Life Sciences, Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology

Work in this sector encompasses a large range of professions. Possible work areas include:

  • Preclinical and discovery research
  • Clinical research/development/operation
  • Regulatory affairs & clinical safety
  • Quality assurance and auditing
  • Bio/pharmaceutical product development
  • Biostatistics/Statistics
  • Medical/scientific writing
  • Data/information management
  • Project management
  • Business and corporate development
  • Marketing/sales
  • Technical/instrument support
  • Law/Legal advice and property protection
  • Health care financing
  • Management consulting
  • Research and education

Typical Employers

Typical employers can be categorized into the following core areas:

  • Drug discovery and development companies. Typical employers include but not limited to, major pharmaceutical, biotechnology therapeutic companies, vaccines, drug delivery, and molecular diagnostics companies.
  • Biotechnology tools and services companies. These companies do not produce drugs, instead, they provide drug development companies with tools such as instruments, reagents, platform technology, software and other products. Typical “biotech tool” companies include, reagents and chemical suppliers, instruments (microscopes), platform companies (genomics), bio-IT software and hardware, molecular diagnostics. Typical “biotech service” companies include, management consulting and accounting firms, law firms, venture capital and investment banking, contract manufactures, research and clinical testing, medical communications, etc.
  • Governmental and research institutes. These organizations interact with biotechnology and drug development companies. Employers include but not limited to, Food and Drug Administration, Centres for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health organizations.
  • Medical device companies. These companies produce stents, defibrillators, point-of-care diagnostics, etc. Typical employers include but not limited to, medical devices, diagnostic and e-health companies.
  • Academic institutions. There is a growing collaboration between academic institutions and companies in life sciences. Typical employers include but not limited to technology transfer departments and industry-supported labs and institutes.
  • Leading companies in Greater Montreal: Algorythme Pharma, Anapharm, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Charles River, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck Canada, Novartis, Pfizer, etc.

Industry Profiles

To learn more about this sector, visit the following web sites:

Career Profiles

To learn more about different career options in this sector, visit the following web sites:

Career Books & Websites

Recommended books (available at CaPS):

  • Career opportunities in bioengineering and biotechnology
  • Career opportunities in biotechnology and drug development
  • Career options for biomedical scientists
  • CRA jobs for science degree holders, RNs & IMGs
  • How to break into pharmaceutical sales: A headhunter's strategy
  • Career Books (Available in the McGill Library)
  • BioSpace Career Advice

Job Resources

The following links provide a list of job boards, internships and volunteering opportunities.
Note: To find internships, you can also use keywords like "internship" in some of the job boards to find opportunities.

Associations & Groups

Find an Organization

The following websites provide company listings in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, health technologies/medical devices, research network, pharmaceutical manufacturing, contract research, and other life-sciences related fields.

Montreal & Quebec


  • Biotech Companies (BigPharmGuy)
    Biotech companies in Canada.
  • Canadian Life Sciences Database (Biotech Gate)
    Listings of Canadian biopharmaceutical companies. Searchable by province and sectors.
  • Life Sciences Canada Directory (Contact Canada)
    Life science databases. Sectors: Drug development, medical technologies, biotechnology, natural health products, food & grocery and renewable energy.


Cosmetic Science

  • Cosmetics Companies (Cosmetics Alliance Canada)
    A list of cosmetics companies, manufacturers and associates.
  • Testing Laboratories (Society of Cosmetic Chemists)
    A list of laboratories in cosmetic science.
Please note that CaPS and McGill do not endorse any particular websites/services; the listing is for your information only.
Back to top