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Shahina Ahmed is a Scientist at GSK Stevenage.
Shahina Ahmed

Stevenage, UK

Research and development

Research & development at GSK

As a science-led healthcare company, R&D is at the heart of our business. We're looking for the brightest minds to help us continue to discover and develop new medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products for those that need them. Are you up for the challenge?

R&D at GSK – The GSK Rocket Challenge

With thousands of scientists in our Vaccines R&D team, it’s a challenge to capture all the brilliant ideas they have to drive innovation.  Meet Laurent, a winner of the GSK Rocket Challenge, and the R&D leadership team who run an annual competition to find and fund the most exciting ideas from within vaccines R&D to bring exciting new opportunities to the company.


R&D at GSK

Innovation is crucial to advancing vaccine science. Here at GSK R&D, we are looking at ways to promote innovation in our teams

We are here in research and development organisation that is made of many, many different people, that have many ideas. And they would like, actually, to innovate and make these ideas become a reality. You need to organise that, you need to make sure that this happens and this is why we have created the specific initiative that is called the GSK Rocket Challenge.

Here at GSK Vaccines we are running at least one internal challenge for employees, the GSK Rocket Challenge, which enables employees at any level from any part of the organisation to bring their ideas forward, to compete for funding, by outlining how we can do things better, that we are currently doing, more effectively and crucially, more innovatively.

So I’m really pleased by the programme that has consistently demonstrated the ability to pick amazing ideas and transform them into realities.

Running a competition like the Rocket Challenge at GSK is a great opportunity to capture ideas across the teams wherever they are in the organisation. It is our opportunity to bring more insight into what is innovation in the company and something which is really important for the business.

To participate in this contest, we had to build a business case and to pitch this project to an innovation board, and to convince them that this project was good and has good value for the company.

Taking part in the project was very exciting, we had a chance to go to training sessions with experts to explain how to do pitching and it was a very good opportunity to develop the skills and to present the project, and eventually to win the contest.

So after we won this contest, about 50% of my time was dedicated to this project. The state of the project right now is that we are completing the proof of concept

GSK Vaccines is facing big challenges, big changes, and I like challenges. And I really believe that innovation is one method to overcome this challenge.

I’m really looking forward to see actually additional ideas that come and become realities in the future.

"The freedom and flexibility to be able to work on things which are of real interest to me."

Jon works in clinical statistics at out Stevenage (UK) site. He explains how a career at GSK has enabled him to work across the R&D business. 

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R&D in numbers

  • £4.3bn

    adjusted R&D investment in 2019

  • 12,000

    over 12,000 people work in R&D across our three global businesses

  • 1,500+

    collaborations with academia, public-private partnerships, biotech and other pharmaceuticals

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