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INNOVATION LEAD - Digital Science & Innovation

Novo Nordisk
Cambridge, MA
Start date
Sep 16, 2023

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Information Technology, System Administration
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

Job Details

About the Department

Our Cambridge Innovation Center is an extension of our Novo Nordisk Research Center Seattle, Inc. (NNRCSI).  We apply cutting-edge technologies to early R&D projects with the goal of bringing real change to People with Diabetes and Obesity.  Your skills, dedication and ambition will help us change lives for the better. In exchange, we’ll offer you an opportunity to work with extraordinary talent, continuously learn and develop, and drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic conditions.
The team is comprised of collaborative, diverse and passionate people who have a true sense of pride in their work and are committed to helping others grow and develop their careers. You’ll also have a platform to engage with key stakeholders on a global scale throughout the entire pipeline process. And while changing the future of diabetes and obesity treatment is no easy task, we also recognize the importance of an enjoyable workplace, which is why we’ve cultivated a culture of fun, ingenuity and innovation. And our competitive compensation package and support of a healthy work-life balance all add to a best-in-class employee experience. We are changing lives for a living. Are you ready to make a difference?

Open to hiring at Sr. Innovation Lead level commensurate with experience 

The Position

As the direct interface to external partners this role will impact the success of creating a diversified externally anchored research pipeline originating and / or enabled by data science with the specific purpose of:

  • Actively connecting North American partners and Novo Nordisk R&D functions to drive data science concepts (mainly AI / ML) and state-of-the-art data science applications through adaptive partnerships
  • Focus concepts or breakthrough technologies to actively fill Novo Nordisk's (NN’s) need to diversify and grow the R&D pipeline and capability development through data science
  • Actively coordinate and participate in establishing win-win co-creation solutions with a diverse set of innovative and fast paced groups
  • Persistently connect and feed knowledge into the core Novo Nordisk R&D organization



The Innovation Lead reports to the Vice President of the Bio Innovation Hub TRU in Boston. The profile will daily collaborate proactively with colleagues in the Boston organization, external partners including Biotech companies, Venture capital, and Academic Institutions as well as the scientific network within Novo Nordisk: Data Science, Data Science & Innovation, Global Drug Discovery, Global Research Technologies, and the Delivery Research organizations.

The role thus functions as an catalyst between the TRU and the external partners.


Essential Functions

  • Actively engage with the external partners to identify shared opportunities to apply data science for complex challenges in Novo Nordisk (e.g., to directly impact early target discovery, drug design, or real-world evidence)
  • Actively participate in scanning the innovation ecosystem for collaborative opportunities to co-create disruptive data and technology projects with direct impact on our ability to develop breakthrough medicines
  • Validate opportunities and establish co-created research / work plans
  • Drive innovative partnership proposals for governance endorsement
  • Drive projects with partners to generate early ideas/hypothesis for breakthrough innovations
  • Proactively acquire knowledge outside of own core areas of expertise
  • Actively participate in shaping data science concepts to fit Novo Nordisk’s demand for a diversified and innovative R&D pipeline
  • Participate in solving unique and complex problems that have a broad impact on the business from target discovery, molecular design to real world data
  • Collaborate with partners and R&D functions to shape and advance first-in-class data science concepts and/or technology solutions
  • Participate in review of co-created projects, targets and concepts
  • Demonstrate ability to maintain state-of-the-art competences and know-how within field of expertise
  • Actively connect and feed knowledge into the Global Novo Nordisk R&D organization
  • Function as key link between Boston Unit and specific scientific experts within the global research and development organization. Actively engage in learning opportunities in relation to the external partnerships and diverse external engagement models


Physical Requirements

up to 10% overnight travel required. Approximately 5-10% overnight travel activity to global research sites will be part of the job.



  • PhD, PharmD or MD required. Degree within computational biology/chemistry, computer science, or physics preferred
  • 3+ years of experience required
  • Required experience: 
    • Broad knowledge and experience with data science, AI, and machine learning and their applications in early drug discovery, molecular design or real world evidence
    • Proven track record to ideate and advance new concepts using data science (Innovator mind-set)
    • Experience with identifying new strategic areas for data science to transform early research and development in the pharma industry 
    • Strong biotech, pharmaceutical, or tech industry knowledge and understanding 
    • Strong knowledge and skills relevant for Novo Nordisk cross-business understanding 
  • Preferred:
    • The ability to acquire new knowledge quickly
    • Good business understanding across R&D 
    • Experience from co-creating across entities 
    • Experience with a global organization and interculturally competent
  • Managerial experience (if applicable): No line managerial experience required. The incumbent will participate in driving initiatives through influence. Project management skills will be preferred


We commit to an inclusive recruitment process and equality of opportunity for all our job applicants.


At Novo Nordisk we recognize that it is no longer good enough to aspire to be the best company in the world. We need to aspire to be the best company for the world and we know that this is only possible with talented employees with diverse perspectives, backgrounds and cultures. We are therefore committed to creating an inclusive culture that celebrates the diversity of our employees, the patients we serve and communities we operate in. Together, we’re life changing.


Novo Nordisk is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by local, state or federal laws, rules or regulations.


If you are interested in applying to Novo Nordisk and need special assistance or an accommodation to apply, please call us at 1-855-411-5290. This contact is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.


Novo Nordisk is a leading global healthcare company, founded in 1923 and headquartered in Denmark. Our purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases such as obesity and rare blood and endocrine disorders. We do so by pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to our medicines, and working to prevent and ultimately cure disease. Novo Nordisk employs about 54,400 people in 80 countries and markets its products in around 170 countries. For more information visit

Our US Research & Development hub, located in the Greater Boston area, brings together the best talent to drive life science innovation. Located in Lexington, Watertown and Cambridge, our teams reflect the full scope of R&D, from early research through late-stage clinical development. We are building for the future by creating a distinct R&D community based on collaboration, partnerships, and cutting-edge research across multiple modalities and therapeutic areas. We recognize that improving human health starts here and that patients rely on us. By combining the speed and agility of biotech with the quality, resources, and stability of a large pharmaceutical company, our US R&D hub will benefit from the best of both worlds to develop new medicines that meet the needs of patients.


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75 Hayden Avenue
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