A scientist dressed in a lab coat, hair net and goggles, using a pipette near a microscope, depicting a life sciences career.
Image: © Alexander Raths/Stock.adobe.com

What you need to know to get a job in life sciences

3 May 2019

Want a job in the life sciences sector? We spoke to industry professionals to find out who they’re hiring and what they’re looking for.

The life sciences industry is huge in Ireland so it’s a great time for jobseekers to look for their first or next move within the sector.

While there are plenty of companies to choose from in Ireland, it’s hard to always stay on top of who’s hiring for what roles and what kind of traits they’re specifically looking for.

So, we decided to ask a few major life sciences companies what they’re hiring for to give candidates a taste of the roles that are available. Takeda Dunboyne Biologics is building a new state-of-the-art facility in Co Meath, so it’s looking for a broad range of people, from graduates to those switching from other industries. The biopharma company is looking to fill roles in QC microbiology, data analytics, quality assurance, manufacturing and IT.

Takeda Dunboyne site lead Susan Hynes said she’s looking for people who are willing to be part of a team championing patients with rare diseases. “That means having the courage to do things differently and looking for innovative ways to reduce waste and ultimately create value for our patients,” she said. “We are looking for people who are committed to finding better solutions for our patients.”

Pharma giant Brisol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has three facilities in Ireland. BMS’s Lisa Cahill said the company is looking to fill a variety of science and engineering-based roles, from graduates to experienced hires.

“Graduate entry-level roles are in positions such as bioprocess associate and QC analyst. For the positions requiring experience, we are hiring across multiple functional areas, including automation/IT, manufacturing, science and technology, supply chain, and quality,” said Cahill.

“For the team in BMS, behaviours are just as important, if not more important, than technical experience. We are looking for people who are willing to work hard, are flexible, are prepared to use their initiative and be proactive.”

MSD has sites in Tipperary, Cork, Carlow and Dublin. Head of talent acquisition, Maria Cullen, said the company is looking for candidates to fill roles in all four sites. “Ideal candidates would have a university degree in science, manufacturing, quality and engineering. It would be an added bonus to also possess relevant experience within a highly regulated environment,” she said.

Cullen said that a candidate will stand out if they are able to show themselves as a self-starter with a visible passion for improving the lives of patients, as will someone with a ‘can-do’ attitude who can embrace the company’s culture.

For candidates who want to work in the life sciences sector, it seems the overriding trait you need to demonstrate is passion for the work you will be doing, because patients are at the forefront of every company in this industry.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the deputy editor of Silicon Republic in 2020, having worked as the careers editor until June 2019. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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