When I completed my Ph.D. and postdoc in protein modeling, I joined the modeling and informatics group at a large pharmaceutical company. A few years later when I moved to Boston with my family, I had no idea that I’d be making such an important career choice by accepting an Application Scientist (AppSci) position at Schrödinger.
This wasn’t a decision that came lightly, partly due to the industry stigma that an AppSci career path is mostly a technical support role in the sciences. But after speaking with a member of the Schrödinger team when a friend referred me, I was immediately intrigued by the role, the science, the technology and the company – not quite a software company and not quite a biotech. When I look back now and reflect on the preconceived notions that I had about the role, I realize this is probably one of the best career choices I have ever made – and I continue to marvel at the expansive opportunities that I have on the team.
Application scientists, be it through internal research or collaborative work with customers, get to be at the forefront of cutting-edge innovation that ultimately helps advance and transform the field of computational chemistry across a broad range of drug discovery applications.
At Schrödinger, application scientists are partners with their customers, working with them long-term and offering feedback and suggestions on how the Schrödinger platform can advance their drug discovery efforts. The consultative nature of the role is very rewarding, and allows you to influence others while networking and building long-term relationships with leaders in the computational chemistry and drug discovery fields. The role also exposes team members to many responsibilities that are considered to be quite valuable and unique for a computational chemistry job, for example, the opportunity of learning about business development by working closely with Account Managers.
A core pillar of Schrödinger’s AppSci team that is not commonly found at other companies is the level of participation in scientific research. An application scientist, be it through internal research or collaborative work with customers, gets to be at the forefront of cutting-edge innovation that ultimately helps advance and transform the field of computational chemistry across a broad range of drug discovery applications. Moreover, each application scientist is highly encouraged to publish and present their research at scientific conferences. Diversity of experience further enriches the AppSci team at Schrödinger, with subject matter experts available to cover what feels like every corner of our scientific field.
With the broad range of projects and collaborations available to us as applications scientists paired with the freedom of experimentation, including initiating our own scientific projects, and the nearly unlimited available compute resources and licenses that we have, there is no limit to what you can do. You can tailor your job depending on your strengths and interests – different AppSci team members at Schrödinger can have different responsibilities. If you like a diversity of responsibilities and love interacting with people, this career track might be the one for you. This diversity within the Appsci team and within the role itself maximizes the possibilities for career progression within the AppSci team and within Schrödinger. The Appsci team is growing quickly, and our work has evolved with respect to five years ago; in such an environment, there is a lot of possibility in shaping how our role will look in the future.
Finally, the fabric of Schrödinger’s culture, one of my favorite aspects of the role, makes the company stand out from Application Scientist teams elsewhere. At Schrödinger, our teams have the opportunity to continuously explore, collaborate and expand their knowledge across the organization. I love the culture, the environment, and the diversity of this team.
Do you have a Ph.D. in computational chemistry or related field, and are passionate about advancing drug discovery research, love interacting with people and helping others solve problems strategically, and want a cross-functional, diverse role that is engaging in cutting edge scientific research? You have come to the right place.