AstraZeneca R&D Postdoctoral Challenge Guidelines


Are you an innovative scientist with entrepreneurial ambitions and have a cutting edge scientific and/or technical idea that could meet the AstraZeneca R&D Postdoctoral Challenge? 


Participating in the R&D Postdoctoral Challenge has the potential to springboard careers whilst making a meaningful difference to patients, science, and healthcare systems.  


Successful candidates will have the opportunity to conduct their research at one of AstraZeneca's leading R&D facilities for two years (with an option for a third year) to pursue and develop the creative research ideas they propose fully funded by AstraZeneca. 


Interested? We are asking final year MD and/or PhD students and postdoctoral researchers to submit a research proposal describing your ideas to meet the AstraZeneca R&D Postdoctoral Challenge. Below are some guidance points to help you compose and submit your proposal. 


General Guidance 


Challenge Proposal Timeline: Deadline for submission is 26th May 2022. Submitted proposals are then reviewed by senior scientists at AstraZeneca by the end of July 2022. Successful proposals move to next stage (2-3 min video pitch format) in August 2022. Finalists selected by end of September 2022 for final live challenge in October 2022. Successful submissions will begin their Postdoctoral Research in the first quarter of 2023. 


EligibilityStudents from across the world in their final year of their graduate studies (MD and/or PhD) and postdoctoral researchers within 5 years of receiving their advance postgraduate degree (MD and/or PhD) by December 31st 2022, regardless of age. 


Awardees: Winners of the AstraZeneca R&D Postdoctoral Challenge will receive competitive salary support and benefits relative to the location, within the guidelines of the AstraZeneca Postdoctoral Programme. Resources to support your proposed project and some additional costs (e.g. relocation, immigration support, if needed), are provided by AstraZeneca. 


Confidentiality: Initial submissions should contain only non-confidential information. Should it be needed following initial review by senior AstraZeneca scientists, a confidential disclosure agreement (CDA) can be put in place on request enabling finalists to share confidential information. 


Considerations for the Proposal:


General: The proposal should provide enough detail so that reviewers (with a broad R&D scientific background) understand the rationale, what you are planning to do and why, how you are planning to do the proposed research and how this might eventually be applicable for an innovative approach. Your proposal may not be able to achieve the final outcome during the timeframe for the postdoctoral research but you should indicate what stage the project could be completed and what would be required to transform future treatment. 


We are looking for proposals for improving lives in any of our core therapy areas including oncology, cardiovascular, renal & metabolic diseases, respiratory & immunology, and rare diseases. 


AstraZeneca values publication of research in peer reviewed journals and you will be fully supported to publish the results of your research 


Language: The proposal should be written in English. 


Proposal Title: A clear description of what the proposal depicts in 100 characters or less. 


Proposer: The name of the proposing postdoctoral researcher, current professional position; current university, institution or company; and full professional address/contact information (street, city, county/district, country, telephone number and email address). 


Disease area and/or scientific/technological discipline: Select disease area (e.g.oncology, cardiovascular, renal & metabolic diseases, respiratory & immunology,rare diseases) and/or scientific approach (e.g. new technology) proposed for the R&D Postdoctoral Challenge. 


Summary: a 200-word abstract summary of your proposal. 



Description of the Proposed Research for the R&D Postdoctoral Challenge:


Background/Rationale: Briefly (400 words) outline an introductory background to the proposal and justify the importance of the proposed approach. Highlight any creativity and innovation that meets the entrepreneurial challenge and vision. 


Proposal Description: Succinctly outline the proposed research, in 1,000 words, and experimental plan for a 2-3 year period. Give sufficient detail so that an experienced scientist can appreciate and understand your proposal. Cite previously published work as needed, but do not add hyperlinks. 


Workplan/Timeline: Briefly outline the predicted timeline of the proposed workplan and possible outcomes for the 2-3 year period.  


Cited References: Place references cited in the proposal description and/or background/rationale sections here. 


Supporting information/preliminary data (Optional): Use a single PowerPoint presentation slide or one-page (single sided) pdf format attachment – to support the proposal. This can be a visual abstract, key supporting or preliminary data, etc. Make it legible and do not cram too much information into this single slide/page, 9 font format for text. No hyperlinks or any additional attachments. Proposals that do not conform to these instructions will be returned. 



Description of R&D Postdoctoral Challenge Proposer:


Postdoctoral BiosketchQualifications and experience of the Postdoctoral proposer. Add full name; current position/title and higher degree educational qualifications (i.e. Bachelors, Masters, doctoral degrees). Institution/location where degree was obtained, start/finish dates and subject matter of the qualification degree. 


Biosketch Personal Statement: Describe in 250 words or less, scientific experience to date and future career aspirations. 


Other positions, Scientific Appointments and Honors/AwardsOutline previous scientific positions/appointments and any honors/awards recognising prior scientific work. 


Contributions to science: List up to 15 peer-reviewed publications/presentations you have authored. 


Description of R&D Postdoctoral Challenge Proposer's Supervisor/Mentor (Optional):


Having a named supervisor/mentor is not a requirement of the R&D Postdoctoral Challenge. However, to further appreciate the R&D Postdoctoral Challenge proposal, the experience/training/influence of a Postdoctoral proposer and to expand AstraZeneca’s collaborative network, a Biosketch from the Postdoctoral proposer’s most recent Supervisor or Mentor can be included. It is emphasised that this is an optional addition to the R&D Postdoctoral Challenge proposal, but does highlight the Postdoctoral proposer’s prior training and experience. 


Supervisor/Mentor Biosketch: Details, qualifications and experience of the Postdoctoral proposer’s most recent Supervisor or Mentor. Add full name; current position/title and higher degree educational qualifications (i.e. Bachelors, Masters, doctoral degrees). Institution/location where degree was obtained, start/finish dates and subject matter of the qualification degree. 


Supervisor/Mentor Biosketch Personal Statement: Describe in 250 words or less the Supervisor’s/Mentor’s scientific experience, key contributions and future vision of their research. 


Supervisor’s/Mentor’s other positions, Scientific Appointments and Honors/Awards: List previous scientific positions/appointments and any significant honors/awards recognising their scientific work. 


Supervisor’s/Mentor’s contributions to science: List up to 15 peer-reviewed selected key publications the Supervisor/Mentor has led and authored.





Veeva ID: Z4-42345 

Date of Preparation: March 2022