Employers will look for experience that has given you relevant technical and personal skills, ideally gained through industrial placements or internships.
In an industry that is so dependent on obtaining funding to suppoprt its research, commercial or industrial awareness is a key attribute that is often lacking in applicants. Visit our webpage to find out more about commercial awareness.
Industrial placement and internships are very beneficial, but if you don't yet have that directly relevant experience, keeping up to date with industry developments through news items on key websites, or perhaps folowing a particular organisation's social media feeds can all help to build your commercial awareness.
Working in retail or fundraising for charities, etc, can also be useful in helping you to understand how important the financial aspects of a business are.
Large pharmaceutical companies often advise those who are aiming for R&D roles to contact them towards the end of their undergraduate degree and maintain links throughout their further studies so they can stay informed about what employers are looking for.
For R&D roles, it is highly likely that you will need a PhD and relevant experience, but the more operations-focused roles, e.g. regulatory affairs, medical information, etc, often recruit at BSc level.
Degree subjects required will depend on the role, but engineering and physical sciences will be valuable, as will degrees within the life sciences spectrum.
Skill requirements will vary with each role, but broadly speaking, employers on the scientific side of the industry will be looking for:
- an interest in science and technology and an ability to update and test your knowledge against experience
- good communication skills to be able to liaise effectively within multidisciplinary teams
- experience of using modern technology and complex equipment
- meticulous attention to detail to produce highly accurate work even when under pressure
Some of the larger, global organisations run formal graduate recruitment programmes, but those with a smaller UK presence tend to advertise vacancies as they arise.
As so many of the employers are small companies, their recruitment processes are often less formal. Networking can play an important role in your job search.
Joining relevant online networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook could be an excellent way to identify potential employers, participate in discussions, make useful contacts and find out about upcoming events. Visit our pages on how to network effectively for more information.
If you can identify a small number of companies working in fieldds that particularly interest you, make contact to find out more about them and consider sending in a speculative application.
Commercial research organisations often use recruitment agencies.
Our source of vacancies from local, national and international companies and organisations
Recruitment websites dedicated to medtech vacancies are difficult to find, as many of the roles will be in small companies that are often responsive to speculative applications. However, there are a number of broader sites focusing on the pharmaceuticals and/or biotech that might prove useful.
Science Recruitment Group
For academic or industrial roles, including PhDs, use Jobs.ac.uk and search for 'medical device' or 'medical technology'.