Skip to main content
Search roles

Associate Director/Director, Epidemiology

Location Cambridge, England, United Kingdom Job ID R-087638 Date posted 09/04/2020

Would you like to apply your expertise to impact patients lives in a company that follows the science and turns ideas into life changing medicines? Then AstraZeneca might be the one for you!

At AstraZeneca, we put patients first and strive to meet their unmet needs worldwide. Working here means being entrepreneurial, thinking big and working together to make the impossible a reality. If you are swift to action, confident to lead, willing to collaborate, and curious about what science can do, then you’re our kind of person.

AstraZeneca’s vision in Oncology is to help patients by redefining the cancer-treatment paradigm, with the aim of bringing six new cancer medicines to patients between 2013 and 2020.  A broad pipeline of next-generation medicines is focused principally on four disease areas – breast, ovarian, lung and hematological cancers.  As well as other tumor types, these are being targeted through four key platforms – immunotherapy, the genetic drivers of cancer and resistance, DNA damage repair, and antibody drug conjugates, underpinned by personalized healthcare and biomarker technologies.

Epidemiologists at AstraZeneca support drug discovery and development as well as commercialization of pharmaceuticals. Major activities include: critical appraisal and synthesis of relevant epidemiological literature; design, initiation, management, conduct, analysis, and reporting of epidemiological studies, including observational and interventional studies; and development of medical and payer evidence plans to fill critical knowledge gaps, including support to specialized areas (e.g., biomarker development, disease modelling, health economics). 

Epidemiologists interact with internal and external customers to ensure appropriate communication of results to stakeholders, including providing epidemiological support for responses to questions posed by regulatory authorities. They perform research on secondary data (e.g. electronic healthcare databases) either internally or through collaboration with external research and academic groups. Additionally, they design and conduct primary data collection studies (e.g., non-interventional and interventional) through external service providers. 

Epidemiologists support safety and clinical objectives and also work closely with commercial partners to maximize the potential of AstraZeneca’s products and ensure support for appropriate target claims and messages.  Moreover, epidemiologists work close with the payer team to identify, build and close evidence gaps relevant to unlock and maintain the access to the drugs. Finally, they ensure that timeframes are negotiated appropriately for the completion of tasks, and that the tasks are carried out as agreed and results presented effectively.

Progression in the Epidemiology career ladder at AstraZeneca requires an increasingly sophisticated understanding of drug discovery and development, clinical research and epidemiological methods, data sources, informatics tools and techniques, disease pathophysiology, risk management, the regulatory environment in the relevant therapeutic area, and factors that influence successful product differentiation and commercialization. Senior staff are also expected to educate colleagues in the principles and practice of epidemiology. Additionally, senior staff will participate in the development of complex medical evidence strategies and drive decisions within a complex matrix drug team environment.

Main Duties and Responsibilities Overview

The Associate Director/Director, Epidemiology is a strategic as well as scientific role and involves designing and executing effective and efficient epidemiology strategy for drug and enablement projects, sometimes at a global level.  It requires interaction with diverse scientific, technical and business experts to ensure scientific quality and timely, effective project delivery while adhering to ethical requirements and responding to business needs. 

  • You will provide specialist guidance and direction to project teams, senior leaders, and is to collaborate with senior colleagues and peers to ensure optimal management of high-impact project opportunities and risks 
  • You will work independently in the design, execution, analysis, interpretation, and internal and external communication of specific epidemiological studies.  This role requires taking a leadership role in a range of activities
  • You will deliver epidemiology strategy, support, and scientific leadership to project teams and the epidemiology global skills group, at all stages of pharmaceutical development
  • You will manage externally commissioned research projects and keep abreast of epidemiological developments within academia, regulatory, health policy providers, reimbursement authorities and key opinion leaders
  • You will establish, maintain and expand relationships and work effectively with external experts and research groups
  • You will negotiate time frames, provide recommendations on resource requirements, and ensure delivery of the tasks as agreed
  • You will promote good epidemiological practice and represent the company’s position when interacting with external experts, collaborative groups, or contract research organizations.

Essential Requirements

  • Experience in design of studies that support conditional drugs’ approvals (regulatory/reimbursement)
  • Experience in utilizing real world and other data to support value-based outcomes collaborations with health care providers and reimbursement authorities
  • Experience in supporting Global Reimbursement Dossiers and Global Value Packs and utilizing Real World Data to support Payer needs
  • Substantial experience in epidemiological research in drug development or in a closely related academic research area 
  • Ph.D. or equivalent in epidemiology or related health science field and substantial experience in the health care environment and/or outcome researches.  Alternatively, an MSc or MPH with consolidated experience in the health care environment and/or outcome researches
  • Experience in the pharmaceutical industry or in closely related academic epidemiological research
  • Experience managing complex medical and payer evidence plans
  • Sustained productivity in epidemiological research as manifest by successful design, execution, and publication of original epidemiological research relevant to drug discovery and development (e.g., drug safety) or commercialization in peer-reviewed journal
  • Experience in utilizing secondary data and also conducting primary data collection studies
  • Emerging recognition by the external scientific communities as an expert in the application of epidemiology to areas relevant to drug development and commercialization
  • Sustained record of epidemiological productivity at a strategic as well as an operational level
  • Able to effectively engage and consult with recognized key external scientific experts.

Desirable Requirements

  • Able to provide critical appraisal to study designs and published studies
  • Excellent knowledge in epidemiological methodology and ability to apply it within the pharmaceutical industry at an international level
  • Ability to apply advanced epidemiological theory and techniques throughout the product life cycle
  • Good therapeutic and disease area knowledge (Oncology, CVRM, Respiratory) and knowledge of drug development and life cycle management
  • Experience managing complex medical evidence programmes, including interventional studies such as pragmatic trials or/and PASS
  • Experience in Health Economics and Outcome Researches
  • Ability to work effectively with External Experts, Collaborative Groups and Contract Research Organisations

Why AstraZeneca?

At AstraZeneca when we see an opportunity for change, we seize it and make it happen, because any opportunity no matter how small, can be the start of something big. Delivering life-changing medicines is about being entrepreneurial - finding those moments and recognising their potential. Join us on our journey of building a new kind of organisation to reset expectations of what a bio-pharmaceutical company can be. This means we’re opening new ways to work, pioneering cutting edge methods and bringing unexpected teams together. Interested? Come and join our journey.

So, what’s next!

Are you already imagining yourself joining our team? Good, because we can’t wait to hear from you.

Where can I find out more?

Our Social Media, Follow AstraZeneca on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/1603/

Follow AstraZeneca on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/astrazenecacareers/

Follow AstraZeneca on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/astrazeneca_careers/?hl=en



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.

We’ll keep you up to date

Sign up to be the first to receive job updates.

Interested InSearch for a category and select one from the list of suggestions. Search for a location and select one from the list of suggestions. Finally, click “Add” to create your job alert.

Glassdoor logo Rated four stars on Glassdoor

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