University of Dundee

Synthetic Medicinal Chemist

Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Grade 7 (£32,817 - £40,322)

The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) ( is a fully integrated drug discovery operation based within a world class Life Sciences research environment.

The DDU is a globally acknowledged centre of excellence for drug discovery. The DDU collaborates with partners to translate world-class biology research into novel drug targets and candidate drugs to address unmet medical need across our two areas of activity, Diseases of the Developing World and Innovative Targets Portfolio.

The DDU works to biotech style philosophy and standards incorporating, dynamic, goal driven project management based on Target Product Profiles and Compound Selection Criteria. Project goals are therapeutic area dependent but range from quality leads demonstrating disease model proof of concept, through to pre-clinical candidates.

We are looking for a highly motivated medicinal chemist with a BSc or PhD in synthetic organic or medicinal chemistry. You will ideally have subsequent experience in the biopharma industry or related. The post will be primarily laboratory based and of particular interest to talented synthetic chemists and medicinal chemists who want to work in a professional drug discovery environment. The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to drug discovery projects as part of multi-disciplinary teams.

The position, offers you an opportunity to grow your expertise and track record by having a key role in delivering drug candidates that address major global diseases, developing your medicinal chemistry and drug discovery skills, and helping to drive innovation and best practice within the drug discovery approaches of a world-leading university-based drug discovery group.

The post is available immediately.   Salary will depend upon experience, but the appointment will be on the University's Grade 7 Salary Scale.

Your responsibilities:

  • Evaluate small molecule hits from high throughput screens, proposing early optimisation strategies to identify promising leads
  • Design new compounds and libraries based upon SAR, medicinal chemistry interpretation and DMPK data
  • Enable project flowchart triage including in vitro and in vivo DMPK profiling
  • Synthesis, purification and evaluation of compounds across projects
  • Reaction sequence scouting, proposal and implementation
  • Data analysis, quality assurance protocols and evaluation of biological data
  • Prepare methods and synthesis schemes for patents
  • Write publications where feasible

Your qualifications:

  • A PhD in synthetic organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, or a related discipline, ideally with subsequent experience, or a BSc in chemistry and subsequent experience of synthetic or medicinal chemistry in the pharmaceutic or related industries.
  • Expertise in synthetic organic chemistry and synthetic route design
  • Excellent written, oral and interpersonal communication skills
  • Capable of working in a team, but able to plan and work independently
  • Good time management, organisational and communication skills
  • A willingness to work flexibly to meet project milestones
  • Experience in the biopharma industry and an understanding and appreciation of the drug discovery process would be advantageous

The successful candidate will be based within the DDU and School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee ( The School of Life Sciences is one of the top life science research institutes in Europe for Biological Sciences

The DDU is part of the Wellcome Centre for Anti-infectives Research (WCAIR). The DDU has produced 3 clinical candidates since 2013. Over the last 3 years WCAIR has obtained multi-million pounds in grant income to found our activities and published over 85 papers, many in top ranking journals. There is a very interactive and open culture amongst WCAIR’s 170 scientists, with many collaborations between the different groups. There are also 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. The DDU is housed in a state-of-the-art building with cutting-edge equipment and automation for drug discovery. You can go on a virtual visit of our labs here, further details for School of Life Sciences facilities here and support for staff here

The Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery Division and Drug Discovery Unit operate 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.

Dundee, set on the east coast of Scotland, lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty, including large sandy beaches and the Scottish Highlands less than an hour away ( The School of Life Sciences is on the University City Campus and has stunning views of the River Tay, Dundee city and Fife. The city itself has plenty to offer with fantastic visitor attractions such as the striking V&A museum and the RRS Discovery ship, as well as the Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre; Dundee Contemporary Arts; MacManus Gallery and many individual artists. There are many diverse and individual restaurants and pubs creating a bustling nightlife. Discover more

The University of Dundee is a signatory of the Researcher Development Concordat and is committed to enhancing the research environment and culture. Engagement and support of activities which assist the researcher development agenda at the University is therefore essential.

As an internationally diverse institution, we welcome job applicants from all countries and nationalities. The School of Life Sciences is proud to employ staff from over 40 different nations.

The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for undergraduate, postgraduate and distance learning. Family friendly policies, staff networks for BME, Disabled and LGBT staff, membership of Athena SWAN, the ECU Race Equality Charter and Stonewall as well a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.

The Closing Date is 29th September 2021

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