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Senior Specialist, Project Management - Product Development; Global Project and Alliance Management

Requisition ID: PRO018456

Merck & Co., Inc. Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A. known as Merck in the United States and Canada, is a global health care leader with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines and animal health products. The difference between potential and achievement lies in the spark that fuels innovation and inventiveness; this is the space where Merck has codified its legacy for over a century . Merck's success is backed by ethical integrity, forward momentum, and an inspiring mission to achieve new milestones in global healthcare.

Merck is on a quest for cures and is committed to being the world's premier, most research-intensive biopharmaceutical company. Today, we're doubling down on this goal. Merck Research Laboratories is a true scientific research facility of tomorrow, and will take Merck's leading discovery capabilities and world-class small molecule and biologics R&D expertise to create breakthrough science that radically changes the way we approach serious diseases.

Global Project and Alliance Management (GPAM) sits in the R&D organization in our research division. The Project Managers and Alliance Managers in GPAM are core members of discovery, development, and alliance teams at our organization. Project Managers drive these cross-functional teams to deliver projects and products that improve human health and our organization's business, and Alliance Managers ensure successful collaborations with our R&D alliance partners. The GPAM Project Management Office (PMO) is responsible for the development, sustainment, and training of GPAM-owned systems, tools, and business processes as well as alignment with Finance, IT, and functional area operations groups within our organization.

This position can be located at either the Upper Gwynned, PA, or Rahway, NJ facility, based on the candidate preference.

Position Description/Summary

The Senior Specialist, Project Manager - Development, is a core functional area member of Early Development and/or Product Development Teams (EDTs and PDTs, respectively), partnering with team leaders to plan and execute Merck's development and in-line portfolio efforts. Projects may be internal or part of alliance agreements with external development partners. Project managers are expected to contribute to ongoing business process improvement and talent development in GPAM. Specific responsibilities may include:

  • Managing development teams that are of moderate complexity and/or work effectively with other GPAM professionals to ensure successful execution of higher complexity development team strategies and project plans. Projects may be in any phase of development (preclinical, clinical, lifecycle management) in any therapeutic area, including molecular entities of any modality (small molecule, biologic, vaccine, combination product). Projects range in priority, pace, and complexity, and may include one or more alliance partners.
  • Guiding teams through creation, management approval, execution, and termination/closeout of integrated project plans appropriate to the phase of development and complexity of the project. This includes integration of strategic and tactical input from diverse disciplines (e.g., biology, chemistry, pharmacology, clinical, regulatory, access, supply, and other areas), as applicable to the project.
  • Contributing to, synthesizing, and articulating program strategy and translating it into execution.
  • Collaborating effectively with functional areas, support functions, and alliance partner functions (if applicable) to facilitate project delivery.
  • Leveraging relationships and networks to improve and enhance team dynamics; with guidance from a more senior GPAM professional as needed, proactively identifying and removing obstacles to drive business results.
  • Providing our organization's organizational and process expertise to teams to enable navigation of development, and corporate governance and business requirements.
  • Ensuring project schedules and risk management plans are fully developed and updated, governance contracts are adhered to, change control procedures are followed, and communications within and from the team are clear and effective.
  • Partnering with Finance to ensure resources/budgets are planned and managed. This may include tracking and managing partner activities that drive FTE expenses in development alliances, in partnership with the Alliance Manager.
  • Preparing regular reports that summarize project status/issues and documents/presentations for senior management/governance committees/alliance committees.
  • Maintaining accurate project data in enterprise databases.
  • Preparing for, facilitating, and documenting outcomes of team meetings, ensuring meetings have clear purpose and objectives and that conflict is surfaced and resolved.
  • Providing mentoring, coaching, and oversight to Specialist project managers working on common projects
  • Actively participating and completing ongoing training and personal development activities to increase leadership competency and to gain knowledge and skill in the discipline of project management and the business and science of pharmaceutical product discovery and development.
  • Providing significant input into the monitoring of GPAM processes and tools used to support the teams, as appropriate; advocate for and contribute to the success of change / process improvements when warranted.


Education, Experience, and Skill Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree required; concentration in a scientific or applied discipline strongly preferred
  • Minimum of two (2) years of experience in project management or a related role required
  • Product development experience required; in a pharmaceutical / biotech industry preferred.
  • Demonstrated leadership and ethics; demonstrated ability to hold others accountable for delivery
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a team setting, including demonstrated experience building and leading teams, accomplishing goals, etc.
  • Strong collaboration and problem-solving skills; able to establish good working relationships with employees at all levels, resolve conflict and provide feedback, and to devise and implement creative solutions to problems
  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written; demonstrated ability to speak up appropriately and to raise issues to teams and management
  • Highly organized and capable of working with attention to detail. Able to relate project details to larger project objectives.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced degree (e.g., MS, MBA, PhD, PharmD) preferred
  • Experience in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industries strongly preferred, including significant discovery or product development experience/exposure
  • Project management certification (PMP) and/or formal coursework/training in project management strongly preferred

Your role at Merck is integral to helping the world meet new breakthroughs that affect generations to come, and we're counting on your skills and inventiveness to help make meaningful contributions to global medical advancement. At Merck, we're inventing for life.

If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request to

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Merck & Co., Inc. is not accepting unsolicited assistance from search firms for this employment opportunity. Please, no phone calls or emails. All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at Merck via email, the Internet or in any form and/or method without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of Merck. No fee will be paid in the event the candidate is hired by Merck as a result of the referral or through other means.

Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

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Merck is an equal opportunity employer, Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran - proudly embracing diversity in all of it's manifestations.

Job: Product Dev Proj/Prog Mgmnt
Other Locations: Rahway, NJ, US
Employee Status: Regular
Travel: Yes, 10 % of the Time
Number of Openings: 1
Shift (if applicable): 1st
Hazardous Materials: No
Company Trade Name: Merck

Senior Specialist, Project Management - Product Development; Global Project and Alliance Management

Upper Gwynedd Township, PA
Full Time

Published on 02/12/2019