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A PhD in pharma industry: a unique opportunity for young talents

What is a PhD?

A PhD is the university degree obtained by a PhD student (who already has a Masters) following their thesis on a given subject within an academic body and/or private company. The thesis may concern all scientific disciplines: mathematics, physics, and chemistry, but also the human and social sciences such as economics, history, or philosophy.

The initial length of a PhD is three years. During this period, the student will carry out research in order to defend their dissertation.

Once the thesis has been defended and validated before a professional jury, it is published.

Did you know?

The term PhD comes from the Latin philosophiae doctor, which literally means Doctorate of Philosophy. In the French-speaking university system, we tend to refer to doctorate. These days, the PhD applies to all disciplines.

What projects do PhD students work on?

Each PhD student applies for thesis subjects proposed by the recruiting pharmaceutical companies.

Here at Servier, the profiles are varied, with themes covering all of our therapeutic areas: oncology, immuno-inflammation, neurosciences, and also technological development.

The projects proposed must nevertheless address our challenges and contribute to therapeutic progress for the benefit of patients.

For example: Artificial Intelligence to fight cancer and increase patient chances of survival, or the study of rare diseases whose needs are as yet only partially met or not at all.

How to do your dissertation at Servier?

  • Apply for a vacancy with a partner academic laboratory
  • Submit a thesis project directly to us
  • Do a 2nd year Masters internship in one of our teams and co-construct your dissertation project then

Discover all of our PhD and post-doc vacancies here

And after the PhD?

A post-doc is the logical next step after a PhD in pharmacy. For young researchers, it is a process that structures their scientific profile within a community of experts. During this step, the young researchers consolidate the knowledge they acquired from their thesis, which also enables them to hone their professional project. 

Just like PhD students, post-doc researchers can benefit from a training offer proposed by the host establishment. This is the case of Servier with the SHINEDocs community.

A unique opportunity to discover the various pharmaceutical industry professions

During their PhD, the young researchers at Servier have the possibility to discover various departments or divisions depending on how their projects develop, giving them the opportunity to join several teams with differing and complementary areas of expertise. This enables them to refine their professional project whilst having an overview of the pharmaceutical industry and the roles that contribute to the value chain of a medicinal product.
For example, young researchers specializing in chemistry perform part of their project at the Center for Industrial Research at the Oril site, or at the SRIMC in Hungary in order to discover this discipline on a larger scale.

In addition, interactions between our different R&D centers are common.

Work with experienced professionals

One of the major advantages of doing your PhD at Servier is the daily proximity with experienced scientists. The young researchers benefit daily from the advice and coaching of their colleagues.

For them it is an opportunity to understand the workings of the pharmaceutical industry and the challenges of the private sector and thereby find therapeutic solutions that meet patient needs. It is an excellent way for them to ensure that their project has meaning and to tailor it, if necessary, to actual patient needs.

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Belong to the close-knit SHINEDocs community

SHINEDocs is a program implemented by Servier to assist and support the community of young researchers working in our laboratories and with our partners in their career path, development, and project achievement.

In a spirit of co-construction, this initiative offers PhD students and also post-docs workshops on how to pitch their projects, scientific events such as the Seedpods Day, access to the network of PhD students, post-docs and former student-researchers, and training.

Maximize your chances of finding work

Over the past four years, more than 80% of post-doc and PhD students at Servier obtained a contract (permanent, academic, or temporary) soon after the completion of their project.

In figures

  • Around 70 SHINEDocs join Servier each year
  • Over 10 nationalities are represented in the SHINEDocs community
  • Over 80% of SHINEDocs obtain a contract (permanent, temporary, or academic) soon after completing their project
  • Prizes are awarded to 3 oral presentations (Flashtalks) and 2 posters at each annual Seedpods Day


Over 80% of SHINEDocs obtain a contract (permanent, temporary, or academic) soon after completing their project

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Open innovation at Servier: a key to accelerate innovation

At Servier, we are convinced that the collaboration between academics, start-ups and industry is essential for accelerating research.
That is why each year we support the projects of several young researchers with whom we work hand in hand to serve therapeutic innovation for patients.