When is the application deadline?

Our recruitment cycle takes place from August to November, annually. Applications are due by a specific date for each university we visit (see the Apply Now page for more details). If selected for the program, we try to work around your graduation schedule, with a target start date between February and June of the following year.   

It looks like Pfizer has R&D facilities across the globe. Where does the PDP take place?

The PDP is based in Lake Forest, IL, a northern suburb of Chicago. In exceptional cases, business needs have allowed PDP Scientists to perform a rotation at another R&D facility.

How does the selection process work?

Once we receive all of the applications from a university, an initial screen is performed. We phone screen the most promising candidates prior to our university visit. The most exceptional of these candidates are interviewed on-campus, after our PDP information session. Once candidates from all universities have been interviewed, we carefully choose a select group to interview with site leaders in Lake Forest, IL.

My degree is not in pharmaceutical sciences, chemistry, or biomedical/chemical engineering. Can I still apply?

Absolutely. A wide range of disciplines come together to form our scientific teams – the disciplines listed are our most common. We offer in-depth training to assure that every scientist has the skills necessary to perform scientifically rigorous experiments.

My graduate studies were not laboratory-focused. Can I request that my rotations are all outside of the laboratory?

No. The PDP is based in R&D, so in-laboratory research is a fundamental component of the program.

I don’t know exactly when I’m going to graduate. Can I apply?

We would like to have PDP Scientists start the program at the beginning of the year, but we recognize that graduation schedules vary. If you are not likely to graduate before June, we recommend applying during the subsequent year’s PDP recruitment cycle.

How important are publications and poster presentations?

Communication is an essential part of the program. Therefore, indications that you can concisely present your research to a wider audience are highly valued.

How does working at a firm that specializes in generics differ from a firm that specializes in proprietary products?

Both generic and proprietary R&D programs present unique challenges that require innovative solutions. For generic product development, we must demonstrate equivalence to a reference drug through a comprehensive formulation development and analytical testing program, all within a condensed time-frame, with limited background information, and with cost and material efficiency. The shorter time to market for generic products (relative to proprietary products) allows researchers to work on a wider variety of projects at all stages of the product lifecycle. 

How does the PDP compare to an industrial postdoc?

PDP Scientists begin as FTEs (full-time employees) at Pfizer. This includes full benefits and competitive compensation.

I’m not a domestic graduate student/postdoc. Will Pfizer sponsor a work visa?


When does the program end?

The program ends after all four rotations have been completed, typically around two years.