March 10, 2023: “AstraZeneca has announced the launch of the 2023 R&D Postdoctoral Challenge, an initiative designed to accelerate ideas to transform the treatment of some of the world’s most complex diseases.
The R&D Postdoctoral Challenge has been designed to drive R&D productivity, promote diversity of thought and stimulate research opportunities across the globe.
Unlike standard postdoctoral positions, the Challenge encourages applicants from anywhere around the world to devise their own research projects and help advance the next wave of therapeutics for people who need them most.
This follows the success of the inaugural 2022 programme in which six finalists were awarded fully funded research positions within the Company.
Submissions for the 2023 Challenge are open to final-year MD and/or PhD students and postdoctoral researchers until 30 June and successful candidates will compete to be awarded a fully funded postdoctoral research position and join the vibrant scientific community within AstraZeneca.
Working alongside a leading university, researchers will also receive access to in-house expertise, compounds, novel tools and technologies and mentoring support to develop their ideas and innovate.
Prof. Sir Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca, said: “Our ambition through the R&D Postdoctoral Challenge is to promote a rich tapestry of ideas and create a diverse, global community of researchers with access to AstraZeneca’s cutting-edge facilities and world-leading expertise.
Last year, we were able to support all six of our finalists, and I am looking forward to seeing this year’s entries and helping even more early-career scientists translate their ideas into meaningful benefits for patients.”
Shortlisted applicants will have the chance to pitch their research ideas to a panel consisting of AstraZeneca leaders and external life science leaders in September, with the selection of finalists decided later in the year.
Proposals will be reviewed based on scientific merit, and their potential to create real impact for patients, society and healthcare systems.
Further information on the R&D Postdoctoral Challenge, including entry criteria and details on how to submit innovative research proposals, can be found at:
The R&D Postdoctoral Challenge forms part of AstraZeneca’s Early Talent programmes, nurturing the science leaders of tomorrow and encouraging diversity of thought within an environment that enables science to thrive.
AstraZeneca’s global R&D footprint and productivity
In 2022 AstraZeneca invested $9.5 billion in R&D which represents 21% of Total Revenue, in order to continue to discover and develop medicines which transform the lives of patients.
The Company has three world class strategic R&D centres including The Discovery Centre (DISC) in Cambridge in the UK, one in Gaithersburg, Maryland in the greater Washington, D.C. region of the US, and another in Gothenburg in Sweden, as well as further hubs across the world.
It has integrated R&D teams and accelerated decision-making processes, using its unique scientific capabilities, to deliver one of the most productive pipelines in the industry.
Since 2005, AstraZeneca has achieved an almost six-fold improvement in the proportion of its pipeline molecules that have advanced from preclinical investigation to completion of Phase III clinical trials – from 4% to 23%.
This improvement moves AstraZeneca well above the current industry average success rate of 14% in the 2018-2020 timeframe.
Of the Company’s 80,000 employees, more than 13,000 work exclusively in R&D.
In 2021, its scientists published a total of 871 manuscripts, with 196 in high impact peer-review journals (impact factor greater than or equal to 15 according to Reuters five-year rating), compared to one in 2010.”