Posted on January 24, 2013
Associate Director, Research Partnership
Michael J. Fox Foundation
Michael J Fox Foundation - Associate Director, Research Partnership
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) was founded in 2000 with one clear objective: accelerating meaningful therapeutic advances and, ultimately, a cure for Parkinson’s disease (PD). 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 global funder of Parkinson’s disease research outside the U. S. federal government, having funded over $300 million in research projects in both academic and industry labs worldwide.
We believe that to find a cure for PD as quickly as possible, our capital needs to push research forward today—we therefore deliberately have no endowment or reserve. We instead start our fundraising from zero each year and seek to deploy funds raised as quickly and wisely as possible. MJFF raises over $60 million annually. Today, the Foundation has approximately 70 full-time employees who are based in New York City.
In 2010 to support our efforts to find new Parkinson’s therapies, MJFF launched the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), a longitudinal clinical study seeking to identify measures that track with PD that could help improve the efficacy and efficiency of the clinical testing process. As the sponsor and lead funder of this innovative study, MJFF plays a critical role in managing many of the day-to-day aspects of the study, including working closely with the study leadership, serving as a main point of contact for all clinical sites participating in this study and overseeing the communication/marketing of the study to the research community and the wider public. MJFF also leads recruitment activities, designing and implementing strategies to meet subject enrollment targets. PPMI is a $50 million study – the largest single research project funded by MJFF – and is a critical initiative within the Foundation’s portfolio of research pro jects. PPMI is a complex multi-national study involving over 25 institutions and thirteen industry partners; the model and infrastructure developed through PPMI has proven to be so valuable that MJFF is expanding PPMI in 2013 include the addition of new populations within the study.
The Associate Director, Research Partnerships will serve as a project manager across the entire PPMI project. Specifically, the Associate Director will focus on key aspects of PPMI related to site management, including site budgets, contracting with and amending contracts of sites, and serving as a main point of contact for all site queries, as well as managing and coordinating several study working groups and overseeing all changes and improvements to the study’s website. The Associate Director will work very closely with MJFF staff comprising the in-house PPMI team, including the Senior Vice President, Research Partnerships, the Vice President, Research Programs and the Director, Clinical Trial Strategies. The Associate Director will also closely work with a variety of external constituents, the most important of which is the PPMI leadership.
While the Associate Director will work primarily on PPMI, MJFF has an overarching commitment to improving efficiencies and participation in PD clinical research. It is expected that the Associate Director will gain broad knowledge of clinical trial operations and recruitment through a primary focus on PPMI, but will eventually apply those learnings more broadly to other trials that MJFF funds.
An outstanding Associate Director exhibits excellent judgment, demonstrates an ability to navigate macro and micro challenges simultaneously in day-to-day work, confers a sense of confidence and calm with constituents, teammates, and colleagues, brings analytic and data-driven thinking to decision-making, and possesses strong written and verbal communication skills as well as an innate sense of pace and urgency. Primary roles and responsibilities include:
PPMI is an extremely complex project requiring a sophisticated project manager with a keen ability to process new information and nimbly adjust accordingly. Strong candidates must have significant project management experience, excellent oral and written communication skills and experience developing and implementing new projects where an existing roadmap does not exist. Advanced degrees, such as an MA, MBA, MPA and relevant management or strategy experience are preferred. Experience in drug development or clinical trial setting is not required. This is a fulltime onsite position located in New York City and is not conducive to telecommuting. The Associate Director, Research Partnerships must also be willing to travel as needed.
- Serve as the primary contact for participating sites, including handling all day-to-day queries, overseeing and managing contracting and payment processes
- Provide site team support in implementing changes within the study
- Coordinate and manage various study Working Groups, working closely with investigators to develop the agenda, prepare materials for discussion and execute on next steps
- Strategize and oversee ongoing development of the study website (www.ppmi-info.org) as a critical communication tool for PPMI to the scientific community
- Work closely with internal and external teams to support the roll out of recruitment plans to sites, including managing communications and relationships with site teams
- Manage timelines, budgets and coordination for key activities related to the project, including activities that require buy-in from both internal and external constituents and key deliverables
- Build successful working relationships with players critical to PPMI’s success, including internal teams, PPMI leadership and investigators, and members of the research community
- Understand “big picture” of overall trial operations and logistics; identify learnings from PPMI that can be applied to other trials supported by MJFF
Ideal candidates will also possess:
- Ability to think big picture and strategically while maintaining excellent attention to detail
- Entrepreneurial approach; excellent decision-making, problem-solving and judgment skills; creative outside of the box thinking.
- Proactive and action-oriented personality; willingness to ‘roll up your sleeves’ to meet goals
- 3-5 years of strong project management experience
- Strong interpersonal and people management skills; ability to manage and be managed
- Ability to prioritize work at hand and excellent time management skills required
- An innate sense of pace and urgency as well as the ability to work productively and proactively, both independently and as part of a team, are key
- Excellent computer skills, including Excel, Word, and Powerpoint
- Non-compensated leadership experience (community outreach, committee involvement)
- Experience and interest in working on a team
- Flexibility in approach and willingness to adapt when necessary
The Michael J. Fox Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.
Interested candidates should send resume and thoughtful cover letter to http://jobsco.re/V2lJTa. 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.