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Apprenticeships at Discovery

Charles River is a contract research organisation that provides essential products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies and leading academic institutions around the globe accelerate their research and drug development efforts.

Throughout the 3-year Level 5 apprenticeship you will gain hands on lab-based experience in our Biology, DMPK and Chemistry departments where you will directly impact the discovery and development of novel drug products. Your apprenticeship will combine on the job learning, where you will be working with experts in the field, with academic studies to enable you to gain a foundation degree in Applied Bioscience. You will get the opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary team to contribute to client project delivery and ultimately, have a real impact on drug discovery.

Charles River strives to invest in early career Scientists and following successful completion of the Level 5 apprenticeship, you will have the opportunity to apply to top up to the Level 6 apprenticeship program to achieve a full BSc. Explore the apprenticeship opportunities that Charles River has to offer and discover how you can have an impact on drug development!

We also offer Apprenticeship's in non scientific disciplines such as Facilities.


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Meet Sophie and Lucie 

About our Apprenticeship

What is it like to be a Charles River apprentice?

As an apprentice at Charles River, you are given the opportunity to experience a wide range of techniques and areas within early drug discovery. Over the course of 3 years, I have developed my technical ability and personal skills. I have really enjoyed my time experiencing the different areas of the business and being supported by a highly knowledgeable team of individuals.

What does your Apprenticeship involve?

The apprenticeship program is based on a 3-year part time study for a FdSC in Applied Bioscience through distance learning that is provided by the University of Kent. The course covers a wide range of topics that integrate well with your job role or provide you with a broader understanding of topics outside of your daily routine. The program is based on a 1-year rotation system that allows you to work in different departments and experience what they have to offer and currently include; ADME, Analytical Chemistry and Biology. In ADME you will work alongside biologists and chemists to help optimise compounds Drug-like properties. In Analytics you will directly support medicinal chemists by purifying compound and providing support using techniques such as LC-MS and NMR. In Biology you will have the chance to focuses on biochemical/ cell-based assays and tissue culture techniques. At the end of the successful completion of the 3 year program there is the opportunity to extend the apprenticeship to receive a BSc.

What made you apply for the apprenticeship at Charles River?

As I was in the final stages of applying to University, I decided that University was not for me. I started looking at alternative routes for achieving a carrier in STEM. I applied for the apprenticeship at Charles River as it combined the opportunity to continue to study at a higher level while gaining valuable hands-on experience while working in a research laboratory. What really interested me was the wide variety of opportunities available to work across several departments.

Did you always want to do this as your job?

Yes, I have been very interested in sciences since secondary school and I had a keen Interest in biology. I knew that I wanted to pressure a career in research, and this provided the perfect opportunity to gain practical hands-on experience within the industry working alongside experts in the field of early drug discovery.

Would you recommend a Charles River apprenticeship to anyone?

I would thoroughly recommend the apprenticeship to people who are considering pursuing a career in the industry. The apprenticeship provides a great way of gaining valuable industry experience while working with a diverse team with a high level of expertise, while also providing interesting academic study that integrates well with your day-to-day role. It also provides great opportunities for both career and personal development.

Could You Be Our Greatest Discovery?

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