Associate Director, Research Partnerships

Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research | New York, New York

Background

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) was founded in 2000 with one clear objective: finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease (PD) in our lifetime. The Foundation applies extraordinary scientific, business and media assets to this singular focus—thus creating a unique and dynamic organization. Since inception, MJFF has quickly grown into the largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s disease research worldwide, having funded more than $800 million in research projects in academic and industry labs worldwide. We exist to put ourselves out of business, so we deliberately hold no endowment but instead spend what we raise quickly and efficiently; 88 cents of every dollar spent goes directly to research programs. Core to our philosophy is how we think of our capital and its risk profile relative to other stakeholders in the drug development pipeline. We work aggressively to de-risk various treatment ideas and tools in the hopes of building a robust pipeline of new treatments for patients. Today, the Foundation has about 150 full-time employees.

Within MJFF, Research Partnerships helps support the Foundation’s mission of developing new and improved Parkinson’s therapies through its focus on four key activities:  1) increasing engagement and developing partnerships with various stakeholders, including biopharma, government, nonprofits and patients; 2) developing and managing studies that inform therapeutic development and disease understanding; 3) promoting data accessibility and sharing across the Parkinson’s and broad neuroscience community; and 4) integrating the patient experience and viewpoint across the research spectrum.  This position is focused on supporting our efforts to develop and manage studies that inform therapeutic development & disease understanding.

Job Summary

MJFF takes a holistic approach to investing in PD research, providing both intellectual and financial capital to accelerate patient-centered therapeutic development. As part of this strategy, MJFF sponsors, implements and manages large-scale, observational clinical research studies that address field-wide challenges. The Associate Director position will primarily support the Fox Insight study, MJFF’s landmark online longitudinal study collecting patient-reported data about health-related experiences from volunteers with and without PD. While the Associate Director will work primarily on Fox Insight, it is expected that this position will also afford opportunities to improve project management efficiencies across MJFF sponsored studies. This position will report to the Senior Associate Director, Research Partnerships.

The Associate Director will work closely with internal colleagues from several teams, members of the research community, and external stakeholders to enhance MJFF’s strategy around sponsoring clinical cohort studies. The Associate Director will also play a crucial role in priority team projects, inserting strategic input and oversight. Primary roles and responsibilities include:

Responsibilities

Project Management: Executing strategic action plans and actively managing tasks

  • Design project concepts and execute them in an efficient manner
  • Perform due diligence on new strategies, tactics and potential partners; solicit buy-in for recommendations and implement on next steps
  • Trouble shoot and problem solve as issues arise; excellent decision-making and ability to make judgment calls on tough issues
  • Ability to think big picture and strategically while maintaining excellent attention to detail
  • In the near term, specific projects will be to: 

‒       Develop, execute and oversee the implementation of ongoing or developing sub-studies and/or ancillary research that require collaboration internally with cross-functional colleagues as well as externally with partner organizations

‒       Actively evaluate the efficiency and progress towards study goals and proactively make suggestions and solicit buy-in for improvements

Relationship Management:

  • Cultivate relationships across partner organizations that span academic, non-profit, and industry
  • Work with external study leadership of MJFF-sponsored studies to ensure alignment with study objectives
  • Represent MJFF at appropriate meetings, conferences and other venues

Requirements/Other

MJFF-sponsored studies are complex, involving diverse stakeholders from non-profit, government, academic, industry, and patient sectors, each with their own perspectives. A proactive and flexible project manager is required for this role, and successful applicants will have a keen ability to connect dots, process new information and adjust accordingly.

Strong candidates must have project management experience, outstanding communication skills (oral and written), and experience developing and implementing new projects where there is no existing roadmap.  This is a full-time onsite position located in New York City. The Associate Director must also be willing to travel as needed, but is expected to be < 5%.

 

Ideal candidates will also possess:

  • Entrepreneurial mindset; proactive and solutions-focused attitude
  • Sophisticated project management skills, ideally with 4 - 6 years’ experience managing complex projects
  • Knowledge of and experience with clinical study design & operations
  • Expert internal and external relationship management skills and integration with individuals from all levels of an organization; ability to understand individual stakeholder goals and objectives 
  • Ability to balance multiple initiatives and prioritize activities
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills, including presentation experience
  • Commitment to teamwork; ability to collaborate and manage projects with and through others; ability to influence action without direct authority
  • Willingness to adapt when necessary; comfortable with ambiguity and flexible to changing business dynamics and priorities
  • Ability to work productively and proactively, both independently and as part of a team
  • Entrepreneurial mindset; proactive and solutions-focused attitude

Preferred but not required:

  • Prior management and/or team leadership experience
  • Work experience within clinical research or the healthcare sector

How to Apply

Interested candidates should submit a resume and thoughtful cover letter here.  We ask that you do not contact our staff directly and no phone inquiries please. Applicants who best match the position needs will be contacted.  Submissions without cover letters will not be considered.

Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research