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Lilly Research Scientist in Indianapolis, Indiana

At Lilly, we unite caring with discovery to make life better for people around the world. We are a global healthcare leader headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our 35,000 employees around the world work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to our communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. We give our best effort to our work, and we put people first. We’re looking for people who are determined to make life better for people around the world.

Small Molecule Design and Development (SMDD) is an innovation-focused organization in Eli Lilly and Company. We strive to identify, develop and apply ground breaking technologies to deliver maximum benefit to our patients. Within SMDD, process chemistry is essential to establishing a robust and sustainable supply chain for small molecules as well as medium therapeutic molecules, including peptides, oligonucleotides and antibody-drug conjugates. We seek to use new technologies for key problems and we endeavor to continuously improve the way we develop and manufacture therapeutic molecules. Our dynamic group is made up of chemists, pharmaceutical scientists, analytical chemists, and engineers.

Are you a creative and innovative synthetic chemist? Are you interested in developing and commercializing small molecule, oligonucleotide and peptide clinical therapeutics? If yes, this might be a right position for you to make an impact and improve the future of drug manufacturing working across diverse scientific areas including chemical synthesis, analytical chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, computational technology and machine learning principles, as well as chemical engineering.


  • Thrive at the interface between disciplines and be able to quickly move from one scientific challenge to another while navigating ambiguity.

  • Possess a robust background and training in modern synthetic chemistry and be able to use this knowledge along with new digital tools to challenge the status quo and drive new solutions to the most important scientific problems often in time constrained scenarios.

  • Embrace and celebrate diversity by using a relevant but unique background and set of experiences to provide new and refreshing ideas and thoughts to deliver innovative solutions for a multidisciplinary team. Strong communication (oral, written), organizational, and leadership skills are expected.

  • Provide examples of novel contributions to chemical design and mechanism-based problem solving as part of project driven goals such as total synthesis and/or novel methodology development. These examples should also be reflected in a strong publication record in peer reviewed journals.

  • Demonstrate learning agility in grasping and exploiting new scientific concepts and methods across disciplines and apply these findings to small molecule, peptide and oligonucleotide assets. Actively participate in the development of new synthetic routes for the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients using the most modern technologies, including continuous processing techniques, automated reaction screening, and elements of computational chemistry.

  • Help drive and develop the commercial manufacturing strategy and collaborate with internal and external manufacturing partners to develop robust chemical processes that are readily amenable to efficient drug substance manufacturing for both clinical and commercial settings.

  • Able to utilize and manipulate large datasets to reach robust scientific decisions and to inform future development activities.

  • Partner with Discovery Chemistry to provide SAR and candidate selection guidance to the discovery core team.

  • Engage with regulatory agencies to encourage the use of novel scientific approaches and technology and with the external chemistry environment through presentations, publication at external symposia or consortia. Identify, partner and develop external chemistry innovations to complement existing internal capabilities and areas of focus and incorporate these innovations across the portfolio of assets.

Basic Qualifications:

PhD in organic chemistry

Additional Skills/Preferences:

  • Good interpersonal skills and a persistent tendency for collaboration

  • Demonstrated self-initiative and appropriate risk-taking

  • Sustained technical proficiency and integration of complex scientific concepts to create technical agendas that supply business value

  • Knowledge and experience with management of technical projects

  • Demonstrated leadership capabilities especially in a team environment

  • Ability to prioritize multiple activities and manage ambiguity

  • An active scientific curiosity and interest for complementary disciplines within the pharmaceutical industry

  • Demonstrated success in persuasion, influence and negotiation in a scientific setting

Additional Information:

  • Potential exposure to chemicals, allergens and loud noises

  • Travel: 0 to 10%

  • Position Local: Indianapolis, IN; Lilly Technology Center-North (LTC-N)

Eli Lilly and Company, Lilly USA, LLC and our wholly owned subsidiaries (collectively “Lilly”) are committed to help individuals with disabilities to participate in the workforce and ensure equal opportunity to compete for jobs. If you require an accommodation to submit a resume for positions at Lilly, please email Lilly Human Resources ( ) for further assistance. Please note This email address is intended for use only to request an accommodation as part of the application process. Any other correspondence will not receive a response.

Lilly is an EEO/Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, protected veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status.

At Lilly we strive to ensure our employees are part of a team that cares about them and our shared purpose of making life better for those around the world. How do we do this? We continue to look for ways to include, innovate, accelerate and deliver while maintaining integrity, excellence and respect for people.​ We hope that you seek to join us on our journey as we create medicine and deliver improved outcomes for patients across the globe!