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Executive Director, Scientific Affairs

Merck Research Laboratories
London (Greater) (GB); North Wales, Pennsylvania (US)
Closing date
Jul 1, 2022
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Job Details

We are a research-driven biopharmaceutical company. Our mission is built on the simple premise that if we “follow the science” and that great medicines can make a significant impact to our world. And we believe that a research-driven enterprise dedicated to world-class science can succeed by inventing medicine and vaccine innovations that make a difference for patients across the globe.


Our company’s Scientific Affairs Oncology function is comprised of strong clinically and scientifically qualified individuals, whose focus is to maximize meaningful bi-directional scientific exchange with the worldwide clinical and academic oncology community. This team is positively impacting our company’s Research and Development strategy in discovering and developing new oncology medicines.


The function of the Scientific Affairs Oncology team includes but are not limited to:

  • Provide our company’s senior leadership with the most up-to-date scientific data, together with a synthesis of its strategic implications for our Early and Late stage Development Programs
  • Lead Scientific Input Engagements (SIEs) between Product Development Teams and global scientific leaders to provide focused input into our company’s development strategy 
  • Lead a portfolio of over 800+ investigator-initiated studies in oncology in collaboration with fifteen disease oriented Late-stage Development Teams
  • Provide joint oversight of an additional 350+ investigator-initiated studies in collaboration with Alliance partners and other pharmaceutical companies
  • Lead competitive intelligence support for 15+ external scientific congresses, overseeing both planning and execution
  • Collate in-house and competitor data readouts for presentation at live internal congress debrief meetings and provide executive editorial oversight for internal congress scientific summaries
  • Undertake 600+ interactions with key scientific leaders at international congresses, and global academic medical center visits to foster scientific collaboration with key external stakeholders
  • Participate and co-chair Global Advisory Boards (GABs) which seek to understand the scientific community’s perception of our company’s own data
  • Participate in Closed Research Updates (CRUs) which seek to gain expert input from a worldwide network of investigators into our company’s ongoing clinical research program


The Executive Director of Scientific Affairs (EDSA) Oncology will maximize meaningful bi-directional scientific exchange with the worldwide clinical and academic oncology community in order to positively impact Research and Development strategy for new oncology medicines, and to improve outcomes for patients with cancer.


The EDSA will lead a large investigator-initiated studies program in partnership with Late-stage Development Teams in Oncology and Oncology Medical Affairs.   As needed, the EDSA will also provide support for Early-stage Development Teams and Translational Oncology.


The EDSA will partner with Oncology Medical Affairs leadership to develop the global oncology Scientific Medical and Research Team (SMART) strategy across designated cancer therapeutic areas.


Role Responsibilities:

The responsibilities of the Executive Director include but are not limited to:

  • Lead our company’s Investigator Initiated Studies program in assigned therapeutic areas ensuring scientific rigor across one of industry’s largest portfolios
  • Provide subject matter expertise for Oncology Product Development and Publications Teams, and facilitate cross-functional communication and collaboration in pursuit of our company’s Research and Development strategy 
  • Lead Research and Development activities, and synthesize competitive intelligence relevant to our company’s Research and Development strategy at key scientific congresses in Oncology
  • Lead our company’s global scientific input forums to gain external scientific/clinical insights in support of our company’s Research and Development strategy
  • Sustain our company’s scientific credibility and foster and develop relationships with global leaders, major academic medical centers, and key professional societies and organizations, through relevant bi-directional scientific exchange
  • Guide development of consistent and accurate scientific content in support of our global field-based Oncology Medical Affairs teams, and advise and support them in providing global perspective in their interactions with external stakeholders
  • Maintain personal expertise in the assigned disease area science in the context of advancing clinical and treatment paradigms



  • Medical Degree (MD/MB BS or equivalent degree)
  • Higher scientific degree (e.g.: PhD) is desirable
  • 2+ years clinical experience following completion of postgraduate training in a Hematology/Oncology related subspeciality
  • Research experience as lead or co-lead clinical investigator
  • Publication record in a Hematology/Oncology relevant therapeutic area
  • Ability to work in a complex matrix environment and effectively operate in a team-oriented structure
  • Excellent facilitation and consultative skills; ability to effectively interact with internal and external stakeholders, and to positively influence decision making, at a senior level
  • Excellent interpersonal communication (written and verbal), and results-oriented project management skills


Who we are …

Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA is known as “Merck” in the United States, Canada & Puerto Rico. We are known as “MSD” in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America & Asia Pacific. We are a global biopharmaceutical leader with a diverse portfolio of prescription medicines, oncology, vaccines and animal health products.

We are driven by our purpose to develop and deliver innovative products that save and improve lives. With 69,000 employees operating in more than 140 countries, we offer state of the art laboratories, plants and offices that are designed to Inspire our employees as we learn, develop and grow in our careers. We are proud of our 125 years of service to humanity and continue to be one of the world’s biggest investors in Research & Development.

What we look for …

In a world of rapid innovation, we seek brave Inventors who want to make an Impact in all aspects of our business, enabling breakthroughs that will affect generations to come. We encourage you to bring your disruptive thinking, collaborative spirit and diverse perspective to our organization. Together we will continue Inventing For Life, Impacting Lives while Inspiring Your Career Growth.

Employee Status: Regular

Relocation: Domestic/International

VISA Sponsorship: Yes

Travel Requirements: 25%


Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Merck produces vaccines and medicines in over 20 therapeutic categories. Its research and development division, Merck Research Laboratories, develops breakthrough medicines and treatments that offer a new lease on life. For more information, visit

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