Are you an ambitious and dedicated Undergraduate interested in the Biotechnology and Pharma Industry?

Lonza is a leading global Pharma and Biotechnology organisation employing over 15,000 people worldwide. Each year we provide 12-month placement opportunities for driven and high-achieving undergraduates within our Slough site. Industrial Placements are lab-based and available in diverse areas of the company, central to Lonza operations. If you are eager to gain hands-on experience in one of the world’s leading suppliers to the Pharma and Biotech industry, we would love to hear from you.

What Lonza expects from you

  • You will have a strong interest in science and technology, with an eye for detail and a drive to work in a pharmaceutical environment
  • Must be an undergraduate completing a course with an integrated year in industry
  • Predicted 2.1 Degree or higher in a relevant Scientific or Engineering-based discipline

Please be aware due to the competitive nature of the placement programme, technical skill and strong academic records are necessary. However, in order to thrive and succeed in our company, this is just the start. Strong communication skills, extracurricular responsibilities and interpersonal skills are also considered valuable competencies, so be sure to give details of your attributes through the duration of our application process.

Desirable attributes

Lonza’s success depends on our employee’s application of our six core competencies. The competencies we will be looking for are:

  • Business acumen
  • Customer focus
  • Driving results
  • Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Agility

What you can expect from Lonza

  • Enjoyable and detailed lab-based training, building on existing skills and the opportunity to learn new techniques
  • Support with University project requirements
  • Competitive salary and company benefits, such as discounted gym membership and social events
  • The opportunity to make a valuable contribution within the organization that supports our overall goal of serving our customers and contributes to patient safety
  • Development initiatives designed to build behavioural and technical competence

How to apply

Successful candidates begin their 12-month placements in July of each year; the recruitment process commences in October/November in the preceding year. Here is a typical timeframe:

  • Initial screening
    Submission of a CV and covering letter before the closing date.
  • The interview consists of pre-recorded competency-based questions, to which you will be given a window of time to record your answer.
  • Once successfully completing previous stages, shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an assessment day. The day will consist of face-to-face interviews, group tasks and an individual presentation. you will have the opportunity to ask questions, meet Lonza leaders and learn more about the business.
  • Shortly after, offers will be sent to successful candidates.

Portrait of Ellie

What placements are offered?

You could be placed in one of the following areas:

  • Manufacturing Science and Technology (MSAT)
    What is MSAT?

    MSAT stands for Manufacturing Science and Technology, which focuses on technology transfer to GMP manufacturing. The ‘Pilot’ facility allows customers to ‘trial-run’ their drug scale-up process, in order to test that their manufacturing platform will work efficiently in large-scale GMP manufacturing. The upstream of Pilot involves scaling up genetically modified cell cultures to volumes large enough to inoculate 50-500L bioreactors.

    “Working with mammalian cell cultures and bioreactors is an amazing opportunity and MSAT is a fast-paced and exciting department to be a part of.” – Ellie (2019/20 MSAT Placement Student)

    What does the placement involve?

    Through the duration of this placement, you will be exposed to a wide variety of customer batches, and techniques such as early inoculum steps (sub-cultivations etc.) through to running and monitoring large-scale production bioreactors. A great advantage of working in a pilot facility is the requirement to think on your feet and troubleshoot if the run doesn’t go according to plan. This department is a fun and lively place to work and if you’re an excellent team player, quick learner and excited to get hands on in the lab, you could be a great fit!

  • What is Analytical Services (AS)?

    Working in Analytical Services involves carrying out a wide range of different analytical techniques (referred to as assays). These can include icIEF (a method of separating compounds based on their charged isoforms), ELISAs (a quantitative method to calculate the amount of protein present), GPC (a HPLC method based on separation by size) and many more. These techniques analyse the purity of the antibody batches produced by the manufacturing processes at Lonza.

    You could be placed into one of four instrumental groups that make up the department:

    • Method Development and Validation (MDV) is responsible for the evaluating of analytical techniques performed, including developing product specific methods, or honing existing methods using different cell lines.
    • Characterisation is responsible for the characterisation of reference standards, which are used to compare against when subsequent batches are tested in the department.
    • Stability is responsible for assessing the stability and shelf life of the batches produced at Lonza.
    • Bioassay is responsible for carrying out ELISAs and analysing drug potency and binding.

    “This placement is a great opportunity to learn more about the business and use advanced instrumentation that you might not have come across before in a University lab. All the staff are welcoming and friendly; you will fit right in!” – Phoebe (2019/20 AS Placement Student).

    What does the placement involve?

    You will be running assays from start to finish followed by the use of advanced analytical software to analyse your results. In addition, you will prepare the buffers and reagents required for your assays, such as HPLC mobile phases, requiring the use of pH meters, mechanical pipettes and balances. As part of GMP guidelines, you will be recording data in an electronic workbook. You may also have the opportunity to support an improvement project within the team and will be attending and contributing to daily team meetings.

  • What is PD?

    PD stands for Process Development, focusing on early development stages within Lonza. PD is divided into smaller teams which vary in their purpose and job functions. For example, Cell Culture Development (CCD) investigates optimum conditions for the cell lines producing monoclonal antibodies (Lonza products), through testing extreme growth conditions in bioreactors. The day-to-day workload in CCD varies highly from other departments in PD, such as in Process Analytics (PA) or Purification Development (PurDev) or Virus. PA involves running customer assays to test the quality of products, PurDev purifies samples using equipment such as chromatography columns and Virus work includes checking viral load.

    "I enjoy the responsibility of working on an internal project that will significantly impact the company. CCD gives you hands-on training and opportunities to work with processes and machines that University cannot provide." – Jeevan (2019/20 CCD Placement Student).

    What does the placement involve?

    In PD, your role will depend on whether you are placed Upstream (CCD) or Downstream (PA or PurDev). In CCD, you will be working with mammalian cell culture, performing subcultures and inncolum processes, gaining hands on training in aseptic techniques. PA and PurDev involve working independently to manage assay requests such as ELISAs.

  • What is QC?

    QC stands for Quality Control, a department dedicated to testing the quality of all products. QC supports all departments through testing for impurities and contamination, ensuring Lonza maintains its standards of quality. The department is split into Microbiology, Biochemistry and Raw Materials labs which are highly regulated according to GMP standards.

    “Working in QC gives you a skills set that would enable you to work in any lab. You’re always busy and gain an understanding of all processes, upstream and downstream.” – Max (2019/20 QC Placement Student)

    What does that placement involve?

    Within QC, you would be trained on a variety of analytical techniques such as running ELISAs (e.g. Protein A or HCP), CE SDS and many more. You will likely attend frequent meetings with the biosafety council discussing the risks of incoming products. In QC you will learn multiple challenging assay methods, providing an incomparable experience. QC is a challenging but friendly department where your contribution is highly valued!