Senior Principal Medical Writer

Lake County, IL, United States
Dec 30, 2020
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
About AbbVie
AbbVie's mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people's lives across several key therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology, women's health and gastroenterology, in addition to products and services across its Allergan Aesthetics portfolio. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at . Follow @abbvie on Twitter , Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and LinkedIn .


The Sr. Principal Medical Writer is responsible for writing and managing high priority, complex scientific publications. This individual provides medical writing expertise for multiple compounds and/or projects within a therapeutic area and interfaces regularly with other functional areas including statistics, health outcomes, medical affairs, and clinical development, to ensure accurate and timely delivery of information. The Sr. Principal Medical Writer serves as a scientific writing content expert and often leads and/or participates in special project teams that impact the medical writing and publications processes and policies. It is expected that this individual also routinely assess processes and policies and provides input on updates, as needed. As an experienced writer with publications and project management expertise, it is expected that this individual assists in hiring, training, and mentoring of team members and may manage a team of writers.

  • Serves as medical writing lead on the highest priority and complex scientific publications. Works closely with the Senior Publication Manager/Associate Director, Publications on document strategies. Implements all activities related to the compliant preparation of scientific publications (eg, abstracts, posters/oral presentations, manuscripts)
  • Effectively manages multiple projects and competing priorities. Coordinates the review, approval, and other appropriate functions involved in the production of scientific publishing.
  • Understands, assimilates, and interprets sources of information with appropriate guidance/direction from product teams and/or authors. Interprets and explains data generated from a variety of sources, including internal/external studies, research documentation, charts, graphs, and tables. Challenges conclusions when necessary.
  • Assists in hiring, on-boarding, and training team members. Mentors junior writers in managing projects and producing high-quality publications. May be responsible for supervising team of medical writers including performance assessments, resolving personnel issues, and managing talent retention.
  • Understands and complies with appropriate conventions, proper grammar usage, and correct format requirements per journal/congress, and other governing bodies following applicable guidelines, templates, and SOPs.
  • Participates in or leads initiatives that are applicable to the Medical Writing Team and broader Publications Team.
  • Maintains expert knowledge of requirements and guidance associated with scientific publications. Advises teams regarding compliance with scientific publications as defined in journal/congress guidelines. Learns and applies knowledge of therapeutic area and product to scientific publishing projects.
  • Acts as Subject Matter Expert for assigned computer-based technologies and processes utilized by the department (eg, Datavision, InDesign, templates). Recommends, leads, and implements tactical process improvements.
  • Communicates effectively verbally and in writing with diverse audiences and across various levels within the organization and with external thought leaders.


  • Required Education: Bachelor's Degree. Preferred Education: Advanced degree (ie, PhD, PharmD, Master's Degree). Relevant professional certification/credential (eg, AMWA) is a plus.
  • Required Experience: 2-6 years of medical/scientific publications (or related) experience required in pharmaceutical industry, academia, or related (eg, medical communication agency); people management experience is a plus.
  • Demonstrated abilities in a leadership capacity and strong project management skills are required.
  • Demonstrated expertise in medical writing of all types of publications. Expert in assimilation and interpretation of scientific content with adeptness in ability to translate for appropriate audience. High-level of knowledge in statistical concepts and techniques.
  • Experience with providing coaching, mentoring, training, and addressing performance issues, as appropriate, to help elevate junior team members. Able to influence and help increase the level of skill of team over time.
  • Exercises judgment in distinguishing issues needing elevation, as well as the level to which an issue should be elevated. Proactive at resolving problems; needs little guidance on identifying potential issues, developing/proposing solutions, and executing on the plans.
  • Experience in collaborating cross functionally and participating in cross-functional initiatives that have advanced a group's or department's reach and influence. Ability to navigate relationships with senior management.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills. Superior attention to detail. Expert mastery of English language. Ability to find and correct errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, consistency, clarity, and accuracy.
  • Must continually train/be compliant with all current industry requirements as they relate to publication practices.
  • Note: Higher education may compensate for years of experience. Years of experience may also compensate for lower education.

Significant Work Activities
Continuous sitting for prolonged periods (more than 2 consecutive hours in an 8 hour day)
Job Type
Job Level Code
Equal Employment Opportunity
At AbbVie, we value bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds to develop new and innovative solutions for patients. As an equal opportunity employer we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic.