Working in Unilever R&D

Illustration of scientist

Unilever R&D’s vision is to innovate boldly for people and the planet. Our R&D teams are at the heart of our business, creating the innovations and products our consumers love.

We develop the leading science and technology that drives Unilever’s growth and purpose, and offer daily moments of joy; from the signature crack when biting into Magnum’s chocolate shell, to the confident feeling you get from our Rexona Clinical Deodrant with patented technology or the touch of fresh laundry effectively washed in cool water.  We develop the innovations behind products that make a difference to the lives of people and to the health of our planet.

Innovation is at the core of our commitment to growing our business and making a positive impact in the world. Our scientists explore and develop the technologies of the future, whilst our product developers use this science and technology to develop and bring to market Unilever’s next generation innovations. In unity, this team goes beyond to combine the search for breakthrough technologies with the constant drive to respond to competitors, move into new markets, and strengthen our brands with purpose.

Our People

Scientists at work in Unilever’s R&D Centre in Shanghai

Our people are what makes R&D great. Our highly skilled, creative and consumer-focused experts thrive on developing new innovations that improve lives, livelihoods and the planet.

More than 5,000 science, technology, engineering and mathematics experts work in Unilever R&D, each contributing their own specialist skills to make our products the best in the market.

We embrace a culture that empowers teams and individuals to make decisions and act with speed. Our teams are diverse with women holding around 50% of managerial roles. We encourage our people to find and live their purpose and offer numerous opportunities to hone existing capabilities and develop new ones through digital learning experiences and our internal development programmes.

Another key to Unilever R&D’s success is our partnerships with leading edge science and technology and academic organisations, as well as our close collaborations with wider industry players. Our innovation ecosystem encourages everyone in R&D to partner with and leverage external expertise to take advantage of new technologies and trends to surpass consumer expectations.

Here’s a short overview of how R&D supports Unilever innovation.

Future-fit capabilities

To ensure our innovations are exciting, safe and competitive, we invest heavily in three strategic capabilities.


We want consumers to use and enjoy our products with confidence. Our scientists at Unilever’s Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre (SEAC) use their expertise and industry partnerships to build safety and sustainability into every product innovation. Read more about SEAC.

Regulatory Affairs

Our Regulatory Affairs business partners use leading-edge approaches in compliance, advocacy and partnerships to bring innovative and sustainable products to life, faster.

Digital R&D

Many of the digital advances our world is experiencing are influencing new consumer trends and rapidly evolving consumer expectations. Through Digital R&D, we are exploring opportunities to drive innovation and product superiority and stay connected with our consumers in a meaningful way.

Developing Products with Purpose

Whatever the product and wherever it is bought, R&D ensures it fulfils our purpose as a business – making sustainable living commonplace.

Our innovations are a driving force behind our sustainability achievements; they enable circular plastic economies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve water quality and access, lower salt consumption, support zero waste initiatives and improve hygiene standards, to name just a few of our purpose-led ambitions.

Our R&D experts work on some of the world’s biggest, most impactful brands in three divisions:

Beauty & Personal Care

Beauty and personal care

Made up of five categories with some of the world’s biggest brands.

Food & Refreshment

Foods & Refreshment

Made up of five categories with some of the world’s biggest brands.

Home Care

Unilever home care

Made up of four categories with some of the world’s biggest brands.

Each of Unilever’s Divisions are supported by

R&D Science and Technology Teams: Offering externally recognised expertise and capabilities to drive growth. Our Science & Technology teams keep a close eye on emerging trends, so we can stay in touch with – and ahead of – major developments.

R&D Global Design Teams: Responsible for developing and distributing the latest technical expertise and formulations.

R&D Cluster & Category Design Teams: Our agile, locally connected teams deliver our products to market.

Join us

We have exciting job opportunities for you with our R&D teams in over 60 countries. Our biggest presence is in:

  • Trumbull, Connecticut (US)
  • Bangalore (India)
  • Colworth (UK)
  • Port Sunlight (UK)
  • Shanghai (China)
  • Wageningen (The Netherlands)

If you would like to be involved in the creation and development of purpose-led innovations, please visit the careers section for more information.

Back to top

Connect with us

We're always looking to connect with those who share an interest in a sustainable future.

Contact us

Get in touch with Unilever and specialist teams in our headquarters, or find contacts around the world.

Contact us