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Research & Development

For a business whose very purpose is to create a brighter future, that future begins in Research & Development (R&D). This is the hotbed of ideas for brands, products, packaging, manufacturing and technology. Your work could impact on millions.

What will I be doing?

You will be undertaking research to understand what consumers want and need, and developing the technology and science to bring innovations to life. You’ll be making things even healthier, more appealing, more efficient and more environmentally friendly – improving our products in any way possible.

Our people have the opportunity to make a big impact every day on a local level, across Europe and the globe. We have a proven tradition of developing our own purpose driven leaders and encourage innovative thinking.

What do we look for?

You need to be the kind of scientist/engineer who has a genuine business interest: bags of enthusiasm, ambition and commercial acumen. The limitless opportunities at Unilever creates fully engaging innovative entrepreneurship.


We look for minimum of a 2.1 degree in a relevant discipline.

For R&D you’ll need a strong technical qualification in a Chemical, Biological, Physical or Food-related Science, Chemical/Materials science or similar.

What will the R&D programme involve?

Over at least three placements, you’ll work with teams from different business areas:

  • Designing new product innovations and rolling these out across the globe.
  • Looking at longer-term science and technology projects in one of our Global R&D Centres.
  • Developing products from concept idea to full-scale production – with a heavy emphasis on feasibility and understanding consumer needs.
  • An opportunity for one placement outside of R&D, to help you understand the full scope of our business.

Your rotations could be based at different business units across Europe and you will need to be flexible about where you are based during your time on the scheme.

Summer Placements

On a summer placement in R&D, you will carry out just one role during the placement.

“I launched a project to harmonise packaging across 170 brands. I love that what I’m doing is completely new, and could influence materials, design and even products across many countries. It will have a big sustainability impact.”

Priyanka, Research & Development Packaging Trainee, UK & Ireland

The Graduate Blog

To read more of our graduate's stories, visit our Graduate Blog

How to contact us

If you have any questions about the opportunities we currently have available or your application to us, please contact us on:

Freephone UK: 08081642255 or 01635 584145

Freephone Ireland: 0035316950371

Email: enquiry@unilevergraduates.com

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