Our People

Empowering new parents at MSD

November 2023

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MSD for Mothers UK proudly launched ‘Parent Packs’, a thoughtful initiative dedicated to easing the return to work for new parents and offering a supportive hand to those on parental leave. 

There’s no manual for raising little ones, but support, community, and the confidence to manage it all can go a long way! 

Recognising the tremendous value a strong and unwavering support system can have for new parents, MSD for Mothers ‘Parent Packs’ programme centres around sharing experiences, boosting confidence, and providing practical strategies to re-enter the workforce with confidence. 

The launch was coupled with an engaging group coaching session facilitated by an award-winning partner. New parents and those on parental leave were warmly invited to our Moorgate and Milton Keynes offices for a session focused on enhancing confidence and equipping parents with practical strategies for a seamless return to work.

The morning wasn’t just productive; it was an enjoyable experience filled with enriching conversations and cathartic moments, contributing to the establishment of a robust, supportive community for MSD’s newest parents 

By focusing on shared experiences, fostering confidence and community, and working with individuals to craft a robust re-entry strategy, we are elated and honoured to extend our support to all new parents at MSD!

GB-NON-08517 | November 2023

Our People

Saluting Our Sisters: Black History Month

October 2023

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This Black History month, we celebrated the theme of ‘Saluting our Sisters’ with an array of inspiring initiatives organised by MSD UK’s LEAD (League of African Descent) to commemorate the significant contributions of Black women in shaping history, driving change and building communities.

To kick off the month, we celebrated the recent successes of the hackathon, which brought together 60+ students from diverse backgrounds to ‘hack’ the issue of health equity, as well as the LEAD your career alumni programme, which was focused on empowering employees to seize control of their professional growth, embrace diversity and inclusion, while fostering a supportive community.

We also had the privilege of hosting Eniola Aluko at our Moorgate office. She shared her incredible journey from professional football, to negotiating contracts for commercial rights in the entertainment industry, to her groundbreaking role as one of the first female football pundits on Match of the Day in 2014. She also spoke about the importance of embracing failure as a means to propel oneself forward, leaving us with the valuable message that “failure is a bruise not a tattoo.”

Sip and Paint

To add to the celebrations, we invited colleagues for a captivating sip and paint session with a professional artist, focused on the theme of Saluting our Sisters.

The event served as a platform to celebrate the essence of the Black History Month theme, and our community showcased their artistic talents by creating beautiful pieces. The evening fostered a sense of camaraderie and provided an opportunity for connection, learning, and appreciating the significance of Black History Month.

Addressing Maternal Mortality

While our focus during the month was on celebrating our sisters, we also acknowledged there is still work to do.

In collaboration, LEAD and MSD for Mothers invited guest speaker Consultant Daghni Rajasingham, Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Chief Obstetrician, to hold an insightful webinar on the maternal mortality experience and disparities within the UK, and the need for collective action and sharing our stories as a means to raise awareness and bring about meaningful change

Rainbow Reviews

LEAD also collaborated with the Rainbow Alliance for a special edition of a Rainbow Review session. After listening to a podcast interview episode with Chardine Taylor-Stone (award winning cultural producer, black feminist activist & writer), members engaged in conversations delving into the complexities surrounding intersectionality with the aim of fostering a deeper comprehension of the diverse challenges faced by individuals across various intersections and to promote empathy and solidarity.

Connect Day Lunch

To wrap up, LEAD partnered with Chuku’s Tapas, a Nigerian resteaurant with a mission to make Nigerian food and culture more easily accessible, to provide colleagues with an immersive cultural experience. It received raving reviews from our colleagues and we’re excited to have sponsored a new culinary experience!

Black History Month x LEAD UK 2023 was a month filled with impactful events and discussions that honored the contributions of Black women while also addressing the challenges they face. By recognizing their achievements, amplifying their voices, and addressing disparities, we strive to create a more inclusive and equitable future.

GB-NON-08359 | October 2023

Our People

Behind the scenes: Navigating clinical trial operations

October 2023

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Ever wondered about the unseen heroes behind ensuring upholding patient safety in clinical trials?

Patient safety lies at the core of every healthcare organisation, and this holds particularly true for our Global Clinical Trials Operations team (GCTO). Their mission revolves around safeguarding patients during clinical trials, maintaining data accuracy, and serving as the vital link between hospitals and MSD. Often unsung, they play a pivotal role in ensuring seamless and safe clinical trials.

To gain a deeper insight into the dynamic realm clinical operations, we sat down with Noorie. A former work experience intern at MSD who has since flourished into a Clinical Research Associate, we delved deep into her professional journey which ultimately lead her to the heart of clinical operations

Interviewer: Noorie, let’s start at the beginning: could you share how your journey began at MSD, especially considering the impactful experience that motivated you?

Noorie: Well, it all began when I was 15 years old. My mum was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and it was absolutely devastating.

Witnessing the profound impact it had on her health was a real eye-opener, and around the same time I decided to go for a work experience at a pharmaceutical company. I was very blessed to be given that opportunity at MSD.

Interviewer: That’s a compelling start. Could you shed some light on your role within GCTO at MSD?

Noorie: Certainly, I’m an integral part of the global clinical trials operations team at MSD. We oversee and manage the operations involved in executing our company sponsored clinical trials.

Interviewer: What inspired you to work at MSD?

Noorie: So when I went to MSD, I got to talk to many different people in different departments. It gave me a big inspiration because I realized, wow, all these people are working to a common goal trying to cure different types of diseases. It’s actually the people who work at MSD that really inspire me. Everyone works together. We’re all working as a team and working with the NHS staff as well. They all know what is at stake. It’s like one big family.  

It’s actually the people who work at MSD that really inspire me… it’s like one big family

Interviewer: Your role involves bridging the gap between hospitals and the sponsor company. Could you elaborate on this vital aspect of your role?

Noorie: Yes of course! I work with a lot of NHS hospitals and that partnership is so key. Being the liaison between the hospital and the sponsor company ultimately has a huge impact on patients and the NHS as my role is ensuring sites compliance to study protocol as well as good clinical practice. Ultimately, it’s about upholding patient welfare and safety and ensuring the data is accurate for regulatory approval.  

Interviewer: Your workdays seem quite dynamic! Can you give us a glimpse of what your typical week looks like?

Noorie: I’m a Clinical Research Associate or CRA for short. I’m a field based CRA, which means I work around three days at different hospital and two days from home. At these hospitals I work closely with investigators and the team. When at home for the other two days, I’m catching up with admin.

Interviewer: What are the key things you look at when you go to the hospital?

Noorie: When I visit hospitals, my main focus is on data integrity. I’m making sure patient notes, prescriptions, and everything at the hospital matches what they’re entering onto the database. And without having that, we wouldn’t know if the clinical trial is running smoothly.

Interviewer: It’s clear you’re deeply involved with your work. What would you say is your favourite aspect of the role?

Noorie:  The highlight for me has been travelling across the UK and Ireland, engaging closely with research nurses, pharmacies, doctors, and the remarkable hospital teams. It’s an enriching part of the job.

Interviewer: And finally, if you had to capture your MSD experience in just three words, what would they be?

Noorie: Innovative, collaborative, and inclusive. It’s one of the main reasons that I continued working at MSD after I graduated from my Masters; it’s been eight years and I’m very happy here!

To learn more about our GCTO Early Talent roles and explore other positions, head to our jobs page

GB-NON-08144 | Date of Preparation: Sep 2023


MSD publishes key report into enablers and barriers to vaccine confidence

September 2023

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Gathering insights from communities in Liverpool to drive positive change

Building vaccine confidence at a time when vaccine hesitancy is on the rise, is one of the toughest health challenges we face globally. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine hesitancy was listed as one of the top 10 threats to global health.1 Vaccines save millions of lives across the globe each year by protecting against serious illness and death2, and yet despite this, many people remain unvaccinated for various reasons.  This project sets out to better understand why this is the case.

To download a copy of the report, click here.

The why’s behind the research:

Global research highlights that coverage of influenza, pneumococcal and COVID-19 vaccination remains particularly low among older aged people from ethnically diverse communities,3 despite older age being a risk factor for serious illness from vaccine-preventable diseases. Whilst national and global catch-up programmes aim to recover from disruptions in vaccination coverage caused by the pandemic, there are still a lack of interventions to improve vaccine confidence within this age group.

Liverpool has one of the highest hesitancy rates in the UK for COVID-19 vaccination,4 and the most ethnically diverse population in Cheshire and Merseyside.5 Due to the ongoing low levels of vaccine confidence across the city, Liverpool was identified as the pilot location. Several successful vaccine confidence programmes have been implemented across Liverpool, so this project aimed to build on their work and drive further positive change for communities in need.

The first step to improving vaccine confidence in places like Liverpool is to understand the ‘whys’ that influence perceptions, decisions and behaviours surrounding vaccine coverage, so that’s where we started our journey.

Listening to and learning from people on the ground:

Since January 2023, MSD’s Public Health team has spoken to over 60 individuals who form part of the vast, integrated network of people involved in vaccine education and access across Liverpool. People from multiple backgrounds, faiths, professions, and beliefs who are committed to improving the health of local communities helped us better understand the barriers to vaccination and healthcare faced by ethnically diverse communities every day, as well as potential solutions to enable change.

By listening to different communities without judgement or bias, we have been reminded of the importance of nurturing community relationships and fostering an environment of collaboration and trust.  During our nine-month journey, not only did we learn a great deal about ethnically diverse communities in Liverpool and the network of health educators that serve them, but we also learnt that asking ‘why’ can be as important as asking ‘why not’ when exploring barriers and enablers to vaccination.

We invite you to join us in working towards building vaccine confidence and understanding the realities of different communities by reading the report here.

Within the report, we have identified ‘Change Makers’, which are activities, approaches and initiatives that we believe have the potential to positively influence existing or future health programmes. As we enter the next phase of this project, we will be using the 12 Change Makers identified to work with communities to develop material outputs that reflect the key recommendations we have observed.

We hope that sharing this report, it can serve as a starting point for learning about the ongoing efforts and tangible change we can make in the future to foster equitable and accessible healthcare, both in Liverpool and beyond.

For more information about this project, please contact corporateaffairsuk@msd.com.


  1. World Health Organization. Ten threats to global health in 2019.
  2. World Health Organization. Vaccines and immunization.
  3. Bhanu C et al. UAR (2021) Vaccination uptake amongst older adults from minority ethnic backgrounds: A systematic review. PLoS Med 18(11): e1003826
  4. Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. 2022. Liverpool vaccine equity programme marks key milestone with celebratory learning day.
  5. Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership. 2020. Ethnicity Profiles in Cheshire and Merseyside.

GB-NON-08135 | September 2023

Our People

Inspired Through Volunteering

September 2023

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From gardening at the Macmillan Horizon Centre in Brighton to volunteering at the British Transplant Games in Coventry, individuals and teams across MSD reach out to support charities and not-for profit organisations. We asked what inspired them…

Team Gardening

The Corporate Affairs Team took the opportunity to give back when they undertook a half day of gardening at the Macmillan Horizon Centre in Brighton – a place where the Centre’s patients and families spend time enjoying the allotment’s sea views, vegetable garden and flowers.

“We saw a huge change in the allotment in just one morning and knowing that the Horizon Centre’s patients and families can now enjoy the refreshed allotment for the whole summer is inspiring. We were incredibly lucky with the weather on the day. In total we volunteered for 66 hours in just one morning, that’s over two weeks of full-time work for one gardener!”

When it Comes to Animals

Members of Animal Health’s Equine Team found the perfect place to provide a helping hand. The team utilised their hours volunteering at the World Horse Welfare , the largest centre of its kind in the UK. Starting off with a tour of the facility learning about the rehabilitation and re-homing process for the horses, their day was then spent weeding, cleaning and re- filling water troughs – there are 120 horses onsite!

“Volunteering at World Horse Welfare was a great opportunity for our team to continue to build our strong team culture whilst supporting the equine industry. The day helped us get closer to them as a charity, whose equine health and welfare work share many of the values we do at MSD.”

Going for Gold

Having undergone a kidney transplant two years ago, one of our employees joined the Transplant Sport Northern Ireland (TSNI) charity during his recovery. This year, he helped to raise awareness and promote the life-saving impact of organ transplants by leading the NI team at the British Transplant Games in Coventry.  He helped organize logistics and training to take a group of transplanted patients of all ages to Coventry to compete in the Games, as well as taking the chance to compete in the swimming.

“The Games’ main aim is to encourage patients to regain fitness after their transplant and help persuade more people to join the UK donor register. To celebrate the gift of transplant through sport was fantastic. It is also a great way to showcase how organ donation can be truly lifesaving. The Transplant Sport Northern Ireland Team came away with 13 Gold, 9 Silver and 8 Bronze medals this year alongside a lot of great memories.”

Clearing the Environment

The Regulatory Affairs and Pharmacovigilance teams wanted to find a volunteering opportunity to both support the community’s well being and do something good for the environment. What better way than doing some litter picking at Burgess Park with Southwark Council!

“Parks have a positive impact on people’s mental health (as we saw especially during the pandemic) so creating this clearer environment allowed us to give back to a local community which does not have the resources to focus on litter pollution. Preventing dangerous items polluting natural habitats also protects and enhances biodiversity in the park.”

MSD encourages all employees to volunteer in the community granting 40 hours paid leave each year. Hundreds of hours are racked up giving back in varied roles, and so many stories are shared of how truly inspiring they find the experience.

GB-NON-08076 | September 2023


Celebrating Local Success Towards Cervical Cancer Elimination

November 2023

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MSD has launched the Race to Elimination campaign to showcase local areas on the road to cervical cancer elimination, and inspire country-wide action of the NHS England elimination pledge.

99.8% of cervical cancer cases are entirely preventable,[1] providing a unique opportunity – through Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and cervical screening – to eliminate the impact of this disease on women, their families and society. This opportunity is recognised at the highest level: in 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) set global targets to work towards the elimination of cervical cancer – 90% of girls vaccinated, 70% of women screened, and 90% of those with cervical disease receiving treatment by 2030 [2]

On 15 November 2023, the UK joined the company of the WHO and other countries with the announcement of NHS England’s commitment to eliminate cervical cancer by 2040[3] . This is truly a significant step in the UK’s Race to Elimination.

Whilst this is a significant step, variation persists between local areas in cervical screening and HPV vaccination coverage rates.[4][5]The consequence of this is an estimated 850 cervical cancer deaths every year – more than two women every day – but with an effective strategy, the UK can close the gap with world leaders.

At MSD, we believe that – while learning from abroad is key – we should also be looking closer to home for inspiration. Local areas across the country are successfully increasing HPV vaccination coverage and cervical screening, while tackling the inequalities in access experienced by some communities. In this context, these pockets of good practice are meeting, or even exceeding, the WHO’s thresholds. In doing so, they are proof that hitting NHS England’s ambition to eliminate cervical cancer by 2040, is fully achievable.

The Race to Elimination campaign therefore aims to celebrate success in these trailblazing areas across the UK – seeking to understand not only the factors behind local progress, but the lessons that can be learned for the whole country. Ultimately, we want to inspire momentum towards the elimination of cervical cancer nationwide, making cervical cancer elimination a reality for women in every corner of the country.

The campaign’s journey will be taking us initially to the West Midlands, Northumberland, Greater Manchester, the Thames Valley, and Havering in London. Who will win the Race to Elimination?

[1] Cancer Research UK, Cervical cancer statistics. Last accessed August 2023.

[2] The World Health Organization, Global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem, November 2020. Last accessed August 2023.

[3] NHS England. Last Accessed November 2023

[4] UK Health Security Agency, Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine coverage estimates in adolescents in England: academic year 2021 to 2022, December 2022. Last accessed August 2023.

[5] NHS Digital, Cervical Screening Programme, England – 2021-2022, November 2022. Last accessed August 2023.

GB-NON-08533 | November 2023

Our People

Visibility and Allyship – Pride 2023

August 2023

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In a vibrant display of solidarity, 70 MSD colleagues took centre stage at this years Pride March in London, standing (and dancing) proudly alongside the LGBTQ+ community.

For the third consecutive year, MSD UK’s Rainbow Alliance, alongside 70 employees and friends donned rainbow flags and glitter to march in the parade – this time bigger than ever before with our own MSD float!

At MSD, our LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies are represented by the Rainbow Alliance who are committed to being advocates of the community by catalysing change and empowering everyone to be themselves, always. The network is also committed to developing LGBTQ+ talent within the organisation and ensuring equity of opportunity for career development alongside celebrating the rich and diverse culture of MSD through visibility and allyship, creating a community for everyone to be proud of.

A big part of this celebration within the LGBTQ+ community is centred annually on Pride Month – an event marked by the Rainbow Alliance by marching in the parade at Pride in London.  

“I could not be more proud to have led the planning for our entry in the Pride in London parade this year for MSD in the UK. It’s really important to me, as an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, to be empowered to bring our MSD DE&I values to life through events like Pride in London. It demonstrates that we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk (literally!).”

Beth Byrne (She / Her)

“I am proud to be open about my HIV status because it creates a more inclusive and compassionate workplace where everyone feels supported and valued. I am committed to advocate for the LBGTQ+ people at MSD and in the community to champion their rights, equality, and well-being.”

Vittorio (He / Him)

Celebrated annually, Pride Month is a celebration but is also an important time to bring the continued movement for equality and equity in the LGBTQ+ community to the forefront of the public consciousness and onto the agenda of policymakers. Now that Pride Month is over for 2023, the Rainbow Alliance is looking forward to the next six months of the year – galvanised by the joyful and uplifting energy from marching at Pride in London, they will continue working to fulfil their commitment to ongoing visibility and action for change.

GB-NON-07850 | Aug 2023

Our People

Continuing to make mental health our priority 

August 2023

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As we strengthen our efforts to make employee wellbeing our priority, we came together to have an open and honest conversation about mental health in the workplace. 

Alongside a dedicated volunteer team of trained Mental Health First Aiders, Early Talent Mental Health programme, and MSD’s Wellbeing Employee Business Resource Group (EBRG) – we’re constantly evolving and growing our resources and lifestyle benefits to ensure everyone is supported to bring their full and best selves to work.   

From hosting burnout prevention masterclasses to menopause awareness surveys and early talent resources, we are dedicated to making a positive impact on the way we work. 

Puppy therapy at our London Moorgate offices

To recognise and raise awareness for mental health, colleagues were invited for some much-needed puppy therapy.  

Organised by the MSD Wellbeing EBRG and team, we were visited by the team and puppies from Paws in Work for a memorable, one-of-a-kind experience.  

The feedback from our employees was overwhelmingly positive, with people leaving the sessions feeling refreshed, revitalised, and with smiles on their faces. 

We are committed to continuing this amazing work throughout the year and co-creating opportunities where everyone can feel heard and welcome. 

GB-NON-07693 | Date of Preparation: June 2023 


Celebrating 5 years of our UK Discovery Centre

August 2023

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We are delighted to be celebrating five years of our leading-edge UK Discovery Centre! 

Achieving an incredible milestone, the team celebrated the Centre’s growth and success to date, hearing from Ben Lucas, our Managing Director for MSD in the UK, Jill Richardson, Executive Director of Discovery Research, as well as spotlighting many teams, leaders, and their work. 

To date, MSD have invested over £1 billion into our world-leading discovery centre and headquarters, to help us achieve our mission of saving and improving lives across the UK and beyond.  

Artist impression of future new Discovery Centre and Headquarters building in London

[Photo: Artist impression of future new Discovery Centre and Headquarters in London]

Celebrations at our London Moorgate offices 

The full day of celebrations and team-building workshops were an important opportunity for the Medical and Research Laboratories wider team to come together, share their successes and learnings, as well as look to what’s coming next. 

Already, our scientists are working to drive medical advances against diseases affecting our ageing population, such as Alzheimer’s. 

Featuring a variety of talks and presentations on the potentially life-changing projects currently underway, from AI applications in chemistry to 3D printing and pharmacology, the atmosphere was wonderfully joyous and welcoming. 

Investing in our talent 

Ensuring we create an open, inclusive, and diverse environment in which everyone feels supported is at the heart of our mission to save and improves lives across the UK and beyond.  

By supporting the British Neuroscience Association (BNA) as a founding member of the BNA Scholarship Programme, we welcomed this year’s cohort to our offices to invite knowledge-sharing and collaboration.  Read more about our work with the BNA Scholars Program here

Looking to the future, we are committed to continued investment into science and discovery. 

GB-NON-07692 | Date of Preparation: June 2023 



MSD welcome British Neuroscience Scholars to the London Discovery Centre

August 2023

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We were delighted to welcome scholars from the British Neuroscience Association (BNA) to our London discovery offices as part of MSD’s ongoing support for the BNA Scholarship Programme.

MSD continues to be a proud founding industry member and supporter of the scheme, which aims to drive improvements in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) across neuroscience.

Our MRL leadership team were pleased to host the cohort at our London Discovery offices for an exciting day of interactive company and career discussions, as well as insights into MSD’s latest scientific research and laboratory tours.

MSD’s involvement in the BNA Scholarship Programme constitutes an important part of our continued commitment to fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) within the company and in the wider scientific community.

“We’re delighted to collaborate with the BNA to provide our support and funding for this valuable programme.

Improving equality, diversity, and inclusion in the field of neuroscience research is something that we as an organisation feel passionate about – it speaks to our values, both as an employer and as a research-led organisation, with a significant focus on neuroscience.

A culture of equality, diversity and inclusion allows innovation to thrive and fuels the breakthroughs we strive for.”

Dr Jill Richardson, Executive Director of Discovery Research for MSD in the UK

Rana, BNA Scholar on why ED&I in neuroscience is important

bringing together different backgrounds and approaches can have more of an impact in neuroscience. I also think it’s important to represent these different backgrounds and people because it’s important for younger generations to see role models that they can relate to.

Lamia, BNA scholar on the MSD visit day:

I loved how MSD presented the career profiles. I’ve been to a lot of external programmes and have found the sessions about career progression can be quite vague. Starting with a placement student and showing how your employees came into the science and research field, all the way through to the senior ranks. It was really inspiring! The tips from the CV clinic were very helpful too.”

On behalf of the MSD team, we would like to thank all the BNA Scholarship students and for an exceptional event.

We look forward to following this cohort’s success as they progress through the programme!

Join our Talent Community here

GB-NON-07640 | Date of Preparation: June 2023