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Associate Director, Scientist - Research Programs

Research | New York, NY | Full Time

Job Description

About Us:

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). 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 $325 million in research projects in both academic and industry labs worldwide.  Our portfolio has grown commensurate with our fundraising success and we made over $56 million in new grants in 2012. 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 approximately 80 full-time employees with more than 450 active grants across a broad spectrum of PD research and drug development.


Our aggressively funded research agenda is a core part of our strategy towards achieving this mission, and the development of this agenda and management of our research portfolio is driven by a team and advisors with both scientific and business expertise. Within the Research Programs team, Associate Directors play an important role by working closely and in partnership with other key internal teams to drive towards our organizational objectives.


Specific responsibilities of an Associate Director on the Research Programs team include:

  • Shaping of MJFF PD scientific/medical “point of view”.
  • Developing and rapidly executing strategic action plans to address critical field challenges that consider both internal team and external advisor input and creatively position MJFF to have clear impact.
  • Managing strategic plans at all stages from concept development, review process, grants contracting and milestone management, troubleshooting and problem solving as issues arise.
  • Developing strong relationships with research community and key opinion leaders.
  • Reporting directly to the Vice Presidents, Research Programs, and ensuring senior management and other MJFF staff receives current updates on key programmatic activities.


Key attributes of an outstanding Associate Director include:

  • Strong passion for science and the therapeutic development process
  • Excellent independent decision-making and judgment skills.
  • Creative, “out of the box” thinking.
  • Strong project and time management skills with an innate sense of pace and urgency to get the job done.
  • Ability to work productively and proactively, both independently and as part of a team.
  • Flexibility and willingness to move from project to project based on Foundation and team needs
  • Strong interpersonal skills: ability to manage (often without authority) and be managed.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including ability and confidence in speaking to both profession/technical and lay audiences.
  • Excellent computer skills, including mastery of Word, Excel and PowerPoint


Job Requirements

Candidates should have expert scientific background (PhD/MD in Neuroscience, Neurology or related fields plus postdoctoral or similar post-graduate experience). Candidates with industry experience in CNS therapeutic development are also encouraged to apply. This is a position ideal for candidates within 3-5 years of completing their graduate/professional degree. This is an onsite position in New York City (in midtown area) and is not conducive to telecommuting. Some travel (domestic and international) may be required.


How to Apply:

  • Interested candidates should send a resume and thoughtful cover letter describing your specific qualifications and interest in the position.
  • Please, no telephone inquiries. Applicants who best match the position needs will be contacted.
  • The Michael J. Fox Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.