University of Dundee

Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry / Organic Chemistry

Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Sunday, May 16, 2021
Grade 7 (£32,817 - £40,322)

The School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee is a world-class academic institution with a reputation for the excellence of its research, its high quality teaching and student experience, and the strong impact of its activities outside academia. With 900 staff from over 60 countries worldwide the School provides a dynamic, multi-national, collegiate and diverse environment with state-of-the-art laboratory, technology and teaching facilities.

We are seeking a highly motivated scientist with research experience in medicinal/organic chemistry to join a multi-disciplinary drug discovery team based within Dundee’s School of Life Sciences, under the auspices of a new Protein Degradation Centre. The team is engaged in an exciting collaboration on proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTAC) drug discovery between the laboratories of Professor Alessio Ciulli ( and Boehringer Ingelheim. Our mission is to discover novel small-molecule degraders to treat cancer and other human diseases with serious unmet medical needs. The scientist will be expected to boost the drug design and synthesis approaches the team are taking to accelerate translation of research in this field and to develop degrader drug candidates.

The post is available to start immediately. Salary will depend on experience and will be up to £40,322. This is a unique opportunity to gain experience in world-leading industry-style drug discovery within an academic setting. The post may also provide opportunities for project leadership and to carry out a short work placement at the collaborator research site.

The position is fixed-term, with funding currently available until 31st August 2023.

Your responsibilities:

  • Design and synthesis of compounds across project targets.
  • Carrying out data analysis and relevant quality assurance protocols.
  • Critically analyse project data and contribute ideas that will drive projects forward.
  • Develop team science across the collaboration, working with colleagues across disciplines to enable breakthroughs.
  • Report directly to the Team Leader (Will Farnaby) and to the Principal Investigator (Alessio Ciulli).


  • A PhD in organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry or a related discipline is required.
  • Outstanding academic or industrial track record.
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and presentation skills.
  • High level of expertise in synthetic organic chemistry and synthetic route design.
  • A demonstrated ability to problem-solve within a team environment.

Desirable skills:

  • A track record of applying sound medicinal chemistry principles to optimize lead compounds.
  • Experience applying structure-based drug design approaches.

Appointment on the Grade 7 salary scale is dependent upon you having been awarded a PhD. An appointment may be considered if you are shortly expected to be awarded a PhD. In this case the initial appointment would be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale (Spinal Point 25 - 28, £29,176 - £31,866).

Informal enquiries may be made to Professor Alessio Ciulli, e-mail: 

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.  

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.

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