Principal Scientist, Epidemiology

Upper Gwynedd, PA, US
April 05 2018
Organization Type
Requisition ID: EPI000263

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. 

Job Summary:

Under the general direction of the Executive Director, Epidemiology, the Principal Scientist, Epidemiology, has responsibility for the design, placement, conduct, analysis, and reporting of pharmacoepidemiologic research studies on assigned Merck products in Infectious Diseases and for providing consultation on epidemiologic issues, as needed.

Key responsibilities include and are not limited to the following:

  • Has overall responsibility for worldwide pharmacoepidemiologic planning and study recommendations for assigned Merck products.  The Pharmacoepidemiology Department supports all drugs, vaccines, and biologics in all therapeutic areas.  The primary focus of this position is Infectious diseases (ID).  Although staff are expected to develop primary subject matter expertise in one or more therapeutic areas, staff may receive assignments in any therapeutic area depending on need.
  • Has lead responsibility for interaction with risk management subteams, value evidence subteams, clinical/regulatory subteams, and other areas of Merck Research Laboratories on epidemiologic matters related to product safety and risk management, post-marketing safety studies, regulatory activities, clinical study design, endpoint qualification/standardization/training for clinical trials, and biomarkers/molecular epidemiology/genetic epidemiology.
  • Has responsibility for the design, conduct, and analysis of epidemiologic research studies on assigned Merck products worldwide.
  • Provides scientific oversight and mentorship to more junior Epidemiology staff.
  • May present epidemiologic research plans and results to internal review and governance committees; to external agencies such as FDA (including advisory committees), EMA, CDC, AHRQ, and WHO; and at scientific conferences.
  • Maintains close working relationships with colleagues in Clinical Safety and Risk Management, Clinical Research, Regulatory, Outcomes Research, Health Economics and Commercial. Assists them in areas where knowledge of epidemiology is relevant.
  • Contributes to Merck's prestige by maintaining recognition as an expert in his/her field; may publish independent scientific research in leading journals, participate in and present at scientific organizations and meetings, and serve as a peer reviewer for scientific journals.
  • May hold academic appointments, teach graduate courses, and supervise Ph.D. dissertations and post-doctoral fellows.


Education Requirement:

  • PhD in Epidemiology or MD with additional research training in epidemiology and at least 2 years of relevant work experience 
  • Alternatively, Master’s degree in epidemiology with at least 4 years of relevant work experience.

Required Experience and Skills**:

  • Experience in the successful direction of epidemiologic projects
  • Knowledge and experience in the application of epidemiologic approaches to problems in the Pharmaceutical or Biotechnology industry
  • Creative problem-solving ability
  • Excellent communication skills (oral and written)

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Background in Infectious Diseases (ID)
  • Experience in conducting ID and/or pharmacoepidemiology studies and activities are preferred for this position
  • Publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • 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


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    Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.


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    Job: Epidemiology
    Other Locations:
    Employee Status: Regular
    Travel: Yes, 5 % of the Time
    Number of Openings: 1
    Shift (if applicable):
    Hazardous Materials:
    Company Trade Name: Merck