Director, Project Management

Requisition ID: PRO017563

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.¬ 

Under the broad guidance of the Executive Director or the VP / SVP, GPM, the core responsibility of this senior PM role will be to independently manage development programs and / or due diligence/business development activities, regardless of complexity, phase or program type, based on direct experience and / or 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, GPM may be expected to take on one of the following important responsibilities:¬  1) direct management of 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 Merck, MRL, GPM or team performance.¬ 

Management of Development Teams (40 - 60%):

  • Able to independently manage development projects and / or due diligence efforts of any type, including those which require extensive experience with drug / vaccine / biologics development, the Merck organization, and Merck processes and 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 / PM Operational Support (40 - 60%):

In addition to managing development projects, will do one or more of the following:

  • Line manage or matrix mentor Project Managers. In addition to "administrative management" of staff for line managers, expectations are that the incumbent (M3) will also 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 MRL/ Merck processes relating to development team management (eg. VLAD, EDP creation, contracting, etc.), PM skills and team management.¬  Administrative management (M3) includes working with staff to 1) set appropriate objectives and monitor against these, 2) provide career guidance and ensure employees have Employee Development Plans and meaningful discussions on an ongoing basis, 3) ensure compliance with training, policy and procedures, and 4) conduct effective calibration of employees and provide objective and honest assessments, including taking corrective measures if employee performance does not meet expectations.¬ 

  • 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 Merck 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 (eg. leading efforts to improve planning systems / platforms, etc.) or to improving the functioning of teams and / or development processes.¬ 

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



  • Bachelor's Degree required with a concentration in a scientific - related discipline strongly preferred.¬ 

  • Advanced scientific degree (e.g., MS, PharmD, Ph.D.) preferred.¬ 

  • Project Management certification / training (PMP) and / or coursework & training in Project Management preferred.¬  ¬ 

Experience and Skills:

  • Six (6) years of experience in PM or related role / expertise in pharma and / or biotech required.¬ ¬ 

  • Twelve (12)+ years of relevant experience preferred, or equivalent combination of advanced education and relevant experience and/or training.¬ ¬ 

  • Extensive experience with the 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.¬ 

  • Sufficient skill levels and technical understanding of product development to be recognized as a Project Management / product development expert within MRL and Merck.¬ 

  • Able to establish networks quickly and leverage them appropriately.

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

  • 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 GPM and teams.¬ 

  • Well developed and effective team facilitation and leadership skills; able to establish cooperative team environments.¬ 

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

  • Demonstrated ability to manage, mentor and coach employees and set high standards for performance; has highly developed interpersonal skills and respected by colleagues for good judgment and fairness.¬ 

  • An effective communicator.

  • Demonstrated accomplishment and skill in oral and written communication.¬ 

  • 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.¬  ¬ 

  • Contributes and drives discussion in team forums.¬ 

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 staffingaadar@merck.com.

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Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully:¬ 

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.


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Job: Product Dev Proj/Prog Mgmnt
Other Locations: Upper Gwynedd, PA, US
Employee Status: Regular
Travel: Yes, 10 % of the Time
Number of Openings: 1
Shift (if applicable): N/A
Hazardous Materials: None
Company Trade Name: Merck

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