Merck Associate Director, Project Management in Upper Gwynedd, Pennsylvania

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.

Global Project and Alliance Management (GPAM) sits in the R&D organization at Merck (Merck Research Laboratories, or MRL). The Project Managers and Alliance Managers in GPAM are core members of discovery, development, and alliance teams at Merck. Project Managers drive these cross-functional teams to deliver projects and products that improve human health and Merck’s business, and Alliance Managers ensure successful collaborations with our R&D alliance partners. The GPAM Project Management Office (PMO) is responsible for the development, sustainment, and training of GPAM-owned systems, tools, and business processes as well as alignment with Finance, IT, and functional area operations groups within Merck. The open position is specifically for the role as project manager.

Position Description/Summary

The Associate Director, Project Management, is a core functional area member of Early Development and/or Product Development Teams (EDTs and PDTs, respectively), partnering with team leaders to plan and execute Merck’s development and in-line portfolio efforts. Projects may be internal or part of alliance agreements with external research and development partners. Project managers may manage cross-functional, cross-divisional, and/or alliance governance committees and are expected to contribute to ongoing business process improvement and talent development in GPAM. Specific responsibilities may include:

Independently managing projects in any phase of development (discovery, preclinical, clinical, lifecycle management) in any therapeutic area, including molecular entities of any modality (small molecule, biologic, vaccine, combination product). Projects range in priority, pace, and complexity, and may include one or more alliance partners.

Guiding teams through creation, management approval, execution, and termination/closeout of integrated project plans appropriate to the phase of development and complexity of the project. This includes integration of strategic and tactical input from diverse disciplines (e.g., biology, chemistry, pharmacology, clinical, regulatory, access, supply, and other areas), as applicable to the project.

Contributing to, synthesizing, and articulating program strategy and translating it into execution.

Collaborating effectively with functional areas, support functions, and alliance partner functions (if applicable) to facilitate project delivery.

Leveraging relationships and networks to improve and enhance team dynamics; proactively identifying and removing obstacles to drive business results.

Providing Merck organizational and process expertise to teams to enable navigation of discovery, development, and corporate governance and business requirements.

Ensuring project schedules and risk management plans are fully developed and updated, governance contracts are adhered to, change control procedures are followed, and communications within and from the team are clear and effective.

Partnering with Finance to ensure resources/budgets are planned and managed. This may include tracking and managing partner activities that drive FTE expenses in discovery or development alliances, in partnership with the Alliance Manager.

Preparing regular reports that summarize project status/issues and documents/presentations for senior management/governance committees/alliance committees.

Maintaining accurate project data in enterprise databases.

Preparing for, facilitating, and documenting outcomes of team meetings, ensuring meetings have clear purpose and objectives and that conflict is surfaced and resolved.

Managing or administrating strategic, cross-functional or cross-divisional management, governance, or alliance committees

Providing mentoring, coaching, and oversight to Specialist/Senior Specialist project managers working on common projects

Actively participating and completing ongoing training and personal development activities to increase leadership competency and to gain knowledge and skill in the discipline of project management and the business and science of pharmaceutical product discovery and development.


Bachelor’s degree required; concentration in a scientific or applied discipline strongly preferred

Five to ten (5-10) years of experience in project management or a related role required

Demonstrated leadership and ethics; demonstrated ability to hold others accountable for delivery

Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a team setting, including demonstrated experience building and leading teams, committees, task forces, etc.

Strong collaboration and problem-solving skills; able to establish good working relationships with employees at all levels, resolve conflict and provide feedback, and to devise and implement creative solutions to problems

Strong communication skills, both oral and written; demonstrated ability to speak up appropriately and to raise issues to teams and management

Preferred Qualifications

Advanced degree (e.g., MS, MBA, PhD, PharmD) preferred

Experience in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industries strongly preferred, including significant discovery or product development experience/exposure

Project management certification (PMP) and/or formal coursework/training in project management strongly preferred


Yes, 5-10% of the time

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.

For more information about personal rights under Equal Employment Opportunity, visit:

EEOC Poster

EEOC GINA Supplement

Merck is an equal opportunity employer, Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran – proudly embracing diversity in all of its manifestations.

Job Product Dev Proj/Prog Mgmnt

Other Locations: NA-US-NJ-Rahway

Title: Associate Director, Project Management

Primary Location: NA-US-PA-Upper Gwynedd

Requisition ID: PRO017351