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
- Medical/scientific writing
- Data/information management
- Project management
- Business and corporate development
- Technical/instrument support
- Law/Legal advice and property protection
- Health care financing
- Management consulting
- Research and education
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.
To learn more about this sector, visit the following web sites:
- Montreal - Life Sciences and Health Technologies (Montreal International)
An overview of the Life Sciences industry sector in the Greater Montreal.
- Quebec – Life Sciences (Québec International)
Industry profiles: Bio-pharmaceuticals, medical technologies, cosmeceuticals and natural health products.
- Quebec - Pharmabio Dévelopment (Pharmabio)
Bio-pharma industry reports.
- Canada – Life Sciences (Industry Canada)
Industry profiles: bio-pharmaceuticals and pharmaceuticals, medical devices and international business.
- Canada - Bio-Economy Facts (BioTalent Canada)
Insights on current industry facts and trends.
To learn more about different career options in this sector, visit the following web sites:
- Bio-Economy Career Profiles (BioTalent Canada)
Bio-economy career paths, career profiles and skills profiles. Registration (free) is required.
- Biotech Careers (Biotech Careers)
- Careers in Life Science (Science Buddies)
- 166 Job Titles in the Life Sciences Industry (BioSpace)
- How do you get the first job in clinical research? (LinkedIn)
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
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
- Montreal InViVo Directory
Sectors:Biotechnology, CRO, pharmaceutical, research centres, etc.
- Montreal - CRO (Contract Research Map)
Listings of CRO companies or laboratories in Montreal.
- Quebec - Pharmabio Companies (Pharmabio)
Sectors: Innovative pharmaceutical, pharmaceutical manufacturing, biotechnology, clinical and preclinical research, natural products, probiotics, etc.
- Quebec - Life Sciences Industry Directory (BioQuébec)
Categories: biotechs, CROs, pharmas, incubators, support services, governmental agencies, etc.
- 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.
- Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Companies (BioPharmGuy)
Searchable by region (USA, Europe, Canada) and type.
- Contract Research Organizations (BIOCOM)
Interactive map. List of contract research organizations (CROs)