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AstraZeneca Senior Scientist Reviews

Updated 14 June 2017
28 reviews

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Senior Scientist

3.8
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AstraZeneca Executive Director, CEO Pascal Soriot
Pascal Soriot
16 Ratings

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Pros
Cons
  • strict - work/life balance - stress (in 42 reviews)

  • pipeline, senior management, constant change (in 27 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Senior Scientist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Loughborough, England
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Loughborough, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AstraZeneca (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Excellent top Pharma company where you can develop your skills by working within various departments. Development of staff is supported and leadership at all levels in encouraged.

    Cons

    Workload in Early Devlopment can be quite high. This needs to be managed on a realistic level.

    Advice to Management

    Staff work life balance needs to be encouraged and implemented.


  2. "AstraZeneca as a contracted worker"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Alderley, England
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Alderley, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AstraZeneca (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible timetable for work
    I was paid by the hour
    Good facilities at Alderley Park (sadly AZ left the site)

    Cons

    Moving up beyond a Senior Scientist role is very difficult, as there are a lot of Senior Scientists and there is competition from outside.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the workers and help them to develop their skills by offering more courses that could run in parallel with routine work.


  3. "Good company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Alderley Edge, England
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Alderley Edge, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AstraZeneca full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits package, and holidays (usually 22 days minimum + christmas, and opportunity to "buy" an additional 10 days. Flexible working is great for those with families.

    Cons

    Highly corporate mentality, high pressure workload but flexible working and good holidays help relieve this.


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  5. "Great employer, but hard to move up"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist in Macclesfield, England
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist in Macclesfield, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Collaborative working environment, good energy in the company to succeed, lots of interesting science happening with the goal to provide innovative new medicines. Prior to joining the company I viewed such large pharma companies and faceless and impersonal, however this has not been my experience of AstraZeneca. There is good communication of clinical studies and success stories with patients back to those that are developing the medicines, which is really nice to see as a chemist working on API manufacture. There is a rather flat management structure and this works well to be connected to managers a couple of levels above your grade

    Cons

    Due to the flat management structure there is a downside that it can feel like your career is not progressing, I'm a senior scientist and have worked for the company for 2 years, I have a further 4 years industrial experience prior to my work here and a PhD under my belt, I think it will be another 4-6 years before I can see myself being promoted, with small pay rises this does mean I do keep an eye on the job market to see if I could get better pay elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Give a stepping stone between senior scientist and APS/Team leader, etc so that it feels more achievable to move up


  6. "Astrazeneca in Cambridge"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at AstraZeneca full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice vibrant culture and cool science

    Cons

    Temporary buildings lack space and facilities


  7. Helpful (2)

    "better out than in"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Alderley Edge, England
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Alderley Edge, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AstraZeneca full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    reasonably high salary for the industry

    Cons

    a foul culture devoid of integrity that promotes stealing work and abusing colleagues to promote yourself at any cost.

    Advice to Management

    promote a culture of team working over individualism and stop communicating entirely in meaningless business jargon. "If you expect a vipers nest of politicalness then that's what you will get." - Astro Teller, Google.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Brilliant but flawed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Alderley Park, England
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Alderley Park, England

    Pros

    I started at AstraZeneca in 1996. I had a fantastic time and met a lot of wonderful people. I was trained and invested in for the first 10 years. There are some very clever people at AstraZeneca, people who are excellent at their job and quite inspirational. When you concentrate on the science and medicine, you have a wonderful environment. Recent developments to increase and expand the pipeline have been very interesting. Alderley Park was a beautiful environment.

    Cons

    When I started, my compensation was standard for the time, and good. However, that eroded so badly over time that when I was promoted, I had to have substantial salary increases to reach the BOTTOM of the next salary band. When I recently moved company to do exactly the same job, my pay almost doubled. In addition, the management structure is antiquated and dysfunctional. If you don't get on with your manager, you will not get on. And there is a nasty habit of putting people in managerial positions who cannot do and have never done the job of the people they manage. My last department will now have 2 senior managers, neither of whom can work at the level expected of their staff. Due to recent events, staff are now under a lot of pressure to perform miraculous amounts of work while under a lot of pressure, both professional and personal. This leads to a lot of bad behaviour which was awful. Physicians, in particular, can be a dreadful bunch, rude, unprofessional and unable to accept instruction, whilst contributing little and being rewarded the most. If you are a contractor, you will make a lot of money while doing a job that is not performance managed, from home. Difficult to accept for the permanent staff.

    Advice to Management

    AZ needs to change its management style and give their best people, not just the elite few, a proper career structure that reflects the new company they're trying to be. Pay needs to be increased, particularly with the move to Cambridge, and stop paying contractors an absolute fortune to do jobs they're not qualified for, in a way that will jeopardise the licence to operate. I had to leave the company in order to progress in terms of salary, job title and development after 19 years faithful service. What is that all about? Never mind, if I ever return, it will be to sort out your mess and you will pay me handsomely to do it.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "18 years of ideal followed by 3 years of failure"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Nether Alderley, England
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Nether Alderley, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AstraZeneca full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Perfect work setting. Great work life balance and the opportunity to work with truly inspiring people. A great place to continually learn at the cutting edge of science.

    Cons

    High level miss managent of the company following the merger. Wrong behaviours adopted and encouraged. The tail wags the dog far too often.

    Advice to Management

    Please learn to reward and demonstrate value to the few remaining staff. Outsource out of opportunity rather than desperation.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Terrible Strategic Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Research Scientist in Nether Alderley, England
    Former Employee - Senior Research Scientist in Nether Alderley, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AstraZeneca full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Comfortable working life. Good work life balance and some good benefits. Some small opportunities to progress.

    Cons

    Poor hierarchical structure. Management not prepared to take risks on tricky projects... Years of bad decisions have led to a dejected research work force who don't have the energy or passion to innovate any more.

    Everyone is now just looking out for themselves.

    Advice to Management

    Be more meritocratic and promote those with drive and real passion rather than just the ones who fit in to the norm. Take more risks!

    This place needs a skunk works, but it's probably too late to save yourselves!


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Great people but you must leave science and move into management if you want to succeed."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist in Manchester, England
    Current Employee - Senior Scientist in Manchester, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at AstraZeneca full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people to work with. The food served in the canteen is great. Everyone is generally very friendly. Only on rare occasions do you have to work beyond 40 hours a week.

    Cons

    There are few opportunities to stay in science if you want to get ahead. Emphasis is placed on going to meetings, and more importantly documenting that you have been going to meetings. Scientists play second fiddle to management and pay rises for the scientists are very low.

    Advice to Management

    Cut back on the endless numbers of managers with random job titles and start doing the science again.