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Director, Oncology Project Management

Location Cambridge, England, United Kingdom Job ID R-087451 Date posted 07/24/2020

AstraZeneca is a global innovation driven biopharmaceutical business and we are investing very heavily in our scientific and clinical capabilities. We discover, develop, manufacture, and market small molecules and biologics for important areas of healthcare, which include some of the world's most serious illnesses: oncology, cardiovascular, infection, autoimmune, respiratory, and inflammation.

We are active in over one hundred countries with a growing presence in emerging markets including China, Brazil, Mexico and Russia. We employ over 50,000 people and invest over $5 billion in R&D each year.

We are proud to have a unique workplace culture that inspires innovation and collaboration. Here employees are empowered to express diverse perspectives and are made to feel energized, valued and rewarded for their ideas and creativity.

We are looking for a new Director of Project Management in the GPPM organization. This is a key leadership role accountable for ensuring that cross-functional drug development teams achieve key strategic objectives and deliver development, regulatory and commercial milestones. 

As the Director of Project Management, you will beassigned to lead the programs which GPPM deemed to be of highest complexity, scale and of high priority to the company.  You will also be accountable for leadership within the GPPM organization, including identification and resolution of cross-team issues impacting key drug development processes which GPPM is accountable for / supports.  You will be a key coach and mentor to other project managers and team members and may also have direct reports.

This opening is within a novel oncology program approaching critical milestones extending across Ph1 to Ph3 development.   The program team is part of a larger asset franchise and partnered development alliance and would benefit from a Director of Project Management who can partner closely with the Global Product Leader during this critical time.


Development of Program Strategy

  • Provides program management leadership through active input into the program and project strategy & vision, ensuring alignment of the program strategy with operational delivery
  • Ensures projects and sub-project strategies align with overall program and franchise strategies
  • Leads the drug project strategy or cross-project and portfolio strategies
  • Ensures appropriate linkages between project strategy and key internal processes (Therapeutic Area strategy, TA prioritization, corporate scorecard)
  • Identifies key business opportunities or need for strategic shifts based on external and internal events

Team Leadership and Delivery

  • Creates a shared sense of purpose, inspires and energises others
  • Coaches project teams towards successful issue resolution and decision making and focuses the team on the right activities at the right time. Identifies development opportunities for team members
  • Serves as a leader and key point of contact to drive efficient operation of the early and/or late stage project teams including overall plans, priorities, budget and risk management
  • Coordinates the efforts of sub-teams to ensure delivery at multiple levels of the development team
  • Engages with critical stakeholders outside of team to address barriers or challenges facing team

Governance and Investment Decisions

  • Leads team towards optimized governance decisions – e.g. evaluate multiple strategic options and can drive team to value-maximizing drug development decisions
  • Provides guidance to both the team and senior management / governance bodies that allows efficient (timely and informed) decision making
  • Leverages broad influential network and ensures engagement at all levels prior to key decisions

Planning, Monitoring and Delivery

  • Ensures that overall team deliverables, budgets, schedules, and performance standards are realistically set, governance approved and attained, and that the project effectively fulfils all business reporting requirements.
  • Directs project support staff in maintaining plans of the highest data quality, accountable for all integrated Project Management deliverables associated with the program


  • Serves as a role model for cross-functional collaboration and effective conflict resolution.
  • Leads by example in learning, innovation seeking opportunities to change paradigm and removes barriers within and outside the team.
  • Uses business knowledge to drive cross-project learning, champion and embed better ways of working across the enterprise, helping to establish new company best practices.

Skills and Experience


  • Advanced degree in in a scientific or technical drug development subject or equivalent work experience
  • Extensive experience leading drug development projects including success in multiple roles/environments related to drug development
  • Expert project manager with successful track record of delivering complex/ high business impact drug development projects within agreed time, quality and cost.
  • Experience in improving drug-development related business processes or ways of working to improve speed, cost, timing or effort associated with project delivery
  • Experience working with development partners within a strategic alliance
  • Skilled at building, motivating, leading and inspiring high performing teams
  • Expert knowledge of project management tools and processes.
  • Experience ensuring high quality data in enterprise systems
  • Track record of effective Senior Stakeholder management, demonstrating strong ability to influence strategically


  • Relevant oncology expertise
  • Experience in direct people management
  • Advanced degree in a scientific discipline and / or MBA
  • Project Management (PMP) Certification
  • Strong internal network with experience in AZ ways of working

AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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Glassdoor logo Rated four stars on Glassdoor

Great culture, great work assignments, supportive management. Rotation opportunity within the company. They value inclusion and diversity.