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Research and scientists


British American Tobacco’s Research & Development Centre is based in the UK, with facilities in Southampton and Cambridge. Our focus is science-based innovations through leading-edge research with harm reduction at its core.

We are working to develop a range of potentially reduced-risk tobacco and nicotine products, including conventional cigarettes, tobacco heating devices, e-cigarettes and nicotine inhalation product s. Central to product development is to give our consumers, as well as the regulators, confidence in their quality and functionality and an understanding of their potential risk profile.

Research and publishing

Traditionally our research efforts have focused on conventional cigarettes, understanding the chemistry of cigarette smoke, identifying toxic constituents (toxicants), understanding smoking behaviour and developing prototype products and technologies with the aim of reducing levels of smoke toxicants. Our research requires a multi-disciplinary approach and includes a broad spectrum of scientific fields including molecular biology, toxicology, analytical chemistry and biotechnology.

In recent years, we have expanded our focus to emerging product categories, such as e-cigarettes, gaining new expertise and experiences in areas such as materials science, formulation chemistry and engineering.

To increase the transparency of the science behind tobacco harm reduction, we regularly present at relevant scientific conferences and submit papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals.   Where possible, we make our published papers available open access to ensure our research is as widely accessible as possible to the scientific community.

Since 2008, more than 130 articles authored by our scientists have been published in peer-reviewed journals. We have also increased our contribution to the external scientific community, presenting at over 100 conferences and meetings. For a complete list, visit our library.

We believe in the value of scientific collaboration, within our industry and across others, and are active members of a number of external independent organisations and societies such as ASCCT , IVTIP  and ACS .

we have made a long-term commitment to build the science base needed to determine whether new products will pose reduced health risks and to seek the support and guidance of the scientific, public health and regulatory communities

David O'Reilly

Group Scientific Director

Our scientists

With over 300 staff working at our UK Research & Development sites, BAT has a broad range of experience and expertise, with academic backgrounds including molecular biology, plant biotechnology, toxicology, clinical research, chemistry, materials science and engineering.

Many of our scientists have higher degrees, including over 50 PhDs, earned from leading universities across the world. A number of our scientists have obtained their degrees or higher degrees whilst working with us, and through continual professional development are encouraged to be active members of their chosen professional bodies.

We regularly accept undergraduate students for their industrial sandwich placements and welcome scientists from around the world to visit our laboratories.

Visit the careers section for more information and to search for current openings.

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