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Data Science Director

Location Gaithersburg, Maryland, United States Cambridge, England, United Kingdom Gothenburg, Västra Götaland County, Sweden Job ID R-076164 Date posted 03/02/2020

Data Science Director

Location(s) – Gaithersburg (US), Cambridge (UK) or Gothenburg (Sweden)

Salary – Competitive salary and company benefits apply

Would you like to be a part of a Data Science & Artificial Intelligence (DS&AI) group who has direct strategic impact on drug development, playing a key role in getting medicines to patients?

At AstraZeneca, we are constantly pushing the boundaries of science to deliver life-changing medicines to patients, with a real passion for discovery and a pipeline to show for it. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives every single day.

AstraZeneca is looking to invest in the data management and analysis platforms underlying its existing and emerging drug discovery technology, through its long term Growth Through Innovation Strategy. Within the new Data Science and AI Group, you will be working with colleagues to build data management and analysis foundations for the future.

The [Data Science & AI] team collaborates across R&D to drive innovation through data science and AI. Together we aim to:

  • Improve our understanding of disease and uncovering new targets
  • Transform R&D processes
  • Speed the design and delivery of new medicines for patients

You will play a pivotal role in a rapidly growing team analysing and manipulating various types of biomedical datasets and generating the insights from our complex data that brings innovative medicines to patients faster.  In this role, you will apply your expertise in machine learning, quantitative data analysis and leadership to develop innovative data science solutions across multiple therapeutic areas (Respiratory, Autoimmunity, Inflamation, Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism) in clinical drug development.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provides advanced data science expertise to cross-functional AstraZeneca projects and drives delivery of advanced data science solutions in high pressure and high impact situations.
  • Applies a range of data science methodologies, can fluently use a range of data science techniques, and is recognised as expert on one or more specific data science methodologies.
  • Develops novel data science solutions where off-the-shelf methodologies do not fit.
  • Supports the strategic planning of the department by providing data science leadership
  • Define project requirements from interactions with senior stakeholders and collaborators across R&D functions, oversee delivery and stakeholder management
  • Leads moderate (4-5 person) data science projects with cross-functional teams or impact.
  • Coaches and mentors junior data scientists
  • Publishes work to ensure that AstraZeneca drives the data science agenda in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Develops best practice to ensure that data science work is delivered to robust quality standards.
  • Ensures own work is compliant within Clinical Development, and other appropriate regulations and procedures.
  • Collaborate in a multidisciplinary environment with world leading clinicians, data scientists, biological experts, statisticians and IT professionals
  • Develop collaborations with external academic and commercial enterprises
  • Maintains an external profile as an expert in one or more machine learning/data science areas.

Essential Requirements

  • MSc degree in rigorous quantitative science (such as mathematics, computer science, engineering) with 10+ years of relevant experience OR PhD degree in rigorous quantitative science (such as mathematics, computer science, engineering) with 8+ years of relevant experience
  • Practical software development and analytical skills in standard data science tools (such as R, Julia or python) and database languages (e.g. SQL)
  • Significant hands-on experience analysing and interpreting data, drawing conclusions, defining recommended actions, and reporting results across stakeholders
  • Knowledge of statistics and optimization techniques
  • Experience of manipulating and analysing large high dimensionality unstructured biomedical datasets
  • Extensive hands-on experience applying data science tools in practice.
  • Excellent Communication, business analysis, and consultancy skills.
  • Demonstrated experience articulating business questions and using mathematical techniques to arrive at an answer using available data.
  • Significant experience post-graduate degree in Machine Learning
  • A passion to apply machine learning to tackle difficult problems in drug development

Desirable Requirements

  • Experience within the pharmaceutical industry
  • In-depth experience of working in a global organization with complex/geographical context
  • Strong track record of delivering large, cross functional projects
  • Experience in novel methods development and application
  • Significant post-graduate degree in leading and delivering impactful data science projects
  • Multiple published papers and/or patents, contribution to external open source projects

Next Steps – Apply today


To be considered for this exciting opportunity, please complete the full application on our website at your earliest convenience – it is the only way that our Recruiter and Hiring Manager can know that you feel well qualified for this opportunity.  If you know someone who would be a great fit, please share this posting with them.

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