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Director Swine Biologicals Research & Development

Merck Animal Health

Last Updated: 6/09/21

Job Description


Job Description

Our Animal Health Research Laboratories team work tirelessly to invent solutions to improve the health and well being of animals. Our state-of-the-art research facilities create an environment of innovation that enable us to create breakthrough science changing the way we approach animal health challenges.

Director Bio R&D Swine

Department: Global R&D - Bio

Reports to: Global R&D Species Head Swine

Supervises: Species specialists and Project Leaders in Swine Biologicals

Location: DeSoto, KS, USA

Purpose of Job:

  • To contributes to the Global Strategic vision with regards to the current and future biological product needs of the company and customers for the swine industry.
  • To direct and be accountable for part of the global biological research including associated budget and development portfolio within the field of Swine Biologicals products
  • To manage one or more significant global projects within Swine R&D
  • To facilitate and coordinate resources to ensure optimal and continuous workflow and coherent communications of Swine projects throughout the R&D community.


The Animal Health R&D organization for the development of biologicals is organized as a matrix organization with a primary focus on 5 Species groups (Aquatic, Companion Animals, Poultry, Ruminants and Swine) and Discovery and Technology (D&T), which performs basic research and serves all species. The Species and D&T organizations are the hierarchical structures of the global R&D Biologicals organization and shape and perform the global R&D project portfolio.

The role of the R&D Director is to support the Global Species Head in the overall management of the assigned R&D projects and assist in defining and executing the global swine biologicals portfolio and strategy.


Help drive, in collaboration with the Species head and International Marketing, the strategic plan for the Species to ensure a continued market leader position. In his/her role, the R&D Director will:

  • Develop and maintain an overall understanding of global practices, geographical spread of diseases, epidemiology, disease prevention strategies, veterinary practices and the competitive landscape to drive strategic choices
  • Be an active member of the Swine Species Team
  • Participate in strategic planning and implementation of the strategy
  • Capture innovative knowledge, in direct or indirect form, from internal R&D functions in the company as well as from relevant congresses, conferences, seminars, trade shows and workshops for application in strategic areas of product development/technology for Swine
  • Establish and maintain contact with relevant national and international organisations and institutes and develop network with external R&D organisations
  • Be accountable for part of the global biological research and development portfolio within the field of Swine Biologicals products and more specifically:
  • May act as global project leader for several key projects within the species
  • Be responsible for the relevant part of the external R&D budget and the adherence to approved time and cost budgets for Swine Biologicals
  • Establish and maintains a close co-operation with the relevant commercial, veterinary services, regulatory affairs and production departments within the company
  • Ensure active bridging of knowledge and information flow with other R&D Biologicals sites and the D&T R&D groups.
  • Function as the first point of contact for the Manufacturing organisation and be familiarized with the production environment / requirements to ensure efficient product transfer from R&D to the Manufacturing organization
  • Have basic knowledge of the US and global regulatory environment and closely collaborate with regional experts to understand regulatory implications of product registration at the different regions of influence, inclusive of field clinical trials
  • Be accountable for the timely preparation of progress and subject reports according to agreed plans, milestones and company guidelines for areas of direct responsibility
  • Be accountable for the HR related responsibilities such as; career development, talent management and performance evaluations of the direct reports. Ensure that all employees under her/his organization have timely and relevant performance evaluations

Responsibilities – R&D Operations management

The Director will be involved in the species-overarching operational management of all R&D activities on the local site, such as including management of the laboratories and animal services department. Therefore, a close collaboration and dialogue with operational management is required.

Our Animal Health division is a trusted global leader in veterinary medicine, dedicated to the health and well-being of animals. We are a global team of professionals working together to make a positive difference in animal care and the world’s food supply and have a deep sense of responsibility towards our customers, consumers, animals, society and our planet. We offer one of our industry’s most innovative portfolio of products, services and technologies that serve to prevent, treat, and control diseases across all major farm and companion animal species.

Education Minimum Requirement:

· Ph.D in microbiology, parasitology, immunology or a related biological or veterinary discipline.

· DVM is an added bonus

Required Experience and Skills:

· Minimum of 10 years experience leading project teams engaged in vaccine research and development.

· Ability to oversee and manage the design, planning and execution of robust scientific research in a number of concurrent projects

· Ability to operate efficiently and with business acumen to drive innovation and influence pipeline advancement

· Ability to communicate research activities in terms that can be understood by a variety of stakeholders

· Ability to function effectively in a team-focused environment

· Ability to collaborate and integrate activities with internal and external partners/customers

· Ability to understand, effectively apply and comply with internal standards and procedures

· Ability to define key success factors associated with projects & develop strategies to track performance

· Proven and significant people management skills and experiences

· Well developed verbal and written communication skills

Preferred Experience and Skills:

· Demonstrated experience with and understanding of swine infectious diseases and porcine immune systems

· Experience in developing vaccines for swine and familiarity with swine industry practices is an asset

· Demonstrated knowledge of end-to-end vaccine discovery and development process

· Experience in vaccine licensure process through USDA

Clear understanding of the constraints that govern vaccine development and commercialization

Who we are …

We are known as Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA in the United States and Canada and MSD everywhere else. For more than a century, we have been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Today, our company continues to be at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions and advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and animals around the world.

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:R30326

Company Details

Madison, New Jersey, United States
Merck Animal Health is a research-driven company that develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of veterinary medicines and services. We offer one of the industry’s most innovative portfolios, spanning products for the prevention, treatment and control of disease in all major farm and companion animal species.