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U.S. professional programs

Work alongside some of the world’s most respected scientists and industry leaders.

Set yourself apart

In our professional programs, we’re looking for talented physicians, pharmacists and postdoctoral individuals who share our passion. Join us if you want to find the best solutions for our patients while researching complex disease areas.

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In their own words

“The Physician Development Program has been a catalyst for the extension of my clinical and research experience across key functions within AbbVie. As part of the program, I am continually challenged to develop and pursue innovative applications of my experiences towards the goal of improving patients’ lives worldwide.”

– Apinya Lert, Associate Medical Director, Physician Development Program

Improving patients’ lives worldwide isn’t just something AbbVie talks about. Apinya has seen it for herself. She joined AbbVie’s Physician Development Program after a career as a practicing rheumatologist. At AbbVie, she has participated in the development and execution of global clinical trials and patient safety monitoring. She has also advanced educational opportunities for physicians and patients while building relationships with leaders across the R&D organization. Apinya’s experience embodies the collaborative and scholastic atmosphere of the Physician Development Program. The program lives up to its promise of furthering clinical and pharmaceutical industry experience while encouraging a broad impact on patient care and global health.

Apinya Lert, Associate Medical Director, Physician Development Program

Postdoctoral Program

Our Postdoctoral Program is designed for true investigational and experimental research. Renowned industry scientists and collaborators at AbbVie mentor participants while focusing on delivering cutting-edge advancements in discovery, developmental sciences and drug product development. This enriching training program fosters a learning environment to advance your professional development through networking opportunities at national conferences, attendance at speaker bureaus and panel discussions, technical writing and presentation skills training. It’s all part of AbbVie’s commitment to make this an unrivaled postdoctoral experience.

Length of program:

  • 2 years minimum; 3 years maximum

Focus areas:


  • PhD: Analytical Chemistry; Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Bioinformatics, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Cancer Biology, Computational Biology, Stem Cell Biology, Genomics (Biologic, Computational, Functional, Statistics), Neuroscience, Immuno-Oncology
  • Oncology—DNA damage repair (Illinois)
  • Oncology/Biophama—Engineered biologicals for controlled delivery of cytokines (California)
  • TEST—Functional genomics (Illinois)
  • Immunology—Epithelial integrity (Massachusetts)
  • Immunology—Biology of T-cell activation/exhaustion (Massachusetts)

Development sciences

  • PhD: Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical Imaging, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Neurobiology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Veterinary Medicine 
  • Development of new chemistry technologies (photochemistry, etc.) (Illinois)
  • ADC in vitro safety platforms for toxicological evaluation (Illinois)
  • Next-generation QSP models (Illinois)

Drug process development

  • Flow chemistry in process R&D (Illinois)
  • Biopharmaceutics of amorphous solid dispersions (Illinois)


  • Successful completion and defense of a Ph.D.
  • Record of publication in a prestigious journal(s)
  • Graduate of accredited and nationally ranked university
  • Must be authorized to work in the United States
  • Minimum graduate school GPA 3.0/4.0; 3.5 preferred
  • Provide a narrative on why your academic training would qualify you for this position and why you have a sustained interest in this program (upload with your CV)
  • Provide three letters of recommendation, including one from your principal investigator and, preferably, one from the chair of your department or a member of the thesis committee (upload with your CV)
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication, leadership and project management skills
  • Proven track record of teamwork, adaptability, innovation, initiative and integrity
  • Global mindset to thrive in a diverse culture and environment

Global R&D opportunities:

  • All of the assignments, initially, will be based in Lake County, North Chicago, Illinois; Worcester, Massachusetts; or Redwood City, California.

Physician Development Program

The Physicians Development Program develops and supports high-potential specialist physician talent in transitioning to a career in industry and in becoming well-rounded R&D physicians who have the enterprise mindset sought in future R&D leaders. Based at our North Chicago, Illinois headquarters, the program gives new physicians exposure to multiple functional areas and businesses.

Length of program:

  • 2 years

Physicians in the prestigious program work collaboratively within cross-functional teams and experience industry opportunities such as:

  • Serving as a sub-investigator and conducting assigned Phase 1 clinical studies
  • Assisting in aspects of the development and reviewing process of clinical protocol design
  • Performing safety monitoring of ongoing Phase 2 or 3 clinical studies
  • Presenting medical and scientific information at internal leadership and working team meetings
  • Gaining a strong understanding of the value of medical safety evaluation

Participants in the program are full-time employees with a salary and benefits package. During the first two years, program members participate in five 4-6-month rotations  in the core organizations listed:

  • Clinical Pharmacology
  • Medical Affairs
  • Pharmaceutical Development
  • Pharmacovigilance and Patient Safety
  • Regulatory Affairs

Physicians who complete the program then transition to other challenging and rewarding roles within AbbVie.

The Physician Development Program’s rotational experience are paired with mentoring, networking support and educational experiences to help you enhance your relationships, knowledge and skills that are so critical for success in industry. 

Program requirements:

  • Medical doctor (M.D.), doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) or international equivalent medical degree that meets U.S. certification standards
  • U.S. board eligibility or certification
  • U.S. state or commonwealth licensure
  • Completion of residency training is required
  • Fellowship training associated with clinical research preferred
  • Medical specialty training in any of the following or related therapeutic areas: oncology, neurology, dermatology, gastroenterology, or rheumatology
  • Additional health care/research academic degrees, including Ph.D. or M.P.H., preferred
  • A commitment to pursuing a career in pharmaceutical medicine
  • Experience publishing research
  • Strength in data analysis (based on prior research experience)
  • Strong leadership, verbal and presentation skills
  • Critical thought processes and analytical skills
  • Must be authorized to work in the United States on a permanent basis without requiring sponsorship

Rotational opportunities:

All of the rotational assignments will be based in North Chicago, Illinois and Grayslake, Illinois.

Additional resources

The AbbVie Early Career Team attends Career Fairs and hosts a number of Corporate Overviews. Use the link below to see when AbbVie may be coming to recruit at your University!

Campus Recruiting Calendar