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Director, Drug Development Project Management

Job Description

Global Project and Alliance Management (GPAM) sits in the Research & Development Division (R&D). The Project Managers in GPAM are core members of development teams at our Company. Project Managers drive these cross-functional teams to deliver projects and products that improve human health and business.


Under the comprehensive guidance of the Executive Director, Senior Vice President, GPAM, the core responsibility of this senior Project Manager (PM) role will be to manage development programs, due diligence and business development activities independently, regardless of complexity, phase or program type, and is based on direct experience and the ability to translate prior experiences to a new challenge. Project consultation with supervisors, rather than "oversight" is expected at this level. In addition, the Director may be expected to take on one of the following important responsibilities: 1) mentoring/coaching other PMs, including understanding their projects and developing their knowledge of drug/vaccine/biologics development, governance & team processes and PM skills; 2) management and/or administration of strategic management or governance committees and 3) delivery of major change projects that impact the company or Team performance. 

Primary Responsibilities:


Management of Product Development Teams (~70%)

  • Able to independently manage product development projects and / or due diligence efforts of any type, including those which require extensive experience with drug / vaccine / biologics development, our Company organization and processes/procedures related to development teams due to their significant importance to the company or complexity. 

  •  Must be able to support any type of project, irrespective of phase, complexity, priority, or involvement with an alliance partner.

  • Interactions with manager regarding projects are generally of a consultation type, rather than "oversight".  


Talent Development, Process Improvement, and PM Operational Support (~30%)

  • Coach more junior staff in the nuances of managing a development project: management of team dynamics, understanding stages of development and how functional inputs interact to ensure project progression, coaching on R&D/Company processes relating to development team management, strategic document preparation, PM skills, and Team Management. 

  • Work to ensure that PM best practices are being employed across projects.  

  • Participate in continuous improvement projects that require extensive product development experience and understanding of procedures and policies, and which significantly impact the work and / or effectiveness of PM. These projects can relate to optimizing PM capabilities, systems, and operations (e,g., leading efforts to improve planning systems platforms, etc.) or to improving the functioning of teams and / or development processes. 

  • Manage cross divisional work groups and lead or input into improvements to processes / templates that support product development or project management.  


Education Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree required; concentration in a scientific-related discipline preferred

Required Experience and Skills:

  • Eight (8) + years in a PM related or leadership role

  • Demonstrated ability to manage resources, time, and budget effectively for given projects; is business savvy and results oriented 

Preferred Experience and Skills

  • Advanced scientific degree (Master of Science (MS), Master of Business Administration (MBA), PharmD, Ph.D.)

  • Project Management Certification (PMP) or formal coursework/training in project management

  • Sufficient skill levels and technical understanding of product development to be recognized as a project management/product development expert within the broader organization  

  • Well-connected and networked within the company or has attributes that would allow establishment of such networks rapidly

  • Proven ability to analyze, integrate, recommend, contribute to development of conceptual plans for, and lead implement of, strategic, process, and team improvement and change initiatives cross-functionally

  • Effective at energizing others, establishing clear goals, delegating responsibility, mentoring and coaching within a team setting

  • Demonstrated situational leadership and creative problem solving within department and teams

  • Able to understand project details, but keep overall “big picture” view of projects, priorities, and strategies 

  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written. Knows when and how to speak up and appropriately raise issues to team and to management. Keeps both team members, departmental colleagues (as appropriate), and management fully apprised of project initiative status and issues

  • Planning and execution of strategies for drug/vaccine product registration and commercialization/life-cycle management (can be R&D, manufacturing or commercial perspective), with demonstrated ability to translate knowledge and expertise to other development teams and areas

  • This position may be based in either Rahway, NJ, or Upper Gwynedd, PA.


New hires based in the US & Puerto Rico will be required to demonstrate that they have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or qualify for a medical or religious exemption or accommodation to this vaccination requirement, subject to applicable law.

We are a research-driven biopharmaceutical company. Our mission is built on the simple premise that if we “follow the science” that great medicines can make a significant impact to our world. 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. 

Who we are …

We are known as Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA in the United States and Canada and MSD everywhere else. For more than a century, we have been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Today, our company continues to be at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions and advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and animals around the world.

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.


In accordance with Managers' Policy - Job Posting and Employee Placement, all employees subject to this policy are required to have a minimum of twelve (12) months of service in current position prior to applying for open positions.

If you have been offered a separation benefits package, but have not yet reached your separation date and are offered a position within the salary and geographical parameters as set forth in the Summary Plan Description (SPD) of your separation package, then you are no longer eligible for your separation benefits package. To discuss in more detail, please contact your HRBP or Talent Acquisition Advisor.

Residents of Colorado

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US and Puerto Rico Residents Only:

Our company is committed to inclusion, ensuring that candidates can engage in a hiring process that exhibits their true capabilities. Please click here if you need an accommodation during the application or hiring process.

For more information about personal rights under Equal Employment Opportunity, visit:

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We are proud to be a company that embraces the value of bringing diverse, talented, and committed people together. The fastest way to breakthrough innovation is when diverse ideas come together in an inclusive environment. We encourage our colleagues to respectfully challenge one another’s thinking and approach problems collectively. We are an equal opportunity employer, committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace.

Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully 
Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, does not accept unsolicited assistance from search firms for employment opportunities. All CVs / resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at our company without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of our company.  No fee will be paid in the event a candidate is hired by our company as a result of an agency referral where no pre-existing agreement is in place. Where agency agreements are in place, introductions are position specific. Please, no phone calls or emails. 

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Requisition ID:R154929

Director, Drug Development Project Management

North Wales, PA 19454
Full Time

Published on 01/15/2022

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