Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Senior Research Project Manager at Vertex Pharmaceuticals

San Diego, CA
Jan 03, 2019
Required Education
Masters Degree/MBA
Position Type
Full time

Company Information

Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious and life-threatening diseases. We discovered and developed the first medicines to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF), a rare, life-threatening genetic disease. In addition to clinical development programs in CF, Vertex has more than a dozen ongoing research programs focused on the underlying mechanisms of other serious diseases. 

Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Mass., Vertex today has research and development sites and offices around the world. For several consecutive years, Science magazine has named Vertex one of its Top Employers in the life sciences. For additional information and the latest updates from the Company, please visit 

Vertex Pharmaceuticals is seeking a Senior Research Project Manager to manage research and drug discovery projects from the research phase through to early clinical development. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience with small molecule therapeutics.

The ideal candidate will be an innovative, highly motivated project manager with a strong scientific background in preclinical drug discovery research and project management.  The candidate has a proven ability to manage internal research and drug discovery project teams and drive results forward. Responsibilities include the use of best practices for planning and tracking early to late stage research and preclinical projects, setting priorities, and managing the team to deliver results. The candidate will be a team player with well-developed skills for gaining the cooperation of others and ensuring effective communication among team members.

Position Summary: The Project Manager is responsible for overall coordination and planning for projects of large scope, budget and strategic importance. This typically includes research and drug discovery projects in the hit to lead or lead optimization stage through to preparation for regulatory filing. The Project Manager will work with the scientific program leader to oversee, organize and shape research and early development programs to ensure that all goals and milestones are met per agreed upon project specifications.  Effective coordination of numerous disciplines is required for successful execution.  In this role, the Project Manager will work with the team to develop the program plan, execution of the program plan to timelines and budget and ensure appropriate and timely decision-making and progress. The Project Manager sets agenda and chairs recurring project team meetings, and ensures effective cross functional communications are achieved with all team members. The Project Manager will also highlight risks, timeline delays and other issues to Senior Management.  Previous drug discovery and global project team experience is required.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Must be an innovative, driven, highly organized self-starter with the ability to handle multiple activities and comfortable interacting with all levels of management within the company.
  • Demonstrated in depth knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry and the drug development and approval process required.
  • Extensive intermediate to advanced computer skills (Power Point, Excel, Word, MS Project, SharePoint).
  • Proven drug development program management experience in the Research to Early Development stage and ability to develop detailed integrated program plans.
  • Strong communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including people management, time management, organizational, and prioritization skills.
  • Proven ability in negotiating/influencing and collaboration skills.
  • Willing and able to learn new skills to meet changing needs of the organization.
  • Master’s degree in Biology, Chemistry or other related scientific area
  • At least 10 years’ post graduate experience in the Pharma/Biotechnology industry with at least 4 years of formal Pharmaceutical/Drug Discovery program management experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • PhD degree in Biology, Chemistry or other related scientific area, with at least 10 years of post-graduate experience in Pharm/Biotech industry with a minimum of 4 years of formal Pharmaceutical/Drug Discovery program management experience

A desire to be part of a highly innovative company aimed at transforming the lives of people with serious diseases, their families and society


Vertex is committed to equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to a person's race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, marital status, or any characteristic protected under applicable law. Vertex is an E-Verify Employer in the United States. Vertex will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities, in accordance with applicable law. Any applicant requiring an accommodation in connection with the hiring process and/or to perform the essential functions of the position for which the applicant has applied should make a request to the recruiter or hiring manager, or contact Talent Acquisition at