Stephen Caddick carried out his undergraduate degree at Paisley College and then part time (GRSC) whilst working for FBC Ltd /Shering at Chesterford Park Research Station. In 1986 he moved to the University of Southampton to work with P. J. Parsons for a PhD. In 1989 he gained a PhD degree and moved to Imperial College London to work with W. B. Motherwell on alkaloid and carbohydrate synthesis. In 1991 he was appointed to a lectureship at Birkbeck College. In 1993 he moved to the University of Sussex as a lecturer (1993-1997), senior lecturer (1997-2002) and professor (2003).
In 2003, he was appointed to the Vernon Chair of Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology at UCL and was head of the Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology section at UCL until 2008. In 2008, he was made Head of the Department of Chemistry and then VP Enterprise in 2010. He has published >140 papers and has supervised >40 students to completion of a PhD degree. In 2016, Professor Caddick was appointed Director of Innovations at the Wellcome Trust.