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Job Details

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

Director, Scientific Project Leader



Full Time

On Site


Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Site Name: USA - Massachusetts - Cambridge, Stevenage, Upper Providence
Posted Date: Aug 16 2022

We’re seeking an experienced Discovery Project Leader to join the team on a permanent, full-time basis. Discovery Project Leaders within the Immunology Research Unit are dedicated to the end-to-end leadership of projects spanning the entire drug discovery horizon, from target validation through to the nomination of high-quality clinical candidates.

As a Discovery Project Leader, you have the single point of accountability for multi-functional research teams comprising subject matter experts drawn from across the GSK Research and Platform groups, focussing them to deliver timely, high-quality decisions. Together with your matrix teams, you will develop a medicine vision and value proposition for each of the discovery projects you lead. As the project single point of accountability, you will demonstrate a thorough understanding of drug discovery project progression and tactics, have a comprehensive grasp of discovery project needs and timelines, and an ability to interrogate the competitive landscape. You will challenge your teams to develop a differentiated medicine profile and will clearly articulate how a resultant medicine could be positioned in an area of unmet need.

Through your role as a Discovery Project Leader, you will receive significant exposure to senior management and will be recognized as a scientific leader within the organization. You will meet regularly with the Immunology Research Unit Head and their leadership team to update them on changes to objectives, timelines, and strategy for each project in your portfolio. You will also interact with senior management (e.g., Head of Research) and relevant internal governance committees (e.g., Research Review Board) or external Advisory Committees (e.g., Scientific Advisory Board) as required.

This role will provide you the opportunity to lead key activities to progress your career, these responsibilities include some of the following

Project Leadership - Develop a medicine vision and value proposition for the program

  • Partner with subject matter experts to develop a plan to deliver on the medicine vision
  • Lead the team to identify core risks to the delivery of the molecule and path to the medicine itself and putting into place plans to mitigate these risks
  • Understanding next steps for the project and proactively engaging appropriate subject-matter experts to plan and execute
  • Responsible for establishing the decision / inflection points that enable data driven project decision-making
  • Define and execute the target validation, lead identification and lead optimization strategies for your projects
  • Able to reconcile data; at time with conflicting data, to make informed recommendations

Matrix Leadership - Build and nurture high performing project teams

  • Lead and inspire, be curious and strategic, and clearly communicate to the team and senior leaders
  • Drive urgency across your teams to deliver timely data-driven project recommendations
  • Identify and proactively address diminishers of team performance

Portfolio Context - Understand the strategic positioning of the program to the internal portfolio and competitor landscape

  • Communicate the project value proposition relative to the GSK portfolio and competitive landscape
  • Recommend when GSK should continue to invest in the medicine vision, recommend when to accelerate and when to terminate projects in the portfolio
  • Solicit engagement from the internal and external scientific community, engage in robust dialogue that generates insight and advances scientific understanding of your projects

Why you?

Basic Qualifications

We are looking for professionals with these required skills to achieve our goals:

  • PhD, MD, MSc, or BSc in a scientific discipline of relevance to drug discovery.
  • 10+ years of drug discovery experience.
  • Project leadership experience with delivering clinical candidates or justified terminations.

Preferred Qualifications

If you have the following characteristics, it would be a plus:

  • A demonstrable track record of developing and delivering successful outcomes through a diverse team.
  • A demonstrable ability to influence without authority in a highly matrixed environment.
  • Experience in the fields of immunology, neuroscience, genetics or functional genomic target progression.
  • Proven ability to think and plan strategically, to lead and work with members of other functions within a matrix environment.
  • Familiarity with modality selection and screening strategies for discovery projects.
  • Ability to integrate and lead a team of multi-discipline experts including biology, chemistry, safety assessment, computational sciences, clinical scientists, translational scientists, and others.
  • Ability to align resources (people and financial), team objectives and strategies behind the vision; ensures resource gaps are identified and where possible, filled or managed.
  • Create and lead an empowered, motivated team where diversity of thought is encouraged.
  • Able to engage and leverage internal and external networks to drive performance and results.
  • First-hand experience of all phases of early drug discovery from target validation to candidate selection.
  • Understands the entirety of R&D across discovery and development.
  • A demonstrable track record of developing and delivering successful outcomes through a diverse team
  • A demonstrable ability to influence without authority in a highly matrixed environment
  • Experience leading multiple projects concurrently

For Project Leader roles located in the PL CoE, please follow the links below:

Senior Director: [Register to View] site.