Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Daily Pump Trap: 6/17/14 edition

A few of the job openings from C&EN Jobs this past week: 

Zeroes, baby!: Genentech (South San Francisco) is looking for Ph.D. medicinal chemists:
Genentech has multiple exciting opportunities for PhD synthetic organic chemists to join our Small-Molecule Drug Discovery Chemistry Department, located in South San Francisco, CA research headquarters. The successful candidate will be responsible for designing and synthesizing analogs for molecular targets during the lead identification and optimization stage of drug discovery.  
Applicants must have 0-5 years of post-Ph.D. experience in Organic Chemistry, with an emphasis on organic synthesis. Post-doctoral experience and relevant industry experience is preferred. 
I love to see posts like this. (Also from Genentech, research associate positions! B.S./M.S.-oriented, 1 year additional experience desired.)

Boston, MA: Ashton Scientific looks to be a CRO. They're looking for 2 bog-standard entry-level Ph.D. organic chemists. They're paying 55-80k -- I'd love to know how realistic those numbers are. I suspect 55k is more real (and really, really low, I suspect, for living in the Boston area.) Anyway, this was an interesting comment: 
Ashton Scientific provides custom chemistry services for customers across a variety of disciplines. Ashton was founded with the belief that smart scientists working together in interdisciplinary teams could be more productive if they were given the ability immerse themselves completely in a single project, followed by ample time to recover. By providing downtime for our scientists, we allow them to recover and relax, while enabling us to respond quickly to our customers when necessary.
I wonder what "downtime" means. 

Linwood, PA: Esschem is looking for a senior research chemist (5-10 years experience) oriented towards energy-curable polymers. 

Charlotte, NC: DyStar, L.P. is looking for a regulatory/compliance specialist. B.S. in chemistry desired. 


  1. I wonder if the low salary and the 'downtime' are related?

    A few weeks off after finishing each project and the work/life balance would be very attractive, even with the salary.

  2. "downtime" means that the company hires a bunch of temporary, disposable labor (at the B.S./M.S levels) for major projects on 6 mth. contracts through the use of temp. agencies such as Kelly and Aerotek. Once the project is out of the "scale up & optimization phase", the contracts for the "grunts" are not renewed and there is "downtime". The "downtime" allowing them to recover and relax is called "unemployment". During that "downtime", the Ph.D chemists are left to do the "tedious process optimization" work for the cranky customers who tell you that 95% yield and 99% purity is not good enough. Or, if they tell you at the very last minute (during the final 2 weeks of a project) that they now want a certain impurity and it's mechanism of formation identified...you MUST satisfy the customer and get it done at all costs even if it requires 14 hr days. This is the meaning of the "enabling us to respond quickly to customers". If you're a successful business, there is no such thing as "downtime". Time is money.

    1. yeah, the wording does not sound reassuring. CRO jobs tend to be the worst of the worst.

      I was about to interview for this kind of position, only once - and I got my invitation cancelled just for asking the HR very politely if they could please reschedule my flight one day earlier (I would pay for the hotel night) so that I wouldn't not have to spend 10 hours flying with two layovers on the day of the interview, then flying back home three hours later by the same route, got my interview invitation cancelled. You see, they invite all 15 job applicants at once, for two hour meeting, they were absolutely uninterested in any job talk presentation...

  3. Ops, I just applied for the position with Ashton...at least they kept it simple: resume + publication list; no cover letter required.