Does A PhD Equal Experience? / GSK Job Ad

Worried that all the ads you see require experience, but you’ve spent the last 3+ years doing a PhD? Well, I’ve got evidence from a current advert for a role in GlaxoSmithKline that, in some cases at least, when they ask for all that experience – yes, they really do mean you, the one finishing their PhD, the one worrying that all their friends who got jobs straight after graduating did the right thing after all, and how can you get experience if you can’t get a job…

GSK are currently advertising for a Physical Properties Scientist at their Pharmaceutical  and Chemical Development labs at Harlow and Ware. If you look on their website, under “Experienced Hires” (search on vacancy number 46335), you’ll see that the Basic Qualifications needed are :

– “extensive experience in pharmaceutical development and physical property characterisation”

which doesn’t sound like a first job outside academic study. However, the ad my contact has sent me for the same role rewords this slightly as :

– “we are looking for PhD scientists, or equivalent experience, to join this high profile group” and asks for “a background in pharmaceutical development, and physical property characterisation…”

which could be just what you were looking for if you’re a PhD chemist, materials scientist or pharmaceutical scientist interested in analytical techniques relating to solid state and powder properties of potential pharmaceuticals. If this is you, get in quickly and apply through GSK’s careers website (it was advertised on 20th Feb).

If this isn’t the vacancy for you, use it to take hope that where a job ad asks for “extensive experience” in a topic close to your PhD, those 3 or 4 years learning to be a professional researcher and breaking new ground when it comes to the body of knowledge in your subject really can count for something outside academia – and apply anyway.


One comment on “Does A PhD Equal Experience? / GSK Job Ad

  1. Maybe.

    On the other hand I’ve seen adverts for GSK jobs in the past for Graduate Chemists, and been turned down for no apparent reason (once I’ve eventually found a phone number, name and someone willing to put me through from the switchboard) than a “lack of experience”, only having 3 years post degree experience in the lab – what’s all that about then??

    Slight hijack, sorry

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