The Regulatory Affairs graduate programme
Novo Nordisk’s Regulatory Affairs graduate programme is a great opportunity for future regulatory leaders to join a successful and ambitious international company. Our focus is on making sure that you are exposed to all different aspects of regulatory work, so that you can find the niche where your competencies and interests coincide.
It is Regulatory Affairs’ responsibility to obtain the authority approvals that make it possible for Novo Nordisk to bring our products to patients and this programme could be your pathway to a key role in that process.
The graduate programme is therefore a great springboard for launching a life-changing career, offering you a unique chance to use your recently-acquired master's degree to make a difference to patients and begin your career in a an ambitious global pharmaceutical company: Novo Nordisk, the world leader in diabetes care.
Structure of the programme
The Regulatory Affairs graduate programme is a 2-year journey consisting of three 8-month rotations. Two of the programme rotations will take place in our corporate headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, while one rotation will take place in one of our global affiliates. With each rotation you will face new challenges in different environments while acquiring knowledge and skills.
After successfully completing the programme, you will embark on your career at Novo Nordisk with a permanent position. While you could be based in Denmark, your broad network and international experience from the programme will enable global career opportunities.
Meet Programme Manager Jakob Wolter
Meet Tamara Seedial
Maria is 27, Danish by origin and has a Master's degree in Biophysics ...
Launch your career
In Regulatory Affairs we secure the approval of new multi-billion dollar products and drug indications that will pave the way to use existing products in new ways. We stand at the centre of project planning and execution from the earliest stages of drug development all the way through life cycle management.
In Regulatory Affairs Headquarters in Denmark we have around 350 people and in addition to these there are around 200 people working with Regulatory Affairs in our many affiliate offices around the world. It is a joined effort between headquarters and affiliates to ensure the timely submissions of applications and subsequent approvals and the multitude of local regulations and different cultures makes that a very interesting challenge. This calls for great project management skills and deep insight in rules and regulations, but also for negotiation and collaboration skills as we liaise with many different stakeholders in and outside of Novo Nordisk to reach our goals.
We are keen to contribute to Novo Nordisk’s triple-bottom line philosophy by making a significant difference to patients and society through our passion and innovative products, while also delivering exciting results from a business perspective.
Join us and you could make a difference too!
From day one you will be given responsibilities and your work will be with one or more projects. Examples of assignments could be:
- Developing and submitting marketing applications for new products, product changes and clinical trials, etc.
- Working closely with other areas in Novo Nordisk to ensure that regulatory angles are covered in their projects
- Improving the regulatory processes even further (LEAN projects)
Furthermore, the programme will provide unique insights into the global operation and exposure to key stakeholders and leaders - two influential factors in shaping your future career path.
Scope of the programme
The Regulatory Affairs function is closely integrated in the drug development and drug maintenance processes of Novo Nordisk. Therefore, a large part of being an outstanding Regulatory Affairs professional is having the capacity to understand the business from the viewpoints of our partners in, for example, the rest of Research & Development and Product Supply. For this reason, diversity is key in the three 8-month long rotations that comprise the graduate programme.
Two of the rotations will be in Denmark in different parts of Novo Nordisk A/S – always with a strong connection to the Regulatory Affairs field but not necessarily in the Regulatory Affairs organisation. One of the rotations will be in a Novo Nordisk affiliate or regional office. Some of the largest Regulatory Affairs functions outside Denmark are in the US, China, Australia, Canada, Brazil, the UK and Germany.
Throughout the programme you will be working closely with your programme manager to plan your rotations and enhance your professional and personal development as much as possible.
The flow and content of your job rotations are shaped individually to fit both your skills and development opportunities and at the same time to meet our business needs and focus areas.
The first rotation will almost always be in a department in Regulatory Affairs at our corporate headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. The main purpose of this rotation is an introduction to the regulatory trade and to gain hands-on experience.
The second rotation is most often in one of our global affiliates or regional offices. This is the rotation where you will get insight into Regulatory Affairs work from a local perspective. This unique international perspective should prove invaluable as new markets continue to evolve for Novo Nordisk.
This rotation will most likely take place in our corporate headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. After your previous two rotations, you should now be able to perform strongly in the role of a Regulatory Professional. In this rotation you will have to manage important and complex projects.
Who you are
To join the Business Processes graduate programme you must hold a master's degree in a natural science, for example within pharmacy, chemical engineering, biology, biotechnology or a related field. You have an outstanding academic record and came top of your class. Only recently graduated, you have no more than 1 year of work experience and you have an excellent command of both spoken and written English.
You also have a genuine interest in Regulatory Affairs and international experience helps. These requirements are, however, only the foundation. It is your drive, your intellect, your commitment and your ability to take control of your own development that will get you the position on our graduate programme.
Having a PhD or post-doctoral degree will not over-qualify you per se, but you will have to make it crystal clear in your motivational letter why you want to leave research behind.
Joining Novo Nordisk appeals to you, not because of the competitive salary we offer, but because the work we do is so rewarding - as we make a difference to the lives of people with chronic conditions around the world.
Maria is from Denmark and has a master's degree in Biophysics. She entered the programme in 2008, completed it in 2010 and is now a Regulatory Professional in RA Headquarters. In 2012 she was appointed to the talent programme “RA Emerging Talents”
“As a biophysicist I was used to being seen as a 'science brain'. But at Novo Nordisk’s graduate programme the focus is on the complete person and this appeals to me.”
More than an academic
I wanted to do something different to my friends who have gone on to study for PhDs or have stayed in academia. My goal was to join Novo Nordisk's graduate programme. A few years ago I knew two people who joined and it sounded so exciting to be involved in the fast-paced world of business – I knew that this was what I wanted to do.
One of the great things about being part of the graduate programme is that I am seen as a complete person, not 'just' a scientist. The company focuses on both professional and personal skills. So as well as training courses directly linked to my role, I have also taken part in courses that have helped me get to know myself better. Learning about this has helped me focus on why I behave the way I do and how to improve myself.
Choosing your path
Being part of the Regulatory Affairs programme is very different to the other programmes, because no one comes to it with a degree in regulatory affairs! We all have different backgrounds and so bring different qualities to the department. It is hard starting from scratch and the expectations of you are high, but the speed at which we work and the responsibilities we have make it very worthwhile.
Many companies say that there are lots of opportunities for employees and at Novo Nordisk this is not a lie! I've found that if I have particular wishes for what I want to do I'm listened to. So, for example, I asked if my next rotation could be in the Canadian marketing department – and I'll be moving there soon. Now that is really, really cool!
I feel that the graduate programme is like a climbing wall. It will always be challenging, but it is up to you just how challenging you make it for yourself. You can choose how difficult the path is that you follow and therefore how big the personal reward is. I like this freedom and the trust that the company has in you to make your own personal choice.
Novo Nordisk's respect for the Triple Bottom Line means a lot to me – it is not just something that is said, it is true and is reflected in the company's business decisions. In many instances a decision could be based purely on financial gain, but the impact of the decision on patients and the environment is also taken into account. It is very reassuring to know that the company isn't just a money-making machine!
I also feel that my opinion counts, even though I am new compared with some of the people that have been working here for many years. It shows the trust that the company places in all its employees.
Last year a student called me to ask my advice about applying to the graduate programme. I told her that if you want to work in a fast-paced business environment where you will get lots of responsibility and personal development then the graduate programme meets those criteria. And if you share the company's values and are prepared to live up to them every single day, then this is definitely the place for you.
Ask a question directly to the R&D Regulatory Affairs Programme Manager