Eli Lilly is recruiting

Interested in an industry career?

Eli Lilly will hold an info session August 6 at noon

Open to all doctoral students and postdocs! Hear a brief corporate overview of Eli Lilly and Company’s vision and values, locations, therapeutic areas of interest, and approved medicines. Presenters Renato Bauer, a Cornell Chemical Biology Interface Program alumnus and Gaying Zhao (more about the speakers at the end of this message) will review chemistry job openings in process and discovery chemistry (aka medicinal chemistry) at the San Diego and Indianapolis locations. They will provide guidelines on interviewing, insights into Lilly’s interviewing process and entertain your questions for a lively discussion. Register now for the Aug 6 info session.

Applications due August 7-start now!

Open positions are for skilled and motivated chemists who are interested in defining and solving challenging problems as part of a multidisciplinary team. The openings are in Discovery Chemistry Research and Technology, the medicinal chemistry department (San Diego and Indianapolis), and in Small Molecule Design and Development, the process chemistry department. Eli Lilly is particularly interested in scientists who combine multiple skills, including synthesis and computational methods, in innovative ways to unlock key discoveries.

Send your resume (1-2p, references not needed) and research statement (2-4p, for a technical audience-essentially a thesis summary or technical peer-reviewed publication summary; include graphics and figures and focus on the impact of your work) by August 7 to gradcareers@cornell.edu. Remember your technical accomplishments get your foot in the door (you must show good attention to detail and rigorous science) but it’s the ‘other stuff’ that gets you the job (can you clearly communicate your work, its impact and importance? are you a person others can relate to and will want to work with? do you help to foster others in a team environment? are you comfortable with ambiguity?). Feel free to schedule a consultation with Careers Beyond Academia in preparation.

Interviews of ca. 30 minutes for selected candidates will be scheduled by August 10. If selected, you will meet with two scientists/recruiters from Lilly to discuss your research, goals, and the positions at Lilly. You are encouraged to bring a set of slides that cover your research and highlight your key contributions and problem-solving capabilities. You will not be asked to make a presentation, but rather to walk through your work and respond to interviewer questions.

Eligibility: Internationals are welcome to apply.  Postdocs and those who complete PhD requirements by spring 2021 are eligible.

About the positions:

Process Chemistry Research Scientist – SMDD

Small Molecule Design and Development (SMDD) is an innovation-focused organization in Eli Lilly and Company. Our dynamic group is made up of chemists, pharmaceutical scientists, analytical chemists, and engineers. We strive to identify, develop and apply groundbreaking technologies to deliver maximum benefit to our patients. Within SMDD, process chemistry is essential to establishing a robust and sustainable supply chain for small molecules as well as other synthetic molecules such as peptides, oligonucleotides and antibody-drug conjugates. We seek to use new technologies for key problems, and we endeavor to continuously improve the way we develop and manufacture therapeutic molecules.

Are you a creative and innovative synthetic chemist? Do you have a unique technical skillset and are you driven to improve those around you? Are you interested in developing and commercializing small molecule, oligonucleotide and peptide clinical therapeutics? If yes, this can be the right position for you to make an impact and improve the future of drug manufacturing. You will have the opportunity to collaborate  across diverse scientific areas including chemical synthesis, analytical chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, computational technology and machine learning principles, as well as chemical engineering.


Top candidates for this position will be expected to:

  • Establish a robust laboratory program by conducting and overseeing internal and external research plans.
  • Thrive at the interface between disciplines and be able to quickly move from one scientific challenge to another while navigating ambiguity.
  • Possess a robust background and training in modern synthetic chemistry and be able to use this knowledge along with new digital tools to challenge the status quo and drive new solutions to the most important scientific problems often in time constrained scenarios.
  • Embrace and celebrate diversity by using a relevant but unique background and set of experiences to provide new and refreshing ideas and thoughts to deliver innovative solutions for a multidisciplinary team. Strong communication (oral, written), organizational, and leadership skills are expected.
  • Provide examples of novel contributions to chemical design and mechanism-based problem solving as part of project driven goals such as synthesis of complex molecules and/or novel methodology development. These examples should also be reflected in a strong publication record in peer reviewed journals.
  • Demonstrate learning agility in grasping and exploiting new scientific concepts and methods across disciplines and apply these findings to small molecule, peptide and oligonucleotide assets. Actively participate in the development of new synthetic routes for the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients using the most modern technologies, including continuous processing, automated reaction screening, and computational chemistry.
  • Help drive and develop the commercial manufacturing strategy and collaborate with internal and external manufacturing partners to develop robust chemical processes that are readily amenable to efficient drug substance manufacturing for both clinical and commercial settings.
  • Utilize and manipulate large datasets to reach robust scientific decisions and to inform future development activities.
  • Partner with Discovery Chemistry to provide SAR and candidate selection guidance to the discovery core team.
  • Engage with regulatory agencies to encourage the use of novel scientific approaches and technology and with the external chemistry environment through presentations, publication at external symposia or consortia. Identify, partner and develop external chemistry innovations to complement existing internal capabilities and areas of focus and incorporate these innovations across the portfolio of assets.
Basic Qualifications:  PhD in synthetic chemistry
Additional Skills/Preferences:
  • Good interpersonal skills and a persistent tendency for collaboration
  • Demonstrated self-initiative and appropriate risk-taking
  • Sustained technical proficiency and integration of complex scientific concepts to create technical agendas that supply business value
  • Knowledge and experience with management of technical projects
  • Demonstrated leadership capabilities especially in a team environment
  • Ability to prioritize multiple activities and manage ambiguity
  • An active scientific curiosity and interest for complementary disciplines within the pharmaceutical industry
  • Demonstrated success in persuasion, influence and negotiation in a scientific setting
Additional Information:
  • Potential exposure to chemicals, allergens and loud noises
  • Travel: 0 to 10%
  • Position Locale: Indianapolis, IN; Lilly Technology Center-North (LTC-N)

The Discovery Research and Technology positions:

Research Scientist in Indianapolis or San Diego– these two positions are essentially the same aside from the work location.

About Eli Lilly:

At Lilly, we unite caring with discovery to make life better for people around the world. We are a global healthcare leader headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our 34,000 employees around the world work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to our communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. We give our best effort to our work, and we put people first. We are looking for people who are determined to make life better for people around the world.

Lilly is an EEO/Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate based on race, gender, protected veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status.

About the speakers:

Renato Bauer (PhD’11 Chemistry) Senior Research Scientist, Discovery Chemistry Research and Technology at Eli Lilly: Renato was an REU student at Stanford before coming to Cornell as part of the Tri-Institutional Program in Chemical Biology. After completing his PhD at Cornell he was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Harvard, after which he joined Eli Lilly and Co.. In addition to his recruiting activities, his interests lie in covalent inhibitors and synthetic organic chemistry.

Gaying Zhao, Research Scientist, Discovery Chemistry Research and Technology at Eli Lilly: I was born in China. I got my undergraduate degree in Beijing Normal University. I joined Lilly in 2006 after I obtained a master degree in organic and bioorganic chemistry from University of Notre Dame with Professor Marvin J. Miller. I did small molecule drug discovery over 13 years, involved in oncology, immune-oncology, autoimmune, diabetic therapeutic areas, published 5 patents in recent 5 years.
I love science and really enjoy  to work with so many talented people at Lilly, as well as many truly great mentors here.