Working at Abcam |

Abcam Overview

Cambridge, East of England, England
1001 to 5000 employees
Company - Public (ABC)
Biotech & Pharmaceutical
£100 to £500 million (GBP) per year
Abcam is a leading web based business supplying research tools to life scientists worldwide. Our head office is in Cambridge (UK), we also have offices in Cambridge, Eugene and San Francisco (USA), Tokyo (Japan), Hangzhou, andShanghai (China), and Hong ... Read more

Mission: 'To help life science researchers discover more'. 'Discover more' reflects researchers' quest for knowledge and Abcam's ongoing commitment and support.

Company Updates

  • Our Half Year Trading Update.

    Abcam on LinkedIn: "Our Half Year Trading Update...

    Our Half Year Trading Update is now live. A huge thanks to all of the customers and teams that helped make these results possible

  • Abcam's exclusive license agreement with Roche!

    Abcam on LinkedIn: "We've signed an exclusive license...

    We've signed an exclusive license agreement with Roche. Read more about it here

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Abcam – Why Work For Us?

What it's like to work at Abcam

We exist to serve life scientists to achieve their mission faster. And we are constantly on the lookout for better ways of doing that. After all, we all share the challenge of making it happen. We listen to each other, we respect everyone’s backgrounds, and we work together in everything. That’s why we offer the kind of opportunities, support and benefits that help everyone feel encouraged and empowered at Abcam.


We have a dedicated Social Committee made of enthusiastic internal volunteers who are always in the look-out for the next cool event to organise. There’s an event for every interest and it’s entirely up to you if you wish to join! Recent social events have included Social Mini Golf, Quiz Nights, Board Games Night, Thursday Social Drinks on Abcam, Running Groups, Christmas jumper Day, Hallowe'en Dress-Up, Yearly Summer Barbecue amongst others.

A flexible approach

At Abcam we understand the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Which is why we encourage and promote flexible working wherever possible. Our teams are used to work in collaboration to ensure flexible working opportunities work for everyone while maintaining the business effectiveness at all times. 

Corporate social responsibility

Our work enables scientists to study biology and develop treatment for major diseases. But that doesn’t mean we stop there. We’re relentlessly focused and we know there’s still more we can do for our community and our planet. That’s where our Corporate Social Responsibility comes in.

Check our latest career opportunities here !

The idea for Abcam came early in 1998 out of a laboratory in the University of Cambridge, UK. The principal founder Jonathan Milner was working as a Post-Doctoral researcher studying the newly discovered breast cancer protein BRCA2 in Professor Tony Kouzarides' laboratory. The project slowed because of problems finding quality antibody reagents that had honest and up to date information about their uses and limitations. It was frustrating. It was then that Jonathan and a number of other people in the laboratory, came up with the idea for a web-based antibody company of like-minded scientists. Tony invented the name which is a hybrid of antibody (ab) and Cambridge (cam). The idea was that Abcam would sell the best antibodies in the world with the most comprehensive, honest and up-to-date datasheets, fast delivery and helpful customer service & technical support. It was a tough vision!

A lucky break came when Jonathan met and discussed the idea with Dr David Cleevely (a Cambridge telecoms entrepreneur) who was smart (or some said crazy!) enough to join him in the venture. So in the summer of 1998, Jonathan left the world of academia to work full-time on Abcam, which he describes as the scariest thing he has ever done. Initially Abcam had a small amount of money from David, family, friends and Jonathan (after re-mortgaging his house; he has a very understanding wife!), but they realized that they needed a big injection of capital to build a website to accomplish the vision and increase production of Abcam's own antibodies. A business plan was written and the Directors went out confidently to raise money from venture capitalists. However, the next couple of years were really tough as Abcam struggled to convince the VCs that a viable business could be built from such an idealistic vision.

Things were looking really bleak and Abcam needed to get some sales quickly, so Jonathan took an ice-bucket full of popular antibodies around the University of Cambridge laboratories in order to get friends and colleagues to buy them, which they did (thanks guys!). Hence the legend of Abcam's humble beginnings from an ice-bucket was born!

Our first notable successes arrived in the early part of the new millenium: Chromatin antibodies, loading control antibodies and GFP antibodies. Then we had two further lucky breaks. First, some local business angels (people from the Cambridge business community who wish to help technology businesses get started) were convinced to invest and second, some like-minded scientists and talented individuals were recruited (who form the basis of Abcam's management team today) and this succeeded in boot-strapping the company through those difficult times. Of course there was also tremendous determination to prove that those venture capitalists were wrong and that a successful profitable company, that would also make a valuable contribution to life science researchers, could be built on such a business plan.

A lot of researchers ask where we got the idea for Molly the sheep. It was simply because Dolly the sheep was making headline news at the time, so we created the body out of a molecular space fill model and gave her antibody legs, and thus the molecular Dolly became Abcam's Molly.

If you are one of the many scientists that now buy from Abcam and use the website, we would like to know what you think: Are we polite and friendly? Do our products work as you would expect? Was the website useful? How could we do better? You can contact us here with your comments and we look forward to hearing from you.

We support scientific breakthroughs that benefit everyone, and we make sure all our colleagues, their partners and their families benefit from that exceptional work. Below are just some of the benefits you’ll enjoy at Abcam, dependent on your role and location:

Rewarding salary packages
Generous holiday entitlement
Contributory pension scheme
Life insurance
Travel insurance
Employee Shares Scheme

Choice of flexible benefits to suit everyone’s preferences and needs:

  • Critical illness cover
  • Medical and dental insurance
  • Cycle2Work scheme
  • Childcare vouchers

Additional benefits:

  • Eye care vouchers
  • Gym membership discounts
  • Discounts at leading brands and retailers
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Free refreshments
  • On-site games rooms fitted with consoles, pool tables and table tennis tables
  • Social events including summer barbecues as well as extensive sports and gaming clubs, all company-subsidized

Development, Development, Development

We think it’s important to think differently. To leave complacency at the door, and always aim higher. That goes for our careers too. Come to Abcam, and you’ll find opportunities to grow and develop.

At Abcam, we do everything we can to adapt and evolve our skills as a team. Use our Career Development Fund to study for a new qualification that hones your talent. Find support to learn and grow on our Mentoring Scheme. Or join the New Manager Program or the Abcam Leadership Program, where you’ll develop your knowledge and empower yourself to make a greater impact.

Check our latest career opportunities here !

Start your career in a global life-science business the right way!

Apprentices – Entry level (UK)

If you’re aged 16 or over, joining Abcam as an Apprentice is a fantastic way to get paid to get real business experience – and a brilliant opportunity to start your career at a successful corporation with a huge global footprint! From apprenticeships in the Laboratory, Logistics, IT, Facilities to apprenticeships in HR, Finance, Marketing, Sales and Legal, we’ve got your interests covered!

Experienced trainees

If you have got a first experience in a specific field and keen to take your learning journey further, then check out our uniquely tailored Trainee opportunities!

#Big things are happening at Abcam every day so whatever your role, your work will support scientific discovery!

Check our latest early career opportunities here !

Abcam Reviews

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Abcam CEO Alan Hirzel
Alan Hirzel
44 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    Helpful (1)

    "A career with purpose"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Change Project Manager in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Current Employee - Change Project Manager in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Abcam full-time (Less than a year)


    Meet amazing bunch of bright people!
    Great team work, everyone pulls together and enjoys helping others!
    A shared focus on helping our customers!
    Challenging pace and learning new things everyday!
    Fantastic new facilities with great coffee!


    Due to the fast pace and been a growing company, the way we work is not as structured as it could be.

    Advice to Management

    Don't forget to praise the people who are achieving so much with their dedication.

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Abcam Photos

Abcam photo of: Logistics
Abcam photo of: Abcam
Abcam photo of: Table Football</Table>
Abcam photo of: Celebrating success
Abcam photo of: Lab 1
Abcam photo of: Flow hood
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Abcam Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview





    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Abcam in January 2014.


    The whole process took about 2 hours. It's a two part interview, first part you demonstrate your technical skills and the second part you talk to an HR and go through a list of behaviour based questions.

    Interview Questions

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Abcam Awards & Accolades

  • Company of the Year, AIM Awards, 2009
  • Company of the Year, AIM Awards, 2013
  • Antibody Company of the Year, CiteAb, 2018
  • Researchers' Choice Award, CiteAb, 2018
  • Antibody Company Succeeding in Cancer Biology, CiteAb, 2018
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