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Principal Scientist, Materials Science and Particle Characterization

Groton, Connecticut
Closing date
Aug 23, 2022

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Physical Sciences, Chemistry, Other, Manufacturing/QA/QC
Position Type
Full Time
Job Type
Staff Scientist
Organization Type
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Why Patients Need You

Pfizer's purpose is to deliver breakthroughs that change patients' lives. Research and Development is at the heart of fulfilling Pfizer's purpose as we work to translate advanced science and technologies into the therapies and vaccines that matter most. Whether you are in the discovery sciences, ensuring drug safety and efficacy or supporting clinical trials, you will apply cutting edge design and process development capabilities to accelerate and bring the best-in-class medicines to patients around the world. Pfizer's Drug Product Design group is seeking team members with a desire to bring new, cutting edge medicines to patients around the world.

What You Will Achieve

When you join Pfizer, you'll be joining a company and team with a desire to bring new, cutting edge medicines to patients around the world. As a member of our team, you'll use science and technology to design, characterize and develop the solid form of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and drug product formulations from discovery to commercial launch. You will be able to leverage your existing scientific knowledge, as well as develop in new areas, to evaluate the chemical & physical stability, bio-performance and manufacturability of the drug product across a diverse range of therapeutic areas.

The Principal Scientist (Materials Science and Particle Characterization) position is a laboratory-based position with responsibility for investigating and understanding the particle and surface properties of Pfizer's drug molecules. Duties include generating particle and surface property data using state-of-the-art instrumentation and interpreting the data to allow new medicines to be brought to the market. The scientist will also be required to generate key physicochemical, in-vitro and formulation performance data. The Principal Scientist serves on multidisciplinary project teams and is responsible for defining the preferred physical and surface attributes (particle shape/particle size/surface energy) of pharmaceutical powders needed for optimum performance.

Through your expertise and extensive knowledge, you will be able to foster a culture that promotes innovation and thrives on doing better for patients and healthcare.

How You Will Achieve It
  • Design studies to support crystallization of drug candidates (including hydrates, solvates and polymorphs) and evaluate these forms for acceptability as it relates to chemical manufacturing and formulation into pharmaceutical products.
  • Conduct physical and chemical characterization of small molecules of pharmaceutical relevance. This includes particle characterization (e.g., particle size, shape) and surface characterization (e.g., surface energy, surface roughness) and solid-state characterization (e.g., spectroscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, thermal analysis).
  • Develop and validate cGMP particle and surface characterization methods for use as quality control tests at manufacturing sites throughout the world.
  • Apply state-of-the-art computational approaches to predict the properties and performance of powder samples.
  • Oversee the work of external partners conducting laboratory studies and provide tactical guidance and critical analysis of data.
  • Participate on multidisciplinary project teams and collaborate with colleagues to define and implement characterization strategies according to project timelines.
  • Draft and review sections of regulatory submissions and provide support for colleagues in other lines.
  • Develop effective interactions within the global materials sciences community and steering our knowledge enhancing scientific networks.
  • Build relationships with academic centers, supervise external research (PhD) students or undergraduate placements where appropriate.


  • A Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics, Chemistry, Engineering, Materials science, (or equivalent subject) and 3-5 years of relevant experience is required, or a MS in Chemistry, Engineering, Materials science, or Pharmaceutics (or equivalent subject) and 9+ years of relevant experience is needed.
  • The candidate should have experience in powder characterization (such as electron microscopy, image analysis, laser diffraction methods, etc.) and surface property testing (e.g., inverse gas chromatography, BET, atomic force microscopy, etc.) for fine powders.
  • The candidate should have experience in small molecule crystallization and solid-state characterization (such as x-ray powder diffraction, polarized light microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis, NMR, etc.).

  • Experience with using contemporary computational approaches to predict the properties and performance of pharmaceutical materials is desired.
  • Strong data analysis skills and knowledge of statistical concepts are also needed.
  • Working knowledge of the physical properties needed for drug substance and formulation components (excipients and polymers) to manufacture robust drug products is desirable. Master's Degree(MA/MS)and 9+ years of experience.


No special physical/mental requirements are needed for this position.


Eligible for Employee Referral: YES

Eligible for Relocation: YES



Pfizer requires all U.S. new hires to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to the first date of employment. As required by applicable law, Pfizer will consider requests for Reasonable Accommodations.

Sunshine Act

Pfizer reports payments and other transfers of value to health care providers as required by federal and state transparency laws and implementing regulations. These laws and regulations require Pfizer to provide government agencies with information such as a health care provider's name, address and the type of payments or other value received, generally for public disclosure. Subject to further legal review and statutory or regulatory clarification, which Pfizer intends to pursue, reimbursement of recruiting expenses for licensed physicians may constitute a reportable transfer of value under the federal transparency law commonly known as the Sunshine Act. Therefore, if you are a licensed physician who incurs recruiting expenses as a result of interviewing with Pfizer that we pay or reimburse, your name, address and the amount of payments made currently will be reported to the government. If you have questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact your Talent Acquisition representative.

EEO & Employment Eligibility

Pfizer is committed to equal opportunity in the terms and conditions of employment for all employees and job applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, gender identity or gender expression, national origin, disability or veteran status. Pfizer also complies with all applicable national, state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act and IRCA. Pfizer is an E-Verify employer.

Research and Development
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