AstraZeneca R&D Postdoctoral Challenge

AstraZeneca has launched a global R&D Postdoctoral Challenge to help accelerate ideas to transform the treatment of some of the world's most complex diseases. The Challenge invites final year MD and/or PhD students and postdoctoral researchers from across the world to propose their innovative ideas to help accelerate drug discovery and development across AstraZeneca's core disease areas.

Who can apply?

MD and/or PhD students in their final year of study or postdoctoral researchers within 5 years of receiving their advance postgraduate degree (MD and/or PhD) by 31 December 2022, regardless of age.

Successful candidates will be awarded a fully funded postdoctoral research position for two years (with an option for a third year) to pursue their research proposal.  There is also an opportunity to conduct some of their research at one of AstraZeneca’s R&D facilities.

The research proposal must align with AstraZeneca’s areas of therapeutic focus – oncology, cardiovascular, renal and metabolic diseases, respiratory and immunology, rare disease – and/or its transformative science themes:

  • enhancing our understanding of disease biology;
  • creating the next generation of therapeutics;
  • better predicting clinical success;
  • pioneering new approaches to engagement in the clinic and beyond.

How to apply

Submit your proposal

Download application form

Download applicant guidelines

Contact UniQuest to discuss your research idea  and potential application

UniQuest will advise on a project proposal to enhance its alignment and strategic fit for AstraZeneca, while maintaining confidentiality of key information and concepts

Submit completed applications to by 19th May (earlier is better). UniQuest will review with particular emphasis on proposal background/rationale, description and workplan/timeline

UniQuest and applicant will submit to AstraZeneca by 26th May deadline, via AZ’s Bright Ideas platform.

If short-listed by AstraZeneca

Shortlisting and video pitch

Shortlisted candidates will be notified by end of July and invited to participate in a 2-3 minute video pitch.

Live Challenge pitch

The live Challenge pitch will take place in Q4 in Gothenburg, Sweden where ideas will be presented to a world-leading judging panel consisting of AstraZeneca and external life science leaders.

Selection of finalists decided later in the year and successful applicants will begin their postdoctoral research in Q1 2023.

AstraZeneca R&D Postdoctoral Challenge

Submit completed applications to by 19th May 2022

The internal deadline for applications to UniQuest is Thursday 19th May 2022 for internal review and feedback to researchers.  UniQuest together with applicants will submit to AstraZeneca prior to their deadline of 26th May 2022.

For more information in your research area, contact:

Dr Craig Belcher

Dr Tamsin Terry

Dr David Markwell

Dr George Adamson

Julian Vultaggio

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