Scientific Project Director - Bio Innovation Hub

Cambridge, Massachusetts (US)
Commensurate with experience (Base, bonus, benefits)
January 06 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Our Cambridge Bio Innovation Hub is a dynamic team equipped with scientific, technical, business and partnering skills to join forces with local Biotech companies and academia to co-create first-in-class therapeutics and medical technologies, and bridge to the Novo Nordisk R&D core organisation.  Applying our expertise and therapeutic focus is an integral part of successfully engaging with our partners and together we will innovate, evaluate, and deliver novel therapeutic concepts into clinical development with the goal of bringing real change to People with cardiometabolic diseases and rare diseases including haemophilia and rare metabolic or blood disorders.  Your skills, dedication and ambition will help us change lives for the better. In exchange, we’ll offer you an opportunity to work with extraordinary talent, continuously learn and develop, and drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic conditions.

The team is comprised of collaborative, diverse and passionate people who have a true sense of pride in their work and are committed to helping others grow and develop their careers. Our core values to foster open dialogue, curiosity, innovative science, adaptability, and ambition define our culture and are the foundation for partner-relationships. They evoke our emotional and intellectual intelligence to discover unique ways to collaborate and ensure that we truly leverage our joint capabilities, share risks and benefits, and evolve together to establish a joint innovation process.

And while changing the future of diabetes and other serious chronic conditions is no easy task, we also recognize the importance of an enjoyable workplace, which is why we’ve cultivated a culture of fun, ingenuity and mutual support. And our competitive compensation package and support of a healthy work-life balance all add to a best-in-class employee experience. We are changing lives for a living. Are you ready to make a difference?

The Position

The Scientific Project Director will drive the Whitehead/Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) collaboration to identify breakthrough innovation opportunities across Novo Nordisk’s therapy areas. The Director will be instrumental to engage in the basic science at the Whitehead/MIT and to be a sparring partner to identify concrete project opportunities. Furthermore, as member of the Novo Nordisk Bio Innovation Hub the role will evaluate novel science and technologies at US based research institutes and biotech companies to identify collaboration opportunities to develop first-in-class product concepts and technology platforms. This role will manage strategic collaborations with top academic institutions and professors in the Boston area and be central in driving and internalizing innovation from this global innovation hotspot. The Scientific Project Director is expected to have a key impact on the start-up and progress of discovery projects, strategic collaborations, technology platforms, and in-licensing of external innovation.

Essential Functions

  • Responsible for the scientific management of the Whitehead/MIT collaboration
  • Secure tangible outcomes from the Whitehead/MIT collaboration and interact with discovery functions across Novo Nordisk Research & Development (R&D) to secure internalization of research outcomes
  • Act as the Novo Nordisk representative in discussions with professors at Whitehead and MIT and interact with project members and stakeholders in Denmark. They will be charged to create a strong connection to the Novo Nordisk (NN) R&D organisation is a prerequisite to drive outcomes
  • Mentor more junior scientists and take part in project discussions on a daily basis in multiple groups, between multiple disciplines and ensure connectivity between partners. The collaboration disciplines are spanning from in vitro disease modeling technology development to exploration of novel mechanisms of gene control in disease thus the role requires working in the interface between chemistry, physics and biology
  • Actively engage with the local external partners to identify adaptive partnership opportunities within break-through therapies
  • Actively participate in scanning the Boston innovation ecosystem for collaborative opportunities to co-create disruptive therapeutic concepts or technology projects
  • Drive processes together with identified partners to generate early ideas/hypothesis for breakthrough innovations
  • Proactively acquire knowledge outside of one’s own core areas of expertise
  • Validate opportunities and contribute to co-created research plans
  • Participate in consolidation of innovative partnership models and proposals for endorsement in relevant Novo Nordisk governance board
  • Actively participate in shaping product concepts to fit Novo Nordisk’s demand for a diversified R&D pipeline
  • Participate in solving unique and complex problems that have a broad impact on the business
  • Collaborate with partners and R&D functions to shape and advance first-in-class product concepts or technology solutions
  • Participate in review of co-created projects, targets and concepts
  • Demonstrate ability to maintain state of the art competences and know-how within field of expertise
  • Actively connect and feed knowledge into the Global Novo Nordisk R&D organization
  • Function as key link between Boston Unit and specific scientific experts within the global research and development organization. Actively engage in learning opportunities in relation to the external partnerships and diverse external engagement models

Physical Requirements

Approximately 5-10% overnight travel activity to global research sites will be part of the job.


  • MD or PhD required. Degree within cardiovascular and metabolic disease area preferred
  • Minimum of 6 years of relevant industry or post-doctoral experience required
  • Broad scientific knowledge within cardiovascular and metabolic area and/or technology platforms including advanced next generation therapeutic concepts
  • Strong project management skills required
  • Strong biopharmaceutical industry knowledge and understanding preferred
  • Good business understanding across R&D preferred
  • Strong intercultural understanding preferred
  • The ability influence others without authority


Also check out our Advisor role at our Cambridge location!


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