Analytical Research and
​​​​​​​Development (AR&D)

“Leveraging diverse expertise in measurement
science to be partners in problem solving”

Who we are

Analytical Research and Development (AR&D) aims to advance the Merck pipeline from discovery through commercial filing and launch by delivering integrated physical, analytical, and bioanalytical solutions and applying innovative technologies while collaborating across internal networks and the external scientific and regulatory communities.

Worldwide operations

Analytical R&D scientists help to bring medications to life by drawing on their expertise in:
  • Chemical characterization methods such as separation science, mass spectrometry, spectroscopy, and bioassays
  • Structure-function analyses
  • Biophysical and physical characterization and structure elucidation
  • Cheminformatics and predictive sciences
  • Automation, high throughput analytics, and predictive and digital tools


Our scientists operate across eight sites globally, including key scientific innovation hub cities, and leverage collaborations with academic institutions, contract research organizations, and other pharmaceutical companies. Five of these sites are located in the US.

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Our organization

Analytical development

Small molecule, biologics, and vaccines AR&D
Integrated drug substance and drug product teams that drive depth of subject matter expertise in each of the three core modalities. These modality-specific teams support programs from preclinical candidate selection through commercial launch with a science, customer, and compliance focus.

Capabilities & technology platforms

Analytical enabling capabilities
Develops platform technologies that transcend chemical matter including but not limited to NMR structure elucidation, quantitative mass spectrometry, chromatographic method screening and purification, and data rich measurements to accelerate the development of new medicines and vaccines bridging Discovery and Development R&D. This group also provides foundational knowledge and mechanistic understanding through robust and innovative physiochemical and biophysical characterization to drive product excellence through phase, composition, and process definition.

Cell-based sciences
Draws on expertise in cell and molecular biology analytical platforms to proactively build deep understanding of each unique product’s mechanism of action which informs an appropriate potency strategy. 

Scientific strategy & operations

External capabilities and compliance 
Provides technical and strategic oversight for all Analytical R&D outsourcing activities for drug substance and drug product. This group also drives the organization’s compliance strategy and the associated infrastructure.

What we do​​​​​​​

Our core business
We are partners in problem solving across many interfaces and we generate data that assures the quality, safety, and efficacy of new medicines and vaccines. AR&D delivers these goals through principles of trust, learning, and collaboration. With this foundation, we ensure we are focused on our core priorities and fully leveraging our combined skills and capabilities that are key to our continued success. The work that we do is the foundation on which many areas within Discovery, Preclinical, and Early Development, and more broadly Merck Research Laboratories, build on to advance our company mission to discover, develop, and provide innovative products and services that save and improve lives around the world.
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How we work

Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
We aim to compel a more globally diverse and inclusive workforce for our employees by creating an environment of belonging, engagement, equity, and empowerment, so that we can ensure patients experience ultimate health outcomes. 

Our commitment to innovation 
Green and sustainable science
Internal environmental sustainability targets prepare us to operate in a world of declining natural resources and increased regulation. We aim to reduce our environmental footprint and costs through scientific innovation. Since 2010, Merck has won 6 EPA Green Chemistry Challenge Awards.
Merck Green and Sustainable Science - Corporate Responsibility

Scientific excellence
We collaborate with external partners and academic research groups to strategically drive innovation and promote scientific excellence. Our  scientists regularly share their discoveries and technical advancements in impactful publications

Our commitment to talent development

We are committed to attracting, hiring, and retaining talent that represents the diversity of our patients and customers.
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Internship & Co-op program
Learn more about our Future talent program2
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Awards & sponsored networking opportunities
Merck Research Award for Underrepresented Chemists of Color; Rising Stars in Measurement and Characterization Sciences; Emerging Talent Symposium; Women Chemists Committee Merck Research Award
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Mentoring programs
MRL Career Center; Short-term rotation opportunities
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Formal educational assistance program & support for continuing development

What inspires me every day while working at Merck is the thought that the products I take part in developing today, could make a positive impact on patients’ lives around the world tomorrow. Merck provides a thriving environment, where I am able to collaborate with a talented group of scientists to solve challenging scientific problems. I feel supported on my career path, with access to a large network of resources as well as continued opportunities for growth.
Daya P
Daya P
Senior Scientist
I really love the ever-changing nature of science. Every day is a new problem to solve and there’s always something new to learn. It never gets stagnant, which keeps the job engaging. Additionally, our work matters as we are developing new medications that will positively impact the lives of the people who need them the most.
Jackson H Senior Scientist
I would definitely encourage scientists with a drive for continued curiosity and growth to consider pursuing a role in AR&D. You will be joining a friendly cohort of fellow scientists, led by supportive managers and group leads, who will help you to grow and develop your career in directions you find exciting. There is also a strong focus on work-life balance, which leads to an energetic and positive work environment.
Justin L Senior Scientist
Throughout my time at Merck, I’ve been given the opportunity to take on assignments outside my comfort zone to grow, gain new skills, and advance my career. There’s a focus on what I want to get out of my time, and my mentors have helped me to find the opportunities to get there.
Erica S Associate Principal Scientist
I love my job because I’m constantly being encouraged to learn new things. It’s great working at a company that supports scientific and professional growth at all levels.
Devin S Senior Scientist
I have felt incredibly supported in my career at Merck, specifically through a freedom to fail.  Failure is a natural part of both scientific experimentation as well as growth/development, and I’m thankful to be part of a team that gives me the opportunity to explore new methods and roles.
Liz P Director
One big advantage of working in AR&D is that we work across all modalities (small molecules, biologics, and vaccines) and can share technology and expertise to advance the pipeline. We make a difference every day, bringing lifesaving medicines and vaccines to patients.
Chris F Principal Scientist

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