Associate Director, Global Project and Alliance Management (GPAM)

  • Company: Merck
  • Location: Pennsylvania, United States
  • Posted: January 05, 2017
  • Reference ID: PIP000135
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. Today, we are building a new kind of healthcare company - one that is ready to help create a healthier future for all of us.

Our ability to excel depends on the integrity, knowledge, imagination, skill, diversity and teamwork of an individual like you. To this end, we strive to create an environment of mutual respect, encouragement and teamwork. As part of our global team, you'll have the opportunity to collaborate with talented and dedicated colleagues while developing and expanding your career.

Global Project and Alliance Management (GPAM) sits in the R&D organization at Merck (Merck Research Laboratories, or MRL). The Project Managers and Alliance Managers in GPAM are core members of discovery, development, and alliance teams at Merck. Project Managers drive these cross-functional teams to deliver projects and products that improve human health and Merck'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 Merck.

Position Description/Summary

The Associate Director, Project Management, is a core functional area member of Discovery, Early Development, and/or Product Development Teams (EDTs and PDTs, respectively), partnering with team leaders to plan and execute Merck's discovery, development, and in-line portfolio efforts. Projects may be internal or part of alliance agreements with external research and development partners. Project managers may manage cross-functional, cross-divisional, and/or alliance governance committees and are expected to contribute to ongoing business process improvement and talent development in GPAM. Specific responsibilities may include:
  • Independently managing projects in any phase of discovery or development (discovery, 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; proactively identifying and removing obstacles to drive business results.
  • Providing Merck organizational and process expertise to teams to enable navigation of discovery, 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 discovery or 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.
  • Managing or administrating strategic, cross-functional or cross-divisional management, governance, or alliance committees
  • Providing mentoring, coaching, and oversight to Specialist/Senior 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.

  • Required:
    • Bachelor's degree
  • Preferred:
    • Concentration in a scientific or applied discipline
    • Advanced degree (e.g., MS, MBA, PhD, PharmD)

  • A minimum of Five (5) years of experience in project management or a related role
  • 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, committees, task forces, 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

  • Experience in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industries, including significant discovery or product development experience/exposure
  • Project management certification (PMP) and/or formal coursework/training in project management

Our employees are the key to our company's success. We demonstrate our commitment to our employees by offering a competitive and valuable rewards program. Our Company's benefits are designed to support the wide range of goals, needs and lifestyles of our employees, and many of the people that matter the most in their lives. If you need an accommodation for the application process please email us at
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