Synthetic Medicinal Chemist

Job reference:  SLSC0826

Salary: Please refer to advert below.

Closing Date : Monday 22 February 2021

The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) is  seeking to appoint a new Synthetic Medicinal chemist.  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. The post will be primarily laboratory based and of particular interest to talented synthetic chemists who wish to learn medicinal chemistry and drug discovery 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 post is available for an immediate start. Salary will depend upon experience, with appointment being made at either Grade 6 or Grade 7 of the University’s salary scale (from £26,715 to £40,322).

Your priorities will include

If appointment is made at Grade 6

  • Work closely with biologists to drive structure-guided optimisation and to generate structure-activity relationships (SAR)
  • Synthesis, purification and evaluation of compounds across projects
  • Reaction sequence scouting, proposal and implementation
  • Data analysis, quality assurance protocols and evaluation of biological data
  • As called upon, produce verbal and written reports in a timely fashion

If appointment is made at Grade 7, in addition to the above you will also:

  • 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
  • Prepare methods and synthesis schemes for patents
  • Write publications where feasible


Who we are looking for

  • A BSc in chemistry or PhD in synthetic organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, or a related discipline
  • 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 Drug Discovery Unit is a fully integrated drug discovery operation based within a world class Life Sciences research environment. Its remit is to complement biopharma activities by tackling neglected diseases (leishmaniasis, TB and malaria) and validation of novel drug targets across a range of therapeutic areas. 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.

For further information about this position please contact Professor Ian Gilbert at

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.

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.

Read why Dundee is an excellent place to live and work.