Associate Director, Outcomes Research and Data Science:
Merck USA

Merck USA
Boston Massachusetts
Requisition ID: OUT000496

Merck & Co., Inc. Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A. known as Merck in the United States and Canada, is a global health care leader with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines and animal health products. The difference between potential and achievement lies in the spark that fuels innovation and inventiveness; this is the space where Merck has codified its legacy for over a century. Merck’s success is backed by ethical integrity, forward momentum, and an inspiring mission to achieve new milestones in global healthcare.

Merck is on a quest for cures and is committed to being the world’s premier, most research-intensive biopharmaceutical company. Today, we’re doubling down on this goal. Merck Research Laboratories is a true scientific research facility of tomorrow, and will take Merck’s leading discovery capabilities and world-class small molecule and biologics R&D expertise to create breakthrough science that radically changes the way we approach serious diseases. 

Position Summary:

Who you are: You are a data scientist with interests in population health. You are inherently curious with a strong desire to design and prototype applications for data analytics and interactive visualization in order to reveal relations in data beyond the obvious.

Where you fit in: You will collaborate with and support a diverse set of scientists in the Center for Observational and Real World Evidence (CORE) as you seek to push the boundaries of use of real world data to support product value evidence and other business imperatives. You will help identify business and scientific opportunities as you broaden the scope of collaboration with other functions in the research laboratories. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with IT professionals as you seek to turn meaningful findings into solutions that may be used in care management and clinical decision support. You will do this in a vibrant research environment, with a strong innovative culture.

The ideal candidate will be a seasoned data scientist with experience in large-scale healthcare data analysis, with emphysis on data visualization and user interface design/prototyping. S/he will be experienced working in environments demanding diverse data sources, such as clinical trial data, electronic health record data, insurance claims data, and disease/patient registry data. The candidate must be hands-on and action oriented with a demonstrated ability to deliver on data-driven research projects. The candidate has demonstrated ability to actively listen, integrate input from diverse sources, and collaboratively translate medical or business questions into data and analysis requirements and a clear path forward. 

This role will be required to maintain a deep scientific and analytical understanding of healthcare data, from data generation, collection, integration to its analysis, visualization and interpretation, and to publication. This role will also be empowered to actively improve and innovate upon each of those areas.

Overall responsibilities include:

  • Design and prototype applications for data analytics and interactive visualization
  • Directly participate in multiple analytics projects
  • Collaboratively develop analysis plans based on clinical or business questions, and lead their execution through the use of existing analytic approaches or the development of novel ones.
  • Work with cross functional team to formulate loosely defined problems into concrete deliverables
  • Interpret data analysis results in clinical or business context, and articulate the implications of the results to the business function
  • Represent the Economic and Data Sciences group and its capabilities in meetings with nontechnical peers
  • Work in a fast-paced multidisciplinary dynamic environment, and as necessary create examples, prototypes, demonstrations to help the business better understand innovative solutions
  • Collaborate with team members to meet project checkpoints and accomplish team objectives
  • Support the development of statistical models & methodologies in order to quantify, forecast, predict health metrics of interest
  • Conduct advanced data analysis and utilize/develop appropriate algorithms to discover patterns and associations.
  • Provide organization with necessary insights both from an IT and a business perspective in order to build appreciation for the quantitative tools and analyses and to drive organizational buy in.
  • Effectively communicate findings and methodological approaches


Key competencies, skills, and attributes:

  • Advanced knowledge of a subset of analytical approaches (ex. machine learning, statistical analysis, predictive modeling, visual analytics) and the desire to continually learn and grow your analytical skillset
  • Ability to work with structured and unstructured data
  • Excellent communication skills with an ability to communicate complex matters in laymen’s terms
  • Ability to multi-task and work under time pressure
  • Demonstrated ability to engage in effective joint problem-solving to address key challenges
  • Create mockups to facilitate brainstorming and iteration toward a UI solution
  • Understanding of core design principles
  • Experience building custom visualizations using a JavaScript library such as D3.js or equivalent


Education Requirement:

  • 3+ years experience in pharmaceutical / biotechnology / healthcare / health IT industry
  • Advanced degree (MSc., MPH, PhD) in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Computer Science, Informatics, Mathematics, or related field with a substantial statistical component; or postdoctoral fellowship and/or accredited training in data-related sciences with a substantial statistical component
  • At least 2 years education or experience in observational healthcare data analyses

Required Experience and Skills**:

  • Advanced hands-on knowledge of R and/or Python
  • Working knowledge of SQL and relational databases
  • Experience building custom visualizations using a JavaScript library such as D3.js or equivalent
  • Experience with methods traditionally used in observational research such as causal inference methods, multivariate statistical modeling, etc.
  • The ability to come up with solutions to loosely defined business problems by leveraging pattern detection over potentially large datasets
  • Entrepreneur mindset
  • Effective communication

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Experience with Python is preferred
  • Experience with Spark platforms and related “big data” technologies is preferred
  • Experience working in Cloud Computing environments (ex AWS) is preferred
  • Experience analyzing data from traditional healthcare databases (electronic medical records, claims, etc) is preferred
  • Experience on social media data and mHealth data is preferred
  • Experience using business intelligence frameworks (such as Tableau or equivalent) is preferred

Your role at Merck is integral to helping the world meet new breakthroughs that affect generations to come, and we’re counting on your skills and inventiveness to help make meaningful contributions to global medical advancement. At Merck, we’re inventing for life. 


If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request to [email protected].


Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully: 

Merck & Co., Inc. is not accepting unsolicited assistance from search firms for this employment opportunity.  Please, no phone calls or emails.  All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at Merck via email, the Internet or in any form and/or method without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of Merck.  No fee will be paid in the event the candidate is hired by Merck as a result of the referral or through other means.


Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.


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Job: Outcomes Research -Health Econ
Other Locations:
Employee Status: Regular
Travel: Yes, 10 % of the Time
Number of Openings:
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Company Trade Name: Merck
Basic Qualifications