Science & Information Technology (IT) Careers Opportunities & Development Advice Guidance - Information & News From Your Career Guide

MHRA

Ready for a challenge?

Are you:

  • Professional, confident and enthusiastic?
  • Passionate about safeguarding public health?
  • A team player?
  • Organised and able to thrive in a fast paced environment?

Then you have come to the right place!

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the government agency responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work. Everything we do is about safeguarding public health. From over-the-counter headache tablets to the safety of bedrails to revolutionary drugs in the fight against HIV and AIDS, we are there. Safeguarding the public and shaping the future of medical technologies.

At the MHRA we focus on attracting and developing the right people and have a variety of positions suited to people from all the scientific, pharmaceutical and medical communities. For example, we have the largest number of pharmacists in one place, over 100 who fulfil a wide range of different and exciting roles within the Agency. We look for candidates who are professional, confident, flexible and passionate about the public service we provide. In return the MHRA strives to be a place where you can build your professional career.

Some of the challenges that the MHRA face on a daily basis are; decisions that have a direct impact on everyone's daily life, continuously changing regulatory environments and balancing science vs the law vs policy. We continually deal with other government departments, international medicines agencies, enforcement agencies and industry.

The benefits from these challenges are that science has a practical application and impacts every person in the UK and can influence the EU and the rest of the world. Careers within the MHRA are not static; no two days are the same. We greatly believe in career progression and personal development through continuous Professional Development (CPD) and training support.

The Agency has had a large impact on a number of areas, for example, the availability of medicines and the reclassification process, to make them more accessible to the public, adverse drug reactions and patient reporting and the Agencies campaign to tackle counterfeit medicines. You can view our latest news in our News Centre on our website. http://www.mhra.gov.uk/NewsCentre/index.htm

The range of different areas that you can get involved with are; medicines information, communications, IT development, policy development and senior management.
There are many other benefits of working for the MHRA, including:

  • 30 days annual leave
  • 10.5 privilege days/ bank holidays
  • On-going learning and development
  • Civil Service Pension Scheme
  • Discounted BUPA membership
  • Interest free season ticket loan or bike loan
  • On-site exercise studio at Market Towers
  • Subsidised canteen
  • Variety of staff and Civil Service clubs
  • Flexible working to ensure staff maintain a healthy work-life balance
  • CoreCare - Employee Assistance Services

Our open plan offices encourage communication and interaction between staff. With many events throughout the year including summer boat parties, Christmas parties, quiz nights, karaoke nights and team away-days, you will have many opportunities to meet a wide variety of people from all different disciplines and build lasting relationships.

Information about our latest vacancies are posted on our website www.mhra.gov.uk

Staff profiles

Nick Wilson, Senior Technical Analyst, General Practice Research Database (GPRD)
Background:
I first came to the MHRA three years ago after completing an MSc in Computing and Information Systems at the University of Greenwich. Prior to this I worked within the Royalties department of Warner Music helping process the vast amount of data associated with their products.

Current post:
As a Senior Technical Analyst within the GPRD (General Practice Research Database) Group I have found my time at MHRA to be challenging but rewarding. My daily duties involve helping customers with the technical aspects of accessing and using the GPRD system. I am also involved in developing in-house solutions that can more efficiently manage the huge volumes of data that make up GPRD.

What I like about working for MHRA:
GPRD is used by academics and healthcare organisations, including pharmaceutical industry, to conduct population base medical research. It's not hard to see how this research contributes towards safeguarding public health - the watchword of the MHRA mission statement - and it's rewarding to see how our work helps in this way. Personally I enjoy working for the MHRA within the small and relatively independent team of GPRD; goals are clear and the team ethic we have always produces the correct results.

Zamshed Harun, Quality Standards & Research Specialist, Pharmacovigilance Signal Management, Vigilance and Risk Management of Medicines Division.
Joined MHRA as:
Pharmacovigilance Information Analyst.
Background:
I graduated from university with a MEng in Medical Engineering.  Before starting at MHRA, I worked at the Ministry of Defence and was an officer in the British Army.

My next career goal:
Together with my team members, I want to develop our information systems into a robust and authoritative source, in order for the MHRA to be a world leading centre of excellence that raises the profile of its vast knowledge base and IT platforms.

What I like most about my job:
The variety of work is impressive: ranging from providing information to expert committees through to assisting management in corporate governance.  The work is mostly project based, which keeps me motivated to ensure a successful and timely outcome.

My greatest career challenge:
The greatest challenge to date was managing a team of experienced colleagues in order for them to achieve their potential as individuals and as a team.  Considering a variety of constraints they accomplished great things and far exceeded expectations and targets.

If I could share one tip with a new employee, it would be:
Always strive to be the best.  This requires creativity, momentum, flexibility, and above all a can-do attitude.  Achieve this and keep your stakeholders at the heart of all you do.

Andrew Gill, Business Intelligence Coordinator, Information Management Division
"Being a reporting specialist allows you to work for some interesting companies, and this is certainly one of them."
Joined MHRA:
In 2006 to lead the Business Intelligence team
Background:
I graduated from UMIST with a Bachelor's in Pure & Applied Physics in 1997.  As a recent graduate working for a life assurance and pensions company, I was introduced to databases and reporting tools.  I have spent much of the intervening years applying these skills to areas from finance to marketing to commercial property management.  I joined the MHRA in April 2006, with no experience of the pharmaceutical industry, to take on the role of Business Intelligence Co-ordinator. 
My next career goal:
Having recently achieved goals of exposing myself to a totally new industry and becoming a manager, I am currently adjusting to the new position.  In the medium-term, I would like to train the BI team to work more proactively to meet the needs of the agency.
What I like most about my job:
I get to work with people from almost every department within the agency, so the work is always varied.
My greatest career challenge:
Keeping up-to-date with the advances in reporting tools and database technology. Existing skills can become redundant very quickly in IT.
What my role involves:
Meeting people from divisions across the agency, to find out what questions they would like to be able to answer, advising them on reports that would answer their questions, and finally designing, building and implementing the system to support such reports.
If I could share one tip with a new employee, it would be:
Find out what people do in departments outside your own, because you're bound to be involved in their work at some point.