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ATA Laboratory Scientist Research Associate Degree Level Apprenticeship

Main Description

This is a fantastic opportunity to embark on a career in science and technology. This Degree Level Apprenticeship is perfect for you if you want an opportunity that will give you an experience in biological product development from day one. You will work in a fast-paced biopharma laboratory, under technical supervision, carrying out a wide variety of process development experiments using different methods.

Qualifications required Minimum 2 A levels (or equivalent), including Biology/Chemistry plus 5 GCSE passes (or equivalent), including English Language and mathematics at grade 4 or above. Alternatively, applicants must have completed a Level 3 Laboratory Technician Apprenticeship in a relevant science discipline.  
Salary £17,000
Holiday Entitlement 25 days p.a. plus statutory holidays
Benefit Cogent Skills offers a wide range of benefits to our employees, including:
Free on-site parking
Holiday entitlement (+ Bank Holidays)
Opt in pension scheme – Workplace Pension Scheme
Student discount card (NUS)
Employee Assistance Programme
Dedicated mentor for the duration of your Apprenticeship
Discount at Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Centres
Location Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 4HF
Working Hours 37.5 hours per week
9.00am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday, with a 1-hour unpaid daily lunch break
Duration 60 months
Start Date April 2023
Interview Date w/x 27th February 2023
Closing Date for applications 13th February 2023
To apply To apply, fill in your information in the online form below. If you are having difficulty in complete this, please contact recruitment on [email protected] for assistance.
Next Steps Once the position has closed, shortlisted candidates will be invited to a one way video interview, you will have 3 days to complete it.
This will be reviewed by the Hiring Manager along with your application form to decide who is brought through to the final interview.
If you have any issues in applying, please contact us on [email protected]



Cogent Skills is working with Accord Healthcare Ltd to recruit a Degree Level Laboratory Scientist Apprentice (Research Associate) for its R&D centre in Harrow (ABL labs). The successful candidate will be employed by Cogent Skills Services but will undertake all on-job learning with Accord Healthcare.


There are 2 x vacancies in ABL to be filled for the April 2023 intake; one of them is in the Upstream Process Development (UPD) and the other in Analytical Development laboratory (ADL) departments. Both the roles will encompass process development activities for Biologics mainly Biosimilars, novel biological entities and potentially mRNA-based products. If recruited in the UPD team, under technical supervision, the Apprentice will participate in the following activities:

  • Process development activities for cell line development. This will include optimisation of Quality Target Product Profiles using Design of Experiment software and executing experimental runs in automation such as ambr250 and confirmation using bioreactors.
  • Material supply from bioreactors and ambr250 to Downstream process development (DSP) department for process development activities.
  • Cell culture of established mammalian cell lines.
  • Media and feed preparation for cell culture experiments
  • If recruited in the ADL team, under technical supervision, the Apprentice will participate in the following activities:
  • Carry out sample analysis in various analytical equipment (HPLC, UPLC, UV-Vis, Plate reader, CD, FTI, cIEF, CE-SDS, MS)
  • Method development of chromatography / spectroscopy / capillary-based / Mass spectroscopy
  • Qualify methods for structural characterisation of product and process-related impurities
  • In both the departments, the Apprentice will follow close to GLP guidelines for executing activities. The candidate is also expected to help in the completion or solely execute the following activities:  
  • Data recording in accordance with data integrity principles
  • Preparation of SOPs / MOAs / various reports, data compilation etc.
  • Preparation of risk assessments and COSHH
  • Ownership activities of various equipment
  • Routine lab cleaning and EHS safety inspections
  • Assist lab manager in any deliveries / parcels / stock check and ordering
  • Response to DQA observations related to data verification


The BSc (Hons) will include a range of modules, including Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Applied Microbiology, Human Physiology and Disease, Metabolism and Enzymology, Infection and Immunity, Pharmacology, Drug Discovery and Development, and Research Methods, plus a choice of specialist modules in year 4.

This is a fantastic opportunity to embark on a scientific career with a leading company within the life sciences sector.

Skills required

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent organisational and administration skills – uses time efficiently and effectively, ability to work accurately to required deadlines
  • Good working knowledge of MS Office packages and be able to apply in a lab environment
  • Have the capability to produce reliable, accurate data for all work carried out in the lab
  • Be able to analyse and evaluate results / data obtained from work carried out
  • Adopts a logical approach to problem solving
  • Perseveres to find ways through challenges or barriers.

Personal Qualities

  • Ability to work as part of a team`
  • Customer focused – dedicated to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers
  • Energetic individual who has a high level of personal pride in their work
  • Strong desire to learn, with a positive attitude and resilient to change
  • Aptitude and passion for science



This role is part of our talent planning for the future and, for the right person, we are looking to continue to develop the Apprentice upon successful completion of the Apprenticeship.

Our business is growing, is fast paced and evolving so there may be the opportunity to gain permanent employment in the team as a Research Associate, subject to performance, successful completion of the Apprenticeship, and a role being available.



Accord Healthcare is a fast-growing global pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and distributes generic, biosimilar and added-value medicines in over 85 countries worldwide, helping to improve access for patients to essential pharmaceutical care at the point of need. 

Accord’s portfolio spans across critical therapeutic fields such as oncology, cardiology, neurology, psychiatry, diabetes, pain management and gastroenterology

By challenging the status quo and directly addressing unmet clinical and societal needs, Accord continuously strives to make things better by delivering high quality medicines to patients, quickly, economically, reliably and with great innovation.

As one of the fastest growing generic pharmaceutical companies in the UK & Ireland, we have an extensive supply chain through its two UK based manufacturing sites and the largest manufacturer-owned warehousing & distribution centre in the UK.

Our employees foster our enduring reputation for quality and integrity, supporting our primary goal of helping to ensure patients receive the medicines they need, when they need them, with patient well-being at the centre of everything we do.

We believe in creating a culture that ‘achieves’. To support this, we are looking to build an inclusive company that attracts and retains key talent by investing in training and development, tailored to an individual’s needs. We are looking for the best and brightest technical minds in pharmaceutical development, manufacture and distribution, as well as sharp, forward-thinking business professionals, to work for Accord Healthcare.

We offer opportunities for people who are looking for professional growth, to learn and develop their careers.

The apprentice role will be centered in Accord Biopharma London (ABL) lab in Harrow. This lab is built as a centre of excellence for Research and Development activities, aiming for biosimilar process development and novel biologics development including mRNA-based products for both human and veterinary use. Various functions in ABL include Upstream Process Development (UPD), Downstream Process Development (DSP), Analytical Development Lab (ADL), Bioanalytical Development Lab (BDL) and Drug Product Development (DPD or Formulation) lab.



Qualification: BSc (Hons) in Applied Bioscience

Apprenticeship standard: Laboratory Scientist

Training provider: University of Kent

Delivery model: Blended learning through a mixture of online and face to face learning. Much of the programme is centred around work-based learning and projects, which means as an apprentice, you will be adding value to your organisation as you work through your Bachelor’s degree. There are also two residential summer schools in years 1 and 2 to complete the Basic and Advanced Laboratory/Industry Skills modules. These will take place at the university’s Canterbury campus.



Cogent Skills is managing the recruitment process in partnership with Accord Healthcare Ltd. To ensure fairness and equality of opportunity all applications must be made by completing the application on the Cogent Skills Apprenticeship portal.

The successful candidate will be employed by Cogent Skills Services but will undertake all on-job learning with Accord Healthcare at its manufacturing site in Harrow. There will be no requirement for remote or shift working.

Please ensure that you currently live within, or can relocate to, a commutable distance of the site/training provider.

Due to the part-time nature of the study, you must be able to demonstrate a responsible and mature attitude to your study and work-based activities. Study time will form part of your working week.

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Location: Harrow, Middlesex
Vacancy Type: 
Salary: 17000
Closing Date: 13th February 2023
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