Associate Director- Policy Research

Upper Gwynedd, PA, US
January 26 2018
Organization Type
Requisition ID: OUT000480

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. 

Position Summary:

The Associate Director, Policy Research, has the primary responsibility for planning and managing outcomes research activities supporting medication adherence, quality and healthcare policy, based on the evidence requirements of U.S. customers.  This includes all phases of outcomes research including design and implementation of research studies utilizing a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Types of studies may include: rigorous qualitative methodology studies, sociological population studies, intervention studies, program evaluations, retrospective database studies, assessment of patient reported outcomes, epidemiological studies, and support for economic modeling.  

The Associate Director will also partner with cross–functional teams responsible for observational and real world research to design and utilize research that will address policy concerns. Such research efforts will address questions related to overall effectiveness of patient care, identification of areas for improvement in health care systems (both in the quality of care and the efficient use of healthcare resources), and the impact of various policies on aspects of health care systems.

Reporting to the Executive Director of Medical Policy & Quality Research, it is expected that the Associate Director will build knowledge about market access and policy challenges in the U.S. and in other developed markets from a policy perspective to design research to help clearly articulate the value proposition of our medicines and vaccines to governments, payers and health care providers. The Associate Director will also assist the MPQR team in working with product line leaders to translate the impact of current and expected policy changes into actionable research programs to impact how policies are applied to our medicines and vaccines.

As part of the Medical Policy & Quality Research (MPQR) team, it is expected that over time the Associate Director will be given opportunities to participate in external institutional relationships in specific policy areas that impact the Company. The key policy issue areas include relationships with institutions that will 1) influence real world evidence standards and methodologies; 2) impact how such research is utilized; and 3) investigate how observational and real world evidence impacts access decision making across healthcare systems.

Primary Responsibilities:

Designs and conducts studies specific to the evidence and information needs of the US healthcare system and obtains cross-functional agreement as to appropriateness and operational approval.

  • Works closely with the Director of Quality Research within MPQR and cross-functionally to investigate and research health service challenges and policy changes related to the shift to value-based healthcare systems and the implications for the biopharmaceutical industry, specifically addressing policies that impact the quality of care delivered to patients and improvements in health outcomes for patients treated. 
  • Supports the development and evaluation of programs and patient resources that promote preventive positive health behaviors such as treatment adherence, healthy chronic-disease self-management, health literacy and more effective interactions between patients and health care providers.
  • Supports studies validating and assessing the performance of quality indicators and studies investigating relevant healthcare policy issues at the population level.

Works with internal stakeholders and external subject matter experts to write, coordinate, organize and validate as required, study design, protocols, measurement instruments, data analysis plans, modeling reports and final research reports/publications.
  • Works with the Merck Investigator Study Program Committee to evaluate outcomes research study protocols for studies in the US markets.
  • Works closely with US commercial, legal, regulatory affairs and global medical information organizations (via the US Brand PRTs) to effectively develop research and resources that are consistent with US regulatory and compliance requirements to allow dissemination of messages throughout Merck and to external customers.
  • Responsible for maintaining and understanding scientific and methodological developments within his/her areas of research expertise.
  • May travel on company business to develop and maintain external institutional relationships and to assure the timely completion of research projects.
  • Presents relevant outcomes research data at regional and national scientific, outcomes research and public policy forums and congresses. Publishes relevant outcomes research articles in scientific journals.


Education Requirement:

Ph.D. in a discipline related to quality of care, health behavior change, or health policy (e.g. Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Medicine, Health Psychology, Sociology, Health Communications, Public Health)


Combination of MD, PharmD, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), or PhD in Nursing with a Masters degree in a discipline related to quality of care, health promotion, or public policy (e.g. Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Medicine, Health Psychology, Health Communications, Public Health)

Required Experience and Skills:

  • Candidates must have a minimum of three years relevant research experience and a demonstrated track record of scientific research and publication in peer-reviewed journals in areas related to health programming and promotion and/or quality of care and policy research. Experience should also include the design and implementation of health-promotion, patient-education, or quality-improvement interventions along with evaluation design and execution.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to tailor communications materials to specific audiences; fluency in English
  • Ability to work cross-culturally and cross-functionally and internationally to align perspectives and drive to agreed-upon goals
  • Excellent planning, problem solving, and time management skills
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects, including budgets, contracts, and timelines
  • Ability to manage a high volume of important administrative details in a culture of compliance & ethical business practices

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Proven strategic thinking skills and ability to identify and drive creative approaches to changing external conditions
  • Knowledge of, or interest in the pharmaceutical product development process Internal/External consulting and influencing skills; client servicing skill

 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


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:


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Job: Outcomes Research -Health Econ
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Employee Status: Regular
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Company Trade Name: Merck

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