Global Director, Scientific Affairs - Vaccines

Upper Gwynedd, PA, US
October 12 2017
Organization Type
Requisition ID: SCI004523

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.

The Global Director Scientific Affairs-Vaccines (GDSA) will focus on efforts to maximize meaningful bi-directional scientific exchange by incorporating external scientific input into Merck Vaccine Research strategy to impact how Merck discovers, develops, and commercializes new vaccines. He/She will join the relevant MRL late- stage Product Development teams in vaccines, help oversee the investigator- initiated studies programs in vaccines and help to lead a Global Scientific Affairs team, focusing on external scientific congress planning and support. As needed, the GDSA will also provide coordination and integration with Target and Discovery Research in vaccines.

The position will include responsibility for both internal and external commitments:

External Responsibilities:

  • Drive a credible and informed scientific dialogue with global Scientific Leaders in respiratory vaccines, specifically PCV (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine), (responsible for relationships with key global Scientific Leaders across all regions relevant to vaccine strategic priorities, both US and Ex-US).
  • Drive scientific dialogue with external scientific leaders in other vaccine development areas to include but not limited to HPV, VZV, ebola and others as needed.
  • Partner with current ID GDSAs, and colleagues in MRL to execute the Scientific Leadership strategy in alignment with the end-to-end vaccines scientific strategy
  • Partner with colleagues in Global Human Health (Medical Affairs and Commercial teams) to ensure alignment with regional and country scientific leader activities

Internal Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with Merck Research Laboratory (MRL) Leadership in Vaccine Clinical Research and in Early Development and Discovery to develop the Scientific Leadership strategy
  • Establish Areas of Interest, review and approve investigator-initiated studies in vaccines
  • Support and plan MRL activities at major scientific congresses, including collection of competitive intelligence
  • Attract, retain and develop any direct report talent

Primary Activities: (Primary activities included, but are not limited to):

External Activities:

  • Develop individual relationships with global vaccine leaders particularly those experts in Pneumococcal Disease through scientific dialogue pertinent to Merck's interest
  • Lead/participate in Merck-created scientific input forums (MRL consultants meetings and scientific advisory boards)
  • Lead/participate in MRL activities at key global scientific congresses (i.e.: GCV, WVC, ISV, etc.)
  • Ensure relationships with leaders of key professional societies and organizations as well as major academic medical centers
  • Ensure existing Scientific Leaders relationship with Merck scientists are sustained and strengthened via appropriate Scientific Leader engagement plans
  • Maintain credibility by being on leading edge on state of science and shifts in clinical and treatment paradigms

Internal activities:

  • Organize and chair a variety of input seeking forums to gain scientific input from external scientists for Merck Research Laboratory (MRL)
  • Chair the Merck Investigator Initiated Studies Review Committee- responsible for reviewing external investigator initiated scientific study protocols encompassing both pre-clinical and clinical work
  • Coordinate MRL activities at key scientific congresses, including collection of competitive intelligence at the congresses
  • Lead a cross-functional Vaccine Global Scientific Affairs Team
  • Attend and actively participate in both Product Development Clinical sub-teams and Publications sub-teams
  • Coordinate relationships across divisions within Merck, including close connectivity with both MRL and Medical Affairs colleagues/Commercial organization
  • Maintain personal expertise in the disease area science and shifts in clinical and treatment paradigms
  • Utilize the Merck Talent Management and Compensation processes to appropriately assess direct report performance (if applicable), ensure development and equitably recognize and reward talent

Education Requirement:

  • MD


  • Experience:  10+ years, post degree; and significant training/experience in respiratory vaccines is required (in particular expertise in pneumococcal conjugate vaccines is desired). 
  • Multiple publications in vaccines therapeutic area with national/ international recognition is required. 
  • Experience influencing research and development in vaccines is required.
  • Must be able to work in a complex organization environment and have ability to effectively operate in a team-oriented structure.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication (written as well as oral), results-oriented project management, facilitation and consultative skills to influence decision making are required.
  • Experience managing interactions with senior leaders



  • Medical Affairs or Scientific Affairs experience is desired, but not mandatory
  • Publications regarding pneumococcal conjugate vaccines is desired.
  • Subspecialty in pediatric infectious disease or similarly relevant discipline is 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 an accommodation for the application process please email us at   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. Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.  For more information about personal rights under Equal Employment Opportunity, visit:              EEOC Poster             EEOC GINA Supplement

Job: Scientific Affairs
Other Locations:
Employee Status: Regular
Number of Openings:
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Company Trade Name: Merck

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