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Careers , Nottingham

Colleague Stories: Interview with Jordan Dickens

Jordan Dickens discusses his experiences at Quotient Sciences

Jordan Dickens, Principal Formulation Scientist at Quotient Sciences - Nottingham, discusses his career and experiences working at the company.


I’ve had a great career so far with Quotient Sciences with a lot of development opportunities. Some of my colleagues have become some of my closest friends.
-Jordan Dickens


What does a Principal Formulation Scientist do at Quotient Sciences?

As a Principal Formulation Scientist, I support our formulation development team in the laboratory, working on complex projects, and often lead projects with novel processes or technologies. A good example would be my recent involvement in developing 3D printed tablets, or developing an osmotic pump tablet, both of which were firsts for Quotient Sciences. I’m also focused on identifying new equipment to improve capabilities, and I regularly attend conferences to see what’s new to the market. Training is another aspect of my role, not only for the formulation development team but to other teams within the pharmaceutical sciences department, to share insight and knowledge across our functions.

Describe a typical day in the formulation development department.

As a formulator, our primary responsibility is developing and optimizing drug products and related manufacturing processes. A typical day can vary, and I split my time between working in the lab and in the office. Time spent in the office typically involves planning or executing new equipment introduction and completing any associated documentation, or planning future formulation development work. Time spent in the laboratory is generally manufacturing formulation development batches, either solo or in small teams, and supporting my colleagues with training and troubleshooting.

How has your career progressed since joining us? What qualifications and experience have you gained?

Originally, I joined the company in 2013 while I was working on my Bachelor of Science degree in pharmaceutical and cosmetic science at De Montfort University in Leicester. After this placement, I returned to complete my degree, but I knew that I wanted to return to the company as soon as possible after graduating. Before I even received the results of my final exams, I was back working at Quotient Sciences full-time as a Formulation Scientist. I had a drive to continue studying, I approached my line manager at the time, about wanting to further my studies, and was fortunate to be funded by Quotient Sciences to undertake further study part-time. I was able to complete a post-graduate, Master of Science degree focused on quality by design (QbD) for the pharmaceutical industry.

I’ve had a great career so far with Quotient Sciences with a lot of development opportunities. Before working here, I had no experience within the pharmaceutical industry, so I learned about the industry through a combination of academic studies, industry experience, attending conferences and seminars, and talking with others in the industry. 

I even had the opportunity to spend the entire month of September 2019 on secondment at our Philadelphia site. This experience was focused on knowledge sharing between our sites, as Philadelphia had recently started embedding our Translational Pharmaceutics® approach into customer projects and there were a few projects that I was part of and had transitioned into the next phases of development. This experience allowed me to gain perspective on the later stages of pharmaceutical development while also helping to provide perspective on the development story of those projects so far.

Did you require any qualifications for the role you applied for when you initially joined the company?

Formulation Scientists typically have a Bachelor's degree in a relevant science. In my case, I was pursuing one when I initially joined the company, returned to complete my university studies, and came back after graduating. Some colleagues that I have worked with have entered the role by gaining experience first within a related area, such as within pharmaceutical manufacturing or at a pharmacy. There are certainly transferrable skills coming from these areas, then a lot of knowledge is to be gained while working in the role.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

In my current role, I enjoy the opportunity to train and mentor junior colleagues. For the past several years, I have been responsible for the recruitment of our current generation of placement students, many of whom we have gone on to recruit full-time following the completion of their studies. I find it really rewarding to bring the students in and watch how they mature throughout their year with us.

What aspects do you find most challenging?

As with any project-oriented business, there are always time pressures. At the same time, though, keeping busy is what makes the week fly by, and I would rather be busy than bored.

What’s the team like?

Some of my colleagues have become some of my closest friends. The team is amazing and many of us spend time together outside of work. One year, we had a camping trip in the Peak District National Park for a weekend.

What advice would you give to someone applying for a role in your team?

Be yourself. Personally, I’m always interested to hear about a candidate’s hobbies and interests so I can get a better idea about the person behind the resume, who they are, and what they enjoy.

What do you like most about working at Quotient Sciences?

The people. Not only within my team, but throughout the organization, you’ll find that Quotient Sciences is filled with great people.

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