.

Charles River are pleased to announce an exciting opportunity for innovative and highly motivated drug hunters to join our Early Discovery team based in Saffron Walden or Harlow, UK. The required candidates will be experienced project leaders who are able to provide scientific and strategic leadership across the drug discovery pipeline, from target validation through to clinical candidate nomination and beyond, in partnership with our clients. The successful applicants will be instrumental in building and managing high-performing, collaborative, inter-disciplinary project teams through effective matrix leadership and will have a proven track record of advancing small molecules towards the clinic. The ideal candidate will have a keen interest in cutting edge science as the role will also provide the opportunity to shape future scientific strategy, alongside other senior scientific leaders in the organisation. As a positive role model across disciplines, a key attribute will be a demonstrated ability to push boundaries and inspire others.


– To provide independent scientific leadership of multiple project teams by designing and coordinating work plans, actively managing project resources and finances, influencing across disciplines and using strategic decision making and creative problem solving to achieve project goals

– To provide drug discovery expertise both internally and to clients, challenging thinking and using own initiative to help to influence, define and deliver scientific objectives for self and others

– To act as a scientific lead within the Chemistry, Biology or DMPK department, mentoring others and contributing to influencing the overall scientific direction and strategic vision for the business by identifying new areas for growing capabilities, new technologies and/or creative approaches for process efficiency gains, and by promoting visibility both internally and externally

– To take a leading role in securing new business opportunities, working independently with Business Development to prepare scientific proposals and present to potential new clients

– To communicate clearly and effectively at a strategic level with key stakeholders, interfacing positively with clients and colleagues across disciplines

*Candidate Profile:*

– A background in Medicinal Chemistry, Biology or DMPK

– Broad drug discovery expertise from more than 15 years in the industry, covering different therapeutic areas and project phases across multiple target classes and gene families

– Strong track record of independent scientific leadership and strategic impact, as evidenced by delivery of numerous project milestones, publications and/or co-inventorship on patent applications

– Experience of successfully leading complex matrix teams, interacting across disciplines, planning & managing resources and finances and influencing within and outside of own project

– A dynamic, can-do attitude and a flexible approach to problem solving. Sound scientific judgement which has impacted on the direction and delivery of projects or departmental initiatives

– An advocate for change with an active interest in new technologies and disruptive approaches, with a drive and passion to innovate and integrate these into common practice

– The ability to write high quality integrated project proposals to challenging deadlines

– The ability to act proactively and make decisions for self and multiple teams

– Excellent interpersonal, communication and presentation skills with the ability to inspire others

– Evidence of external networking for example through conference presentations or active participation with professional bodies

– A strong commitment to personal development to enable future progression within the organisation as a senior scientific ambassador

All applicants must have the Right to Work in the UK before being considered.

About Discovery

Discovery from Charles River is industry-proven in the successful development of novel therapies, with over 350 patents and 80 preclinical drug candidates delivered to our sponsors in the past 17 years. Backed by more than 650 scientists, our comprehensive, integrated portfolio employs the latest technology and platforms to provide chemistry, biology, and pharmacology services that support clients from the earliest stages of hit identification all the way through to IND. Our client-focused, collaborative approach creates true partnerships that anticipate challenges, overcome obstacles, and move us forward together on the journey of getting new drugs to market.

About Charles River

Charles River is an early-stage contract research organization (CRO). We have built upon our foundation of laboratory animal medicine and science to develop a diverse portfolio of discovery and safety assessment services, both Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and non-GLP, to support clients from target identification through preclinical development. Charles River also provides a suite of products and services to support our clients’ clinical laboratory testing needs and manufacturing activities. Utilizing this broad portfolio of products and services enables our clients to create a more flexible drug development model, which reduces their costs, enhances their productivity and effectiveness to increase speed to market.

With over 14,000 employees within 80 facilities in 20 countries around the globe, we are strategically positioned to coordinate worldwide resources and apply multidisciplinary perspectives in resolving our client’s unique challenges. Our client base includes global pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, government agencies and hospitals and academic institutions around the world. And in 2018, revenue increased by 22% to $2.27 billion from $1.86 billion in 2017.

At Charles River, we are passionate about our role in improving the quality of people’s lives. Our mission, our excellent science and our strong sense of purpose guide us in all that we do, and we approach each day with the knowledge that our work helps to improve the health and well-being of many across the globe. We have proudly supported the development of ~85% of the drugs approved by the FDA in 2018.