University of Dundee

WCAIR Medicinal Chemistry Trainer

Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Sunday, September 26, 2021
Grade 7 (£33,309 - £40,927)

The Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research (WCAIR) Training programme is seeking a personable and enthusiastic individual to take up the post of a Medicinal Chemistry Trainer. WCAIR builds on world-leading work at the University of Dundee, including within the Drug Discovery Unit (DDU), to find new drugs to treat diseases of the developing world such as malaria, tuberculosis, leishmaniasis and Chagas disease (see

The WCAIR Training programme has been developing a range of educational activities to support scientists from low-middle income countries working in the field of drug discovery. These activities range from individual training programmes delivered in Dundee, online content (both live and pre-recorded) and delivering short courses in a range of countries.

The successful applicant will work with WCAIR’s Training Manager and Scientific Lead as well as the rest of the training team to develop and implement the strategy and delivery of WCAIR’s training activities, with a particular focus on Medicinal Chemistry.

A key aspect of the training programme will be designing appropriate training programmes for trainees, with a mix of online theoretical content and on-the-job, hands-on practical training with progression towards being full team members within an infectious disease project. The training will develop the trainees’ expertise in medicinal chemistry, while providing exposure to all other aspects of the drug discovery matrix.

There is an expectation that there will be ongoing training and advice that will support the development of sustainable drug discovery research in the trainee’s originating location. Ensuring training is transferable to the trainees’ home laboratories is essential.

You will have a minimum of a science degree, together with training experience gained working in a drug discovery research and/or development environment, preferably within the BioPharmaceutical industry. From 2022 we hope to be able to return to delivering short courses in countries where collaborations have been established. You should expect to undertake 1 international visit for teaching per year.

The post is available immediately. Salary will depend on experience but will be in the range £32,817 – £40,322. You will be offered an open-ended contract. A relocation allowance is available.

WCAIR and the Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery operates on an external funding basis. The Principal Investigators within these units are highly successful in securing external funding for their multi-disciplinary and highly collaborative research and activities.

The Medicinal Chemistry Trainer will:

  • Help continue and develop the hands-on training programme in drug discovery for experienced scientists seeking to develop their knowledge of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery
  • Help identify and select trainees in medicinal chemistry
  • Mentor and train in key aspects of medicinal chemistry within a drug discovery project
  • Carry out health and safety training, to the high (industry) standards of the DDU
  • Train in the use of key discipline specific computational packages and laboratory equipment
  • Ensure integration of trainees with an ongoing DDU drug discovery project to maximise the impact of the training
  • Develop and deliver a range of further training activities, e.g. lectures, workshops and on-line materials
  • Receive training in DDU specific working practices, health and safety, computational packages, etc.

Required attributes:

  • Professionally qualified with at least a Chemistry or Medicinal Chemistry or related science degree
  • Demonstrable experience of:
  • Training scientists or general non-scientific training experience
  • Carrying out Medicinal Chemistry within a drug discovery project


  • A strong knowledge of synthetic organic chemistry
  • A strong understanding and appreciation of the drug discovery process
  • A strong proactive approach
  • Excellent team working skills
  • A willingness to work flexibly
  • Excellent time management and organisational skills
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • The ability to travel

For further information about this position please contact the WCAIR Training Manager, Suze Farrell,

Facilities and Environment

For more information on research, facilities, public engagement and training within WCAIR please visit our website . There is a very interactive and open culture amongst WCAIR’s 180 scientists, with many collaborations between the different groups. There are many opportunities for sharing and exchanging ideas such as weekly seminars, pizza lunches, 6-monthly symposia and an annual retreat. 

WCAIR and the DDU are embedded in the School of Life Sciences which has been consistently rated ‘5-star’ by the UK national Research Assessment Exercise. Dundee has twice been named ‘the best place to work in Europe’ in a poll of scientists conducted by The Scientist magazine. You can go on a virtual visit of our labs here: and further details for School of Life Sciences facilities and support for staff 

Dundee lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty, including large sandy beaches and the Scottish Highlands less than an hour away. The city has lots to offer with fantastic attractions such as the striking V&A Dundee, the Dundee Rep, Dundee Contemporary Arts and more.

The University of Dundee embraces diversity. We have family-friendly policies, staff support networks for BME, disabled and LGBT+ staff, membership of Athena SWAN and Stonewall, as well a full range of disability services to create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.

Read more about the rewarding work and life environment in Dundee,

The Closing Date is 26th September 2021

For further information or to apply for this position please click here