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Discovery Placement Southampton 2024

What are the key objectives and expectations from this role?

We have an exciting opportunity for students who are currently undertaking an undergraduate degree in Engineering degree, or Science (Chemistry / Physics) (or a related subject), to join our Research and Development function, based in Southampton, on a 12-month undergraduate placement.

This placement is with our Tobacco Heated Product Consumables discovery team.

During this placement you will support the discovery and development of new manufacturing processes, specifically for tobacco heating products. The primary focus is process science and validation, to generate adequate insights and data which support the development of new product platforms.

What you will be accountable for

  • Designing and conducting experiments to characterise prototypes, with support and guidance from process technology team members;
  • Evaluating, interpreting and reporting experimental results for review with product development and manufacturing teams;
  • Designing and testing new manufacturing options with guidance from Process Technology team members;
  • Collaborating with key stakeholders in New Categories R&D and subject matter experts to establish methods of product assessment and evaluations;
  • Collaborating with product developers, sensory panel managers and quality professionals to generate product performance learnings on new prototypes ensuring they are fit for purpose and scalable;
  • Working with external companies on the design, installation and validation of new manufacturing assets within R&D and/or the commercial BAT factory footprint.

Essential experience, skills and knowledge

  • Working towards an undergraduate degree in Engineering or Sciences (Chemistry/Physics, or a similar subject);
  • High level of technical curiosity;
  • A consumer centric approach with a key interest in solving complex scientific challenges as well as interest for research, product design and development of consumer goods;
  • A proactive approach towards learning and development in key aspects of leadership, such as cross functional collaboration and engagements.

A bit more about BAT and our undergraduate placement scheme

We make significant investments in Research and Development to deliver innovations that satisfy or anticipate consumer needs and generate growth for the business. We conduct cutting-edge research to evaluate our Potentially Reduced Risk Products (PRRPs) and apply the highest standards for product safety and quality. Successful applicants will be involved in our extensive scientific research program which spans a broad spectrum of scientific fields - including molecular biology, human biology, toxicology, chemistry, biomedical sciences, psychology, neuroscience, sensorial science, data science, computer science, product design, and engineering disciplines

In the UK, we offer 12-months placement opportunities (starting on 2nd September 2024) to undergraduate students looking to gain practical experience within a vibrant and innovative industrial setting. As part of the scheme, you will be partnered with a mentor, have regular reviews with your Line Manager and work on projects that impact the business.

BAT has an established placement programme, with a dedicated Placement Team, which provides training and development throughout the placement. This includes sessions for onboarding, presentation skills, critical thinking, scientific poster presentations and ‘speed networking’ with senior management. Successful applicants are provided with multiple opportunities to develop transferable skills in addition to gaining ‘hands on’ experience in a technical discipline.

As part of the scheme students get a chance to cultivate their independent thinking and problem-solving skills in addition to working in and contributing to a team. Cross functional/department working and participation in other research activities is also encouraged, where appropriate. Previous work experience in a practical ‘hands-on’ role would be useful but not essential.

This role is due to start in September 2024, and we will be shortlisting applications and carrying out telephone interviews whilst the advert is live. We will look to make an offer to the successful candidate as close to the closing date as possible. However, the vetting and onboarding processes for successful candidates won’t begin until the role is opened in our system, which is likely to be later in 2024, so we will contact successful candidates again to commence these processes when the position opens.


  • Subsidised on-site gym membership
  • Subsidised lunches
  • 25 days annual leave
  • Free on-site parking
  • Participation in the Discretionary Company Bonus Scheme
  • Participation in the Company Share Reward Scheme
  • Participation in the Company Pension Scheme
  • Private Healthcare Cover
  • Eligibility for Company Flexible Benefits Scheme
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Dedicated mentor

We reserve the right to close this advert before the 31 st of December if we have a high level of applications.

We are bat

At BAT we are committed to our Purpose of creating A Better Tomorrow. This is what drives our people and our passion for innovation. See what is possible for you at BAT.

  • Global Top Employer with 53,000 BAT people across more than 180 markets
  • Brands sold in over 200 markets, made in 44 factories in 42 countries
  • Newly established Tech Hubs building world-class capabilities for innovation in 4 strategic locations
  • Diversity leader in the Financial Times and International Women’s Day Best Practice winner
  • Seal Award winner – one of 50 most sustainable companies

Belonging, achieving, together

Collaboration, diversity and teamwork underpin everything we do here at BAT. We know that collaborating with colleagues from different backgrounds is what makes us stronger and best prepared to meet our business goals. Come bring your difference!

Rolling deadline