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BioPharmaceuticals Medical Evidence – Senior Director, Real World Data Science

Location Mississauga, Ontario, Canada Job ID R-197753 Date posted 08/07/2024

BioPharmaceuticals Medical (BPM) ensures the best patient outcomes by providing healthcare decision-makers around the world with the evidence and confidence they need on AstraZeneca therapies, while supporting our internal stakeholders with medical insight and expertise. BPM provides medical leadership with market participation and connectivity while also impacting the life cycle planning and execution of all our products. BPM aims to lead AstraZeneca in achieving scientific leadership, being a great place to work, and keeping patients at the core of everything we do.

About the role:

The Senior Director, Real World Data Science will play a key role in developing and executing AstraZeneca’s Real World Data (RWD) and analytic strategy to enable evidence generation activities, primarily performance of pharmacoepidemiology studies, as well as developing and championing AZ RWD and analytic tools across the organization. The Senior Director, RWD Science will lead a high functioning data science team that is accountable for the development of evidence and insight generation from AZ’s RWD assets. This role will be accountable for maximizing the value of those RWD investments, inclusive of secondary observational data, secondary analysis of prospective data and related analytic tools. The Senior Director will further lead the Global Evidence organisation’s use of RWD by providing training and awareness programs, and providing as-needed support to country affiliates.

As the team scales, we are looking for a leader to make use of a broad range of industry-leading statistical and machine learning capabilities, and to collaborate across the organization to lead a team of data scientists in driving impact for the benefit of patients around the world.

The Senior Director, RWD Science will utilize their established technical expertise in all aspects of RWD to work across multi-disciplinary teams, including medical leads, epidemiologists and biostatisticians to generate insights and evidence that can inform clinical practice. The role is accountable for line management of the data science team.

In order to accomplish our goals and enable the best patient outcomes, we look for future AstraZeneca leaders to have five (5) core capabilities: a track record of building and maintaining a deep continued connection to medical practice/healthcare delivery; collaborative/matrix management skills with a focus on leading diverse groups (e.g., cultural, geographical, functional) to achieve excellent results in shared goals; strong communication skills with the ability to distil complexity down to what matters to our stakeholders; strong budget & project management skills; strong business acumen.

Role & responsibilities:

  • Lead data scientists, working to provide the algorithmic and methodological expertise necessary to scale our products

  • Lead programming activities related to the preparation, execution and delivery of observational research conducted internally by BPM Evidence, including resource assessment and triage for RWD programming requests

  • Act as player-coach, mentor your direct reports and champion data analysis best practices

  • Hands-on work to prototype models, design and implement methodologies for bias analysis and contribute to tooling – excited to code!

  • Contribute to the strategic and analytical roadmap for the application of machine learning to RWD

  • Work with a cross-functional team to define and clarify analytic requirements, develop analysis plans, ensure data quality standards, and create publication-ready methods and results; and to identify areas for automation and process efficiencies

  • Champion RWD tools, ongoing evaluation and improvements, and active training and awareness programs

  • Provide strategic guidance and create best practice for programming and data management within BPM Evidence for RWD

  • Maintain awareness of new developments in RW analytics, data, and technology which may be applied to the design and execution of observational research and/or the management and reporting of data used in observational research

  • Act as a trusted leader and point of contact between BPM Evidence and other teams utilizing RWE, RWD and tools

  • Line management of the members of the members of the RWD science team

  • Promote and encourage communication within and across departments

  • Recruit, retain and develop personnel through skills development and creation of opportunities for related staff

  • Ensure policy administration and implementation within the organization

  • Maintain an environment that attracts, develops and retains highly qualified employees

  • Ensure  that  SHE  standards  are  adhered  to  for  direct  reports  including  appropriate  work-life balance

  • Carries out effective succession planning


  • Advanced degree in Health/Medical Informatics, Mathematical, Statistical, Computer Science or Life Science or equivalent experience

  • Extensive hands-on experience with RWD analysis

  • Enthusiastic about coaching, mentoring, and career development of RWD Science team members, while also keen to deliver hands-on technical work

  • Substantial experience in R, Python or SAS with strong SQL experience within the pharmaceutical industry

  • Extensive knowledge of programming standards and their application within the pharmaceutical industry

  • Extensive knowledge of the underlying data structure for secondary data resources (e.g., administrative claims, electronic medical records) used in observational research

  • Knowledge of coding dictionaries used by electronic healthcare databases (e.g. ICD9, ICD10, Read code, NDC, CPT4, HCPS)

  • Knowledge of biostatistics and its use in observational studies

  • Knowledge of clinical and pharmaceutical drug development process and associated regulatory requirements and Good Clinical Practice (GCP), e.g. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) guidelines and understanding of external Pharmaceutical and Clinical Programming environment

  • Demonstrated leadership experience in a matrix environment

  • Exceptional communication and presentation skills, both oral and written

  • Excellent organizational and analytical skills with demonstrated ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks

  • Excellent inter-personal, conflict-resolution and team building skills, ability to collaborate with colleagues at all levels in various geographies

  • Vendor and budget management experience

Desirable skills and experience:

  • Experience working and delivering in a global organization

  • Customer focus – ability to consider multiple customer needs while able to take a bigger picture view

  • In-depth understanding of medical strategy, methodologies and tools (RWD, evidence generation, study development and delivery)

Great People want to Work with us! Find out why:

Are you interested in working at AZ, apply today!

AstraZeneca is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to diversity and inclusion and providing a workplace that is free from discrimination. AstraZeneca is committed to accommodating persons with disabilities. Such accommodation is available on request in respect of all aspects of the recruitment, assessment and selection process and may be requested by emailing

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 authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.

50200012 G CDPR

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