PharmD Industry Fellowships

What are PharmD Industry Fellowships?

These programs offer PharmD graduates the ability for additional training in a specific area within the pharmaceutical industry. They can often be a stepping stone to a career in the industry as opposed to more traditional pharmacy jobs such as retail or hospital-based work. There are hundreds of pharmacy industry fellowships in the United States, primarily catering to recent graduates, but open to any PharmDs. Functional areas are wide-ranging from Medical Affairs roles to Commercial roles to Clinical Development and Pharmacovigilance. Some fellowships may also offer a rotational component in which a fellow can explore other functional areas over the course of their program.

There are many programs in the US offering these programs, some of which are academic-industry partnerships and others which are solely run by pharmaceutical companies. The largest in the country is the Rutgers Pharmaceutical Industry Program (RPIF), which has over 100 programs primarily in the NY/NJ and California areas. MCPHS University in Boston also has a large program, primarily affiliated with companies in the Cambridge biotech hub. Northeastern University has a smaller fledgling program in that area as well. St John’s University in NY has a small program as well. The largest independent program is by Eli Lilly in Indianapolis.

Some fellowship programs also offer fellows the opportunity to simultaneously work towards a master’s degree by taking night or online classes to supplement their on-hand experience with additional didactic work.

What are employment prospects like following a fellowship?

In general, there is a very high job placement rate for fellows graduating from programs such as Rutgers and MCPHS. While placement at the same company or in the same group can be highly variable from year-to-year and often dependent on the situation the group is in (in terms of available headcount, whether the company has a hiring freeze, etc.), opportunities in the same function at other companies are often available at any given time, especially in one of the biotech or pharma hubs.

What is the salary during a fellowship?

Salary can range, but is usually in the $40,000-$50,000/year range during the fellowship. Non-financial compensation could include free tuition towards further education depending on the fellowship program.

How do I get an industry fellowship?

Check out the Rxference guide on PharmD industry fellowships.