North Wales, Pennsylvania

Job Description

Position Overview:

The Associate Director, Policy Research, has the primary responsibility for planning and executing outcomes research investigating above and across-product policy issues within healthcare delivery systems. This includes all phases of outcomes research including design and implementation of research studies utilizing a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Types of studies may include: rigorous qualitative methodology studies, sociological population studies, intervention studies, program evaluations, retrospective database studies, assessment of patient reported outcomes, epidemiological studies, and support for economic modeling.  

Reporting to the Director of Outcomes Research within the Policy Evidence Research (PER) team, it is expected that the Associate Director will build knowledge about market access and policy challenges in the U.S. and in other developed markets and design and execute research studies to help clearly articulate the value proposition of our medicines and vaccines to governments, payers and health care providers.

The Associate Director will work closely with internal cross-functional stakeholders to translate the impact of current and expected policy changes into actionable research programs to impact how policies are applied to our medicines and vaccines. This work will entail forward-looking assessments and scenario planning to investigate how policy changes in various systems might influence the success of our business.

It is also expected that over time the Associate Director will be given opportunities to represent the Company as a scientific expert and participant in external institutional relationships in specific policy areas that impact the Company. Such areas may include: 1) real world evidence standards and methodologies; 2) principles for utilizing real world evidence for policy decision-making; and 3) scientific expertise related to improving the quality of healthcare, effectiveness of healthcare interventions, and new concepts of value of medicines, etc.

Primary Accountabilities:

  • Develop and execute robust policy and health services research.

  • Work cross-functionally to investigate and research health service challenges and policy changes related to the shift to value-based healthcare systems and the implications for the biopharmaceutical industry, specifically addressing policies that impact the quality of care delivered to patients and improvements in health outcomes for patients treated. 

  • Investigate and build research projects and partnerships that will have an impact (internally and externally) on key areas where U.S. healthcare reform policies are impacting the biopharmaceutical business, including but not limited to: 1) overall effectiveness of patient care in healthcare delivery that incorporates services, medicines and vaccines; 2) patient and provider perspectives on access to care, quality of care, and efficient use of healthcare resources; 3) changes to healthcare systems (related to pandemic, social determinants of health, improving medication adherence, etc); and 4) the impact of various policies on aspects of health care system structure and operation.

  • Responsible for maintaining and understanding scientific and methodological developments within one or more areas of research expertise.

  • May travel on company business to attend scientific conferences and meetings, and to assure the timely completion of research projects.

  • Presents relevant outcomes research data at regional and national scientific, outcomes research and public policy forums and congresses.  Publishes relevant outcomes research articles in scientific journals, translates findings into actionable policies.

Skills, Knowledge, Experience & Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in a discipline related to quality of care, health behavior change, or health policy (e.g. Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Medicine, Health Psychology, Sociology, Health Communications, Public Health, Health Services/Policy Research).

  • (OR)

    Combination of MD, PharmD, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), or PhD in Nursing with a Masters degree in a discipline related to quality of care, health promotion, or public policy (e.g. Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Medicine, Health Psychology, Health Communications, Public Health, Health Services/Policy Research).

  • Candidates must have a minimum of three years relevant research experience and a demonstrated track record of scientific research and publication in peer-reviewed journals in areas related to health programming and promotion and/or quality of care and policy research. Experience should also include the design and implementation of health-promotion, patient-education, or quality-improvement interventions along with evaluation design and execution.

  • Intimate knowledge of US and global health care systems and marketplace, preferably with pharmaceutical industry experience or equivalent.

  • Ability to build product knowledge quickly and effectively, as well as deep knowledge of the pharmaceutical product development process.

  • Understanding of relevant areas of policy debate, policy-making and policy-shaping actions at multiple levels of government.

  • Demonstrated strategic thinking skills and ability to identify and drive creative approaches to changing external conditions.

  • Ability to work cross-functionally, cross-culturally, and internationally to align perspectives and drive to agreed-upon goals.

  • Internal/External consulting and influencing skills; client servicing/consulting skills.

  • Strong leadership skills; ability to assert leadership in virtual teams without direct reporting lines.

  • Track record of success working in diverse, inclusive and collaborative environments involving others in planning, decision making and problem solving where divergent perspectives add value to solutions.

  • Resiliency and ability to excel while adapting to changing work environments and requirements.

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to tailor communications materials to specific audiences; fluency in English.

  • Strong planning, problem solving, and time management skills.

  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects, including budgets, contracts, and timelines.

  • Ability to manage a high volume of important administrative details in a culture of compliance & ethical business practices

We are a research-driven biopharmaceutical company. Our mission is built on the simple premise that if we “follow the science” and that great medicines can make a significant impact to our world. And we believe that a research-driven enterprise dedicated to world-class science can succeed by inventing medicine and vaccine innovations that make a difference for patients across the globe.

We are a global biopharmaceutical leader with a diverse portfolio of prescription medicines, oncology, vaccines and animal health products.

We are driven by our purpose to develop and deliver innovative products that save and improve lives. With 69,000 employees operating in more than 140 countries, we offer state of the art laboratories, plants and offices that are designed to Inspire our employees as we learn, develop and grow in our careers. We are proud of our 125 years of service to humanity and continue to be one of the world’s biggest investors in Research & Development.

What we look for …

In a world of rapid innovation, we seek brave Inventors who want to make an Impact in all aspects of our business, enabling breakthroughs that will affect generations to come. We encourage you to bring your disruptive thinking, collaborative spirit and diverse perspective to our organization. Together we will continue Inventing For Life, Impacting Lives while Inspiring Your Career Growth.





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Requisition ID:R88018

North Wales, Pennsylvania

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit

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