Tuesday, October 4, 2011

We want a Senior Medicinal Chemist, not a paper-pusher!

An ad on Monster for a small company in Michigan (emphasis mine):
You must have a Ph.D. degree in medicinal chemistry and/or synthetic organic chemistry from an appropriate institution, and at least 2 to 3 years experience working as a medicinal chemist within the pharmaceutical industry.  You should have a strong publication record relative to the stage of your career, and be capable of managing scientists within the Company as well as managing contract relationships with synthetic organic chemistry laboratories both in the United States and in Asia. Expertise in cancer and metabolic disorders is highly desirable.  [snip]
Some experience working with patent attorneys on filings for patent applications pertaining to novel biomedical inventions is desirable.  However, we are not looking for a “paper-pusher.”  This is an unprecedented time in the history of medical research and if you don’t have a strong passion for scientific investigation, then this position is definitely not for you.  You should enjoy laboratory work more than administrative responsibilities and make time to work in the lab and lead by example regardless of your level of experience. 
We are seeking a motivated team player who is able to work closely with other scientific disciplines involved in modern drug discovery and is able to solve complex medicinal chemistry problems.
I find it terribly amusing that senior management types always seem to think that it's important to do bench work. That's why bench workers are paid more, right? Right? Wait -- they're not? Oh.


  1. Cart before horse here! - the administrative-managerial types are paid more due to them making the selfless sacrifice of abandoning lab work (obviously, that they really, really enjoyed).

  2. ........for $55K a year!

    I liked this part:

    Please include a cover letter written by you describing your interests and abilities, and why we should consider your application.​

    The 'written by you' was bolded in the actual job ad. I didn't realize that writing other people's cover letters was something that was wide-spread.

  3. Wait, what's a Merck ad from the 80s doing here?

  4. "........for $55K a year!"

    Really? Where'd you see that one?

  5. ...or am I missing the joke.

    I'm missing the joke, aren't I?

  6. However, we are not looking for a “paper-pusher.” This is an unprecedented time in the history of medical research and if you don’t have a strong passion for scientific investigation, then this position is definitely not for you.

    To me this means "you won't get any help."

  7. You missed the joke, but I'd bet they aren't exactly paying top wages...

    $55K is probably a low figure, but I wouldn't bet they're paying more than $70K, which, in this economy, isn't something to sneeze at.

  8. Wait, I thought that this was just the type of job that would cheer people up. It's what you wanted, right? They are looking for an experienced medchemist, so if you've been laid-off and love bench work form time to time, this ad is perfect. Am I missing something here? There have been a few very good ads lately in my field as well that you posted (too bad I'm not considering it for now for location and personal reasons)

  9. You know, uncle sam, that's a fair critique of this post.

    I highlighted this ad because it's certainly unusual in its description. I think I also react negatively to folks who attempt to tell me what my passion level should be for my work.

    But you're right -- for the right person (2-3 years in the industry, Ph.D., ready to move to the supervisor level or a 5+ year, mid-career professional), this seems like a nice opportunity.

  10. Sorry, the sarcasm should have been more explicit. It's just that the description reminded me of the golden age of pharma in the 80s, where senior management was actually concerned (gasp!) about scientific passion in their employees and would make every effort to sustain it.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20