Skip to main content
Search roles

Emerging Innovations Program Lead

Location Waltham, Massachusetts, United States Job ID R-082113 Date posted 05/18/2020

Emerging Innovations Program Lead

Location: Waltham, MA

Competitive salary and excellent company benefits

Do you have passion for finding and implementing cutting-edge science and technology? Would you like to apply your expertise and impact the science and strategy of 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.

The Emerging Innovations Unit (EIU) within Discovery Sciences is an externally-focused R&D group that takes an entrepreneurial approach to delivering medicines to patients through Open Innovation, drug repositioning and idea incubation. We find and catalyse novel science and technology that could become the ‘Next Big Thing’ in drug discovery and development, with the aim of bringing new medicines and solutions to patients. There is a strong entrepreneurial culture in our team and we work collaboratively to develop our own projects or in partnership with internal and external collaborators. We believe that our success comes from the diversity of the people and experience in our team, and as such we welcome candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds.

You will report into the Associate Director of Emerging Innovations and manage the complex innovation process, finding and catalysing new ideas from outside and inside the business, and leading impactful projects. As a specialist in your field you will be able to identify science, technology platforms and capabilities at the periphery of our current knowledge, and delve deep into the science behind them, quickly becoming an authority and teaching others. You will take ideas and create projects that teach us about their value, run a portfolio of innovation projects and lead small teams of internal and external colleagues, bringing in appropriate expertise where needed.

You will also be an adept verbal and visual communicator, explaining the science and strategy behind your projects to a varied audience, and pitching to senior leaders to get them excited about new ideas that will transform our business. You will need to be entrepreneurial, remaining open to new ways to get ideas off the ground and positive in driving exciting change.

Other Responsibilities will include:

  • Contribute to scouting efforts to find the most exciting, cutting-edge science and technologies that will impact the global life sciences and healthcare industries
  • Grow a network with the global entrepreneurial ecosystem and build relationships with key academic institutions, accelerators and specialists
  • Take a lead on developing new proposals and business cases to secure financial and scientific support for new insights from the Biopharma R&D Leadership Team
  • Produce reports on new areas of science/technology with impact across Biopharma R&D
  • Communicate and educate the organisation on new science and technology trends, building awareness at all levels of the organization
  • Manage risks and compliance at project level, ensuring research qualities aligns with AstraZeneca standards and policies
  • May manage a team as responsibilities/team grows

Essential Requirements

  • An undergraduate or PhD degree in a relevant scientific field
  • Strong scientific knowledge and experience, with deep expertise in chosen field
  • Good scouting/consulting or business development expertise with experience of building investment cases or advising start-ups/companies
  • Experience scouting, analysing or working with disruptive science/technologies (for example but not limited to Quantum Computing, Digital Health etc.)
  • Experience running and helping prioritise global projects with impact at a functional level, involving multiple internal and external partners
  • Some experience working in the global pharmaceutical or life sciences industry across the value chain, with a leaning towards drug discovery and development
  • Evidence of ability to learn quickly, develop expertise and initiate new projects in novel areas
  • Strong ability to structure large amounts of information from a range of sources, including experience in due diligence or market analysis
  • Excellent communication skills demonstrated through interactions with senior leaders (up to CEO-3 level)
  • High proficiency with Microsoft Office applications


  • Experience in start-ups, establishing a new company, technology transfer office or a start-up accelerator
  • Existing network of VC or investment contacts in Cambridge/London

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.

Next Steps – Apply today!

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.