We have an exciting opportunity for students who are currently undertaking an undergraduate degree in material science, packaging technology or product design (or a related subject), to join our Research and Development function, based in Southampton, on a 12-month undergraduate placement.

The role

This placement is with the Discovery team, we are responsible for delivering the novel packaging technologies, structures, and materials to support the pipeline of new packaging developments across all our business categories. We ideate novel concepts, develop new propositions, and adapt currently available technologies to deliver validated prototypes that will progress with agility through the product development process. Our goal is to have a robust pipeline of projects delivering against the current and future needs of our consumers, meeting and exceeding sustainability goals and increasing business productivity.

We have projects in the areas of packaging materials, technologies, and structures. During this placement you will manage a range of projects depending on your academic background, interests, and our pipeline.

Scouting and ideation are important areas of focus, and you will work with internal and external partners and stakeholders to help deliver exciting new ideas into our pipeline.

You will also be responsible for scoping and defining suitable validation studies, conducting testing, analysing data, and producing insights to refine our propositions.

What you will be accountable for

  • Managing projects / key activities (timelines and deliverables) for both internal and external partners (depending on background and preference);
  • Scouting and ideating new concepts with the team and our partners;
  • Conducting literature research;
  • Prototyping new concepts with internal and external partners;
  • Defining validation approaches;
  • Designing evaluation experiments to assess the functionality of concepts;
  • Conducting/commissioning experiments;
  • Interpreting data (collating, analysing and statistically evaluating data);
  • Preparing for technical reviews;
  • Writing reports on key findings, outcomes, and recommendations.

Essential experience, skills and knowledge

  • Working towards an undergraduate degree in Material Sciences, Packaging Technology, or Product Design (or a related subject);
  • The ability to ideate and scout new concepts;
  • The ability to develop concepts into prototypes and validate function through chemical, physical and consumer evaluation.

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.

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


  • 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 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!