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Senior Director, Research

Exact Sciences Corporation

This is a Full-time position in Phoenix, AZ posted November 10, 2021.

The Senior Director, Research works on multiple projects that are extremely complex in scope, often across multiple groups and sites.

As a technical expert and a leader, the Senior Director, Research is responsible for providing overall directions, technical insights, guidance, and mentoring to all the scientists to ensure successful planning, design, and execution of projects.

This position plays a critical role in evaluating early research and discovery projects, translating into actionable results to help determine project decisions, and communicating these to senior management.

The Senior Director, Research is responsible for determining the scope, technical difficulty, plan, time, resource, and risks associated with new assignments and projects.

This position will be involved in early research and discovery projects serving as a thought leader and subject matter expert by directing and guiding exploratory research on new technologies.

This position provides leadership to an assigned team of scientists by defining clear and realistic goals, clearing barriers to success, and understanding of skills and tasks associated with successful execution.

This person is responsible for supporting a collaborative environment that promotes positive teamwork where all members are working for the good of Exact Sciences.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

• Provide leadership and technical guidance and mentorship to a team of research associates and scientists.

• Work on significant and unique issues where analysis, situations, or data requires an evaluation of intangible variables and may impact future concepts, products, or technologies.

• Work on multiple projects that are extremely complex in scope, often across multiple groups and sites.

• Determine the scope, technical difficulty, plan, timeline, resources, and risks associated with new assignments and projects.

• Present and clearly communicate findings of research at data meetings, group meetings, and project team meetings to determine the next steps and the path forward for successful outcomes.

• Identify, adapt, and advance new technology initiatives.

• Exercise latitude and independent judgement to determine methods and procedures or technologies on new assignments and provide ideas for new techniques.

• Maintain thorough knowledge of technological industry developments; provide technical assessment, guidance, and help with Go/No Go decisions when evaluating or developing technologies, methods, and procedures.

• Provide deep scientific leadership and technical input and help guide decisions affecting project planning and experimental design or product development.

• Prepare, provide, and present information and data for scientific abstracts, industry conferences, project meetings, or publications.

• Prepare manuscripts of major findings and research outcomes for review and publication.

• Perform complex analyses and present results and data driven outcomes to Senior Management, as well as to a variety of audiences throughout the organization.

• Contribute to the intellectual property portfolio by implementing innovative and creative ideas to solve problems or improve on current methods, as well as guide and shape nascent ideas that are presented by the scientists and team members.

• Provide help with IP disclosure and assist in answering questions related to IP filings.

• Provide guidance on the generation and documentation of development plans for critical projects.

• Prepare, review, and approve detailed technical procedures, protocols, and reports.

• Evaluate impact of nonconforming data to product or process.

• Prepare reports and documentation and provide highly technical analysis or summarization of experimental results and project/study outcomes, next steps and provide future direction of the project, and help senior management/project teams with determining Go/No Go decisions.

• Present/review experimental results/outcomes and defend scientific ideas and findings at project or departmental meetings; provide technical leadership at these meetings.

• Share ideas and be receptive to new ideas when collaborating within and across departments.

• Work on problems which are extremely complex in scope in which analysis of data requires an evaluation of intangible variables.

• Exercise independent judgment in developing methods, techniques, and evaluation criteria for obtaining solutions.

• Question the status quo and seek and evaluate improvements to existing technologies, processes, or methods.

• Undertake independent and collaborative research to meet department and project objectives.

• Provide well thought out project plan and timeline and successfully deliver by prescribed deadlines.

• Provide expert knowledge of scientific principles and concepts, on projects that are extremely complex in scope, and help guide Go/No Go decisions.

• Act as subject matter expert and strategic leader in departmental, team, core team, and/or cross-functional meetings and provide guidance to leadership when required.

• Supervise direct reports; including, but not limited to, organize, and prioritize work, write/conduct performance reviews, train/develop, and manage work performance.

• Communicate goals clearly to employees to ensure understanding and success in achieving them.

• Motivate and inspire employees to do their best work through coaching.

• Maintain morale and support employee engagement initiatives.

• Promote an open, collaborative environment built on trust to foster positive teamwork that allows for free exchange of ideas.

• Invest in developing talent to meet both career goals and the organizations goals.

• Build strength-based teams; apply diverse skills and perspectives to achieve current and future business needs.

• Develop formal networks with key decision makers, both internally and externally.

• Apply deep scientific expertise, innovation, creativity, collaboration with others and independent thought.

• Plan, recommend, and lead activities that account for prioritization of organizational and department goals.

• Train, guide, and mentor all levels of scientists.

• Organize, present, and convey complex problems or issues.

• Communicate clearly and frequently with all levels of the organization; including team members, project team members (core and extended), functional managers, clinical lab, and other stakeholders.

• Create and deliver high quality presentations that effectively communicate and tie into a cohesive story the project status and/or experimental results.

• Apply qualitative and analytical skills with strong attention to detail.

• Ability to effectively work on several varied projects at one time, with frequent changing priorities.

• Excellent analytical, problem solving, and decision-making skills.

• Exercise technical proficiency, scientific creativity and rigor, and independent thought when challenging and debating scientific ideas.

• Apply sound technical ability and knowledge.

• Apply experimental knowledge and outcomes to new and valuable problems; ability to make predictions based on a deep understanding of the fundamental nature of the inputs into a decision or action.

• Uphold company mission and values through accountability, innovation, integrity, quality, and teamwork.

• Support and comply with the company’s Quality Management System policies and procedures.

• Regular and reliable attendance.

• Ability to work nights and/or weekends.

• Ability to lift up to 20 pounds for approximately 5% of a typical working day.

• Ability to work on a mobile device, tablet, or in front of a computer screen and/or perform typing for approximately 50% of a typical working day.

• Ability to grasp with both hands; pinch with thumb and forefinger; turn with hand/arm; reach above shoulder height.

• Ability to comply with any applicable personal protective equipment requirements.

• Ability to use various types of laboratory equipment; including microscopes, microtomes, blades, strainers, and pipettes for extended periods of time.

• May perform repetitious actions using lab tools.

• Ability to use near vision to view samples at close range.

• May be exposed to hazardous materials, tissue specimens, and instruments with moving parts, lasers, heating and freezing elements, and high-speed centrifugation.

• Ability and means to travel between Exact Sciences locations.

• Ability to travel 10% of working time away from work location, may include overnight/weekend travel.


Minimum Qualifications

• Ph.D.

in life sciences, medical technology, clinical laboratory science, chemical/physical/biological science, or field related to the essential duties of the position; or Master’s degree in life sciences, medical technology, clinical laboratory science, chemical/physical/biological science, or field related to the essential duties of the position and 4 years of related experience in lieu of a Ph.D.; or Bachelor’s degree in life sciences, medical technology, clinical laboratory science, chemical/physical/biological science, or field related to the essential duties of the position and 6 years of related experience in lieu of Ph.D.

• 16+ years of industry or academia experience in biology and/or chemistry.

• 14+ years of experience in medical device/IVD, biotech, life science, or pharmaceutical industry.

• 5+ years of experience leading or directing people and/or project teams.

• Demonstrated thought leader in the principles of molecular biology, biochemistry, next-generation sequencing (NGS), genomics, and/or protein research.

• Demonstrated leadership in the area of product/assay research, design, or development.

• Demonstrated success and being accountable for leading cross-functional research teams on multiple projects.

• Advanced understanding of GMP, ISO, and Quality Systems.

• Proficient in Microsoft Office to include Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.

• Authorization to work in the United States without sponsorship.

• Demonstrated ability to perform the Essential Duties of the position with or without accommodation.

Preferred Qualifications

• 20+ years of experience in medical device/IVD, biotech, life science, or pharmaceutical industry.

• 7+ years of experience leading or directing people and/or project teams.

• Previous experience as a project lead for a team of scientists.

• Experience in a pharmaceutical or biotech manufacturing environment, preferably in a GMP and/or ISO environment.

• Previous industry experience in product development or research.

• Experience in PCR and molecular biology.

• Experience with genomic databases and software.

• Previous experience working in a molecular diagnostics/clinical laboratory setting.

• Experience in protein testing platforms and research/assay development.

• Background containing a substantial amount of laboratory work including troubleshooting.

• Demonstrated knowledge of DNA/RNA purification.

• Knowledge of statistical models for data analysis and results reporting.

• Demonstrated experience of different NGS methodologies and 5+ years of experience conducting NGS research.

We are an equal employment opportunity employer.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, creed, disability, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and any other status protected by applicable local, state or federal law.

Applicable portions of the Company’s affirmative action program are available to any applicant or employee for inspection upon request