University of Dundee

Associate Scientist, Synthetic and Medicinal Chemistry

Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Sunday, December 19, 2021
Grade 7 Training (£29,614 - £32,344)

Within the University of Dundee, the newly announced Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD) due to open in early 2022 is being created as a first of its kind Centre leading a number of internationally significant projects in the burgeoning new area of translational chemical biology and targeted protein degradation. The goal of CeTPD is to innovate a next-generation of small-molecule platforms and modalities to advance chemical and biological insights and therapeutic targets related to human diseases. It aspires to achieve this by openly collaborating with academic, industrial and venture partners, and by training and inspiring the next-generation of research scientists and leaders.

We are seeking to appoint an Associate Scientist, Synthetic and Medicinal Chemistry to join our expanding Centre based at the University of Dundee. These new roles will be embedded within a multi-disciplinary drug discovery team engaged in structure based PROTAC design in an exciting collaboration between the University of Dundee and Boehringer Ingelheim. The joint team’s mission is to discover novel small-molecule degraders to treat cancers with serious unmet medical needs. The successful candidates will support the on-going discovery efforts of this collaboration team, as well as of the wider CeTPD group.

This is an exceptional opportunity to use knowledge and skills acquired to develop synthetic organic and medicinal chemistry skills alongside experienced professionals, on high profile drug discovery projects. It is expected that as part of the role the successful candidates will be fully involved in all aspects of project team life including travelling for in-person meetings with collaborators. The role be varied, with exposure to a range of projects and opportunities for short placements in other disciplines within the collaboration team such as cell biology and structural biophysics.

The ideal candidate is interested in contributing to highly innovative research programs focused on Targeted Protein Degrader (PROTAC) development. Upon completion of this contract we would anticipate role holders to be well prepared for obtaining highly competitive PhD studentships or research scientist positions.  This position is available until 31 December 2023.

Location:  the post holder will be based at the newly refurbished CeTPD Complex, adjacent to the Life Sciences Complex.

Role Responsibilities:

  • Independently perform routine synthetic and analytical chemistry experiments
  • Develop new synthetic routes to access project critical intermediates or final compounds.
  • Innovate to generate novel chemistries to enable higher throughput and/or novel chemical space for PROTACs.
  • Collect and analyze experimental data and identify next steps based on outcomes. Maintain clear and accurate records of experimental work (e.g., experimental methods, results/findings).
  • Critically analyse biological data to inform new PROTAC design.
  • Prepare presentations and present updates and research outcomes at both internal CeTPD meetings and external meetings with collaborators.

Qualifications and experience needed:


  • Qualified to at least chemistry masters degree level (MSci or MChem) or equivalent and have proven relevant experience.
  • Experience working in a synthetic organic chemistry laboratory.
  • Proven ability to perform routine organic synthesis and relevant analytics (e.g. LCMS, NMR)
  • Strong liaison skills with a wide range of individuals
  • Ability to clearly communicate complex, specialist information both orally and in writing
  • Proficient in the use of databases to maintain accurate records.
  • Excellent communication and organisational skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including evidence of team working and the ability to be proactive in responding to the needs of the team


  • First Class/Upper Second Class undergraduate qualification or equivalent
  • Previous experience in an industrial setting
  • Experience working in a results/data driven team.
  • Awareness of medicinal chemistry design principles.
  • Fundamental knowledge of targeted protein degradation approaches.
  • Capable of prioritising own workload

About the School of Life Sciences & University of Dundee

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 40 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 one of the UK’s leading universities – internationally recognised for our expertise across a range of disciplines and research breakthroughs in multiple areas, including science, medicine and engineering, amongst many others. Conveniently located on the banks of River Tay, our main city-centre campus is at the heart of Dundee - an up-and-coming, friendly, compact and affordable city with a rich heritage in design and technology. Just a short walk from the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, we’re close to both the train and bus stations. We also have campuses at Ninewells Hospital and in Kirkcaldy which are easily accessible via local transport links.

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 one of the top universities in the UK. Family friendly policies, staff support networks for BME and LGBT staff, membership of Athena SWAN and Stonewall, as well a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.

The University of Dundee and the School of Life Science hold an Athena SWAN Silver Award, which recognises the promotion of gender equality. We strongly believe that diversity in our staff is crucial for our creativity and success and are committed to advance our inclusive culture by supporting and encouraging all staff and provide bespoke support as required for under-represented groups.

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.

For further information about this position please contact Professor Alessio Ciulli at

The Closing Date is 19th December 2021

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