Associate Director, Research Partnerships (Industry Engagement)
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 $750 million in research projects in both academic and industry labs worldwide.
Within MJFF, Research Partnerships helps support the Foundation’s mission of developing new and improved PD therapies through its focus on three key activities: 1) business strategy, project management and operations of MJFF’s research activities; 2) developing and managing large-scale research projects, including public-private partnerships; and 3) increasing engagement and developing partnerships with various stakeholders, including industry (pharma and biotech).
MJFF takes a holistic approach to investing in PD research, providing both intellectual and financial capital to accelerate drug development. As part of this strategy, MJFF actively works with the pharmaceutical and biotech industry in a variety of ways including funding research projects, consulting on therapeutic development and clinical operation approaches, creating and managing pre-competitive multi-stakeholder consortia, and facilitating connections with the Parkinson’s patient community.
The Associate Director, Research Partnerships, will play a critical role in cultivating partnerships and developing and launching novel initiatives designed to increase the Foundation’s engagement with the industry. The job requires the ability to work cross-functionally with internal colleagues, members of the scientific community and the industry sector as well as the ability to develop and manage team priority projects, aligning with MJFF’s core business requirements and inserting strategic input and oversight. The Associate Director, Research Partnerships will report to the Director of Research Partnerships.
Primary roles and responsibilities include:
• Manage a portfolio of relationships with companies (e.g. pharmaceutical, biotech, health-tech) invested in PD research with a focus on relationship stewardship – deepening alliances and partnerships with existing contacts and cultivating new collaborations and contacts (individuals and companies)
• Act as external partner’s liaison and consistent point of contact at MJFF; facilitate handoffs with technical experts and sub-teams across MJFF departments to accelerate collaborative research and educational programs
• Evaluate industry sector R&D portfolios using primary and secondary research to provide objective, in-depth understanding of the PD drug development landscape, players, and challenges in order to prioritize MJFF’s internal intellectual and financial industry engagement tactics
• Provide insights, analyses and strategic recommendations to C-suite management at MJFF to support dynamic partnership cultivation based on key industry sector challenges for PD therapeutic development
• Identify synergies between individual company needs and MJFF-scientific and educational priorities to develop and pitch proposals for partnership and/or sponsorship; provide recommendations to align MJFF engagement strategies and initiatives with industry sector practices
• Act as a strategic internal spokesperson to frame and address key programmatic research questions related to the identification and evaluation of opportunities to partner with industry toward advancing MJFF’s mission
• Communicate MJFF programmatic research, policy and educational activities across relevant internal and external forums (e.g. industry-relevant conferences, workshops, partnering meetings) to share information and broadly inform key decision makers; work to embed a holistic MJFF point-of-view into investments in industry partnership opportunities
Technical Skills and Competencies:
The Associate Director, Research Partnerships will play an integral role in executing MJFF’s Industry Engagement Strategy, gaining a full understanding of our relationships with various biotech and pharmaceutical companies and continuing to build on those existing relationships to create new mechanisms to partner and collaborate.
An outstanding Associate Director is a self-starter who can delve into projects to support aggressive organizational goals and is able to manage and prioritize across multiple active initiatives working closely with internal and external stakeholders. Excellent communication (written, verbal and presentation) and interpersonal skills are a must. The best candidates will also have experience in business development or client management. The role demands the ability to quickly learn, understand, process, communicate and present scientific information at a high standard – a background in drug development, pharmaceutical industry and/or the healthcare sector is a bonus though 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.
Ideal candidates will also bring:
• Ability to think big picture and strategically, while maintaining excellent attention to detail
• Sophisticated project and relationship management skills, ideally with 3-5 years’ experience managing a portfolio comprised of complex multi-party projects and/or relationships; ability to balance multiple initiatives and prioritize activities
• External relationship management focus with strong networking capabilities and integration with individuals from all levels of an organization; ability to understand individual stakeholder goals and objectives
• Exceptional communication skills – can readily align his/her interpersonal style with the individual needs of internal and external partners; can understand, translate and distill complex, technical findings into clear and simple information that enables decision making
• Experience leading and achieving results through matrixed organizations
• Commitment to teamwork; ability to collaborate and manage projects with and through others; ability to influence action without direct authority
• Non-compensated leadership experience (community outreach, committee involvement)
• Willingness to adapt when necessary; comfortable with ambiguity and flexible to changing business
dynamics and priorities
How to Apply
Interested candidates should send a resume and thoughtful cover letter describing your specific qualifications and interest in the position. Submissions without a cover letter will not be considered. Please, no telephone inquiries. Applicants who best match the position needs will be contacted.
The Michael J Fox Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.
If you are interested in joining MJFF as a volunteer please send your resume and cover letter to:
Office Manager and Human Resources
The Michael J. Fox Foundation
Grand Central Station
P.O. Box 4777
New York, NY 10163-4777
Computer literacy and a minimum commitment of eight hours per month are required.