Thursday, January 5, 2017

Daily Pump Trap: 1/5/16 edition

A few of the positions posted at C&EN Jobs this past week:

Still pretty quiet: Just two positions, this Genentech process chemistry (Ph.D., 0-3 years experience) position (thumbs up!) and this Indian (?) position ("research assistant executive" - a confusing title, for sure.)

Huh: Has anyone ever seen an explicit "reverse engineering" position in chemistry before?:
This Senior Research Scientist is a subject matter expert in polymer chemistry and reverse material engineering with a strong background in conducting sample analysis through various analytical techniques. 
A broader look: Monster, Careerbuilder, Indeed and show (respectively) "1000+", 378, 8,413, and 14 positions for the search term "chemist."

LinkedIn shows 1,997 positions for the search term "chemist" (no quotes) and 13,340  for the search term "chemistry" (no quotes). Job titles from LinkedIn - first with quotes, and the second without: Analytical chemist: 172/225 . Research chemist: 29/37. Synthetic chemist: 9/375. Medicinal chemist: 14/39. Organic chemist: 23/43. Process chemist: 9/33. Process development chemist: 3/7. Formulation chemist: 41/44. 


  1. Reverse engineering is sometimes performed by generics companies to deformulate the formulation (particle size, shapes, amounts, etc...) and can be performed using a variety of analytical techniques (HPLC, GPC, NMR, particle analysis, just to name a few). I assume this the same principle.

  2. I know at least two industrial chemists who had what amounts to reverse engineering (competitor's product analysis) as their primary responsibility, whether or not their position was actually called that. I'm sure it's common.

  3. Jordi Labs (a testing lab specializing in polymers) has a case study on their website where they were hired to reverse-engineer a company's own product after their relationship with a toll manufacturer went sour, and the formulation had been lost to shoddy record-keeping. I bet this happens a lot, especially now that document destruction and 5S/housekeeping are both big management fads.

  4. Genentech is pretty obnoxious and only hires graduates from labs like EJ Corey.

    1. I used to work for a person who is now their boss of research, responsible for a small molecule development program, although at a different company. The experience that I do not need to repeat. The person was terrible at managing projects - kissing behind of the CEO, while setting the entire research group for failure. Big on Gantt charts - you walked into chemistry department meeting and only then and there you learned what you will work on and what are your deadlines - I guess the chemists input in these matters was not appreciated, you were only getting more and more on your plate. "Management makes decisions, the employees make excuses."

    2. I think CJ mentioned here a while ago that Bruce Roth has gone on record to say that they basically only hire from Harvard/MIT/Caltech and especially Stanford, and that too from Wender/Trost/Du Bois. The irony is that Bruce Roth himself didn't get his PhD from any of those places - he went to Iowa State.