Friday, June 21, 2019

Interesting new program for chemists who have 'taken a break' from the lab

This was an interesting posting from Johnson and Johnson:
Did you take a break from the professional world to pursue other priorities? Do you want to generate innovative solutions to synthetic and medicinal chemistry challenges within the context of small molecule drug discovery projects? If you are an experienced, medicinal chemist with excellent organic synthesis expertise with a break of two or more years, this “Re-Ignite Career Program is for you. 
This four (4) month paid internship as part of our Re-Ignite Career Program will refresh your technical skills while you work with a market leader in healthcare. In addition to key job responsibilities, we provide technical training, professional development, and peer mentoring with full access to the R&D chemistry community at Janssen and the possibility of becoming a full-time employee after completion of the program with the most dynamic health care organization in the world, Johnson & Johnson. Janssen Research & Development, L.L.C., a division of Johnson & Johnson's Family of Companies is recruiting Associate Scientists, Discovery Chemistry, for our site in San Diego, CA.
  • A current career break from chemistry of two or more years, required
  • A Bachelor’s Degree with 2 or more years of synthetic organic or medicinal chemistry industry experience is required.
~ OR ~
  • A current career break from chemistry of two or more years, required
  • A Master’s Degree in synthetic organic or medicinal chemistry with significant synthetic experience is required
  • Strong track record of achievement in organic synthesis, with a deep knowledge of modern synthetic, analytical techniques is preferred.
  • Proven track record of scientific contributions including peer reviewed publications, patents and presentations is preferred.
  • Independent thinking and the ability to effectively collaborate in a highly matrixed environment is required.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including preparation of presentations is required.
  • This position is based in our company location in San Diego, CA.
If this is what it says it is, it seems like a pretty great idea to bring folks back into the lab who may otherwise have a somewhat difficult time with such an aspiration. 


  1. "Did you recently make a career transition? Now that you're established in your new field, get back into the lab so you can be back out of the lab ready to make a(nother) career transition in a few short years!"

  2. 4 month internship with a possibility of becoming a full-time employee screams to me that they're trying to get super cheap/highly skilled labor for a short-term project. I'd place very low odds of them hiring the person full-time and if they do it will be at a very lowball salary.

    Then again, I'm extremely jaded over the politics in biotech/pharma and got the hell out.

  3. Who.... who is this for? Is there a giant untapped market of experienced medicinal chemists (with only a bachelor's or master's degree) hanging around in some other industry, waiting for their chance?

  4. I took a higher paying analytical chemistry job back during the 'great recession' and would love to get back into medicinal chemistry, this seems like a great opportunity to get back into the game. I assume Janssen (J&J) won't pay too well for this type of position and that they benefit somehow also, but overall this seems like the type of opportunity that I wish the industry in general would support more often.

  5. I suspect pharma R&D has been slashed to the point that new grads are floundering because there's almost no one left to properly train them. There's a huge untapped pool of veteran med-chemists who are now doing other things.

  6. Sigh - I applied many, many times to positions at Janssen San Diego and was rejected every time. Now I have a serious case of sour grapes.


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