Senior Program Director - Bio Innovation Hub

Facility:  Research

Cambridge, MA, US

About the Department


Our Cambridge Innovation Center is an extension of our Novo Nordisk Research Center (NNRC).  We apply cutting-edge technologies to early R&D projects with the goal of bringing real change to People with Diabetes and Obesity.  Your skills, dedication and ambition will help us change lives for the better. In exchange, we’ll offer you an opportunity to work with extraordinary talent, continuously learn and develop, and drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic conditions.   The team is comprised of collaborative, diverse and passionate people who have a true sense of pride in their work and are committed to helping others grow and develop their careers. You’ll also have a platform to engage with key stakeholders on a global scale throughout the entire pipeline process. And while changing the future of diabetes and obesity treatment is no easy task, we also recognize the importance of an enjoyable workplace, which is why we’ve cultivated a culture of fun, ingenuity and innovation. And our competitive compensation package and support of a healthy work-life balance all add to a best-in-class employee experience. We are changing lives for a living. Are you ready to make a difference?


The Position


As part of the direct scientific interface to our external partners, this role is central for the success of creating a diversified external research pipeline and has the specific purpose of three key areas:


  • Business: Cross functional program and project responsibility and framework agreements (multimillion USD budgets) and successful alliance management with Bio Innovation Hub (BIH) collaborations and partnerships, maximizing the value to Novo Nordisk
  • Science: Accountable for guiding cutting-edge scientific research in the early stages of drug development, with the objective of advancing projects towards IND filing
  • Collaboration & Influence: Externally and internally committed role model being anchor person of quality, improvement, and knowledge sharing overall guided by the Novo Nordisk core values (“Novo Nordisk Way”)




  • The Senior Program Director reports to the Head of the Novo Nordisk Bio Innovation Hub TRU and works closely with and takes direction from the Sr. Project Director & Team Lead.
  • The holder of this role is responsible for managing a portfolio of projects that each require cross-functional teams operating across 2-3 companies, including biotech companies, venture capital firms, and academic institutions typically interacting at C-level in Joint Steering Committees.
  • The role will be the interface between the Bio Innovation Hub and the greater NN organization, including engaging with colleagues in Global Drug Discovery and Research Technologies, as well as the wider R&D organization across EVP/SVP areas.


Essential Functions


  • Responsible for managing an envelope of business critical complex cross-functional programs and projects. As an example, managing multiple projects under one or multiple umbrella collaboration agreements
  • Impacting decisions at EVP level by shaping and executing complex programs to fit Novo Nordisk's demand for a diversified R&D pipeline where substantial innovation is required, as solutions are not always evident and outside NNs competitive areas
  • Actively supporting and challenging the shaping of adaptive partnerships, as well as developing and challenging novel partnership models with the BD function to create win-win situations for all partners
  • Set program and project strategy based on cross-functional knowledge and drive deliverables according to R&ED plans for novel product concepts and actively engage internal and external project teams within Novo Nordisk R&D and large-scale partnerships to execute on co-creation plans
  • Actively manage alliances incl. budget responsibility (15-70m USD) with the Bio Innovation Hub’s strategic partners and collaborations, and manage and nurture existing business partnerships to maximize the value to Novo Nordisk
  • Proactively engage with the core R&D organization to solve scientific challenges identified during product concept development and utilize the DK based Navigators to transfer assets, scientific challenges, and knowledge to the core research and early development organization
  • Drive translational R&D plans for novel product concepts, actively engage with cross-functional Novo Nordisk R&D teams to execute on co-created R&D plans and ensure that decisions are guided by scientific and translational priorities, even when complex analysis of situations and data is required.
  • Ensure identification of best practices internally and externally and facilitate continuous improvement and innovation with the overall program, overall serving as a committed role model externally as well as internally
  • Draw on and delegate into Line of Business and across Novo Nordisk SVP areas through multiple levels of employees and scientific experts to drive outcome, based on a clear sense of direction
  • High independence and initiative should always be demonstrated when planning for, improving and performing tasks assigned by management
  • In general, decisions are complex and involve coordination with other internal stakeholders in the HQ organization, affiliates, and external stakeholders for this position
  • Assignments are characterized by high variability, complexity, and often by lack of precedence
  • Actively connect and feed knowledge into the Global Novo Nordisk R&D organization, with a specific focus on diverse innovation approaches and lean project plan executions (early program and project de-risking), new ways of working, as well as asset transitioningExpected to actively challenge the ordinary processes and priorities upwards in the organizational hierarchy up to Executive Vice President level
  • As the anchor of Quality, Improvement, and Knowledge sharing, this role requires the ability to identify better practices and create improvements in processes and approaches, as well as proactive action on quality and compliance-related matter
  • Responsible for documentation and strategies required for regulatory submissions
  • Ensure working in compliance with QMS, EHS and OHS standards


Physical Requirements

  • 0-10% overnight travel required.



  • MS or MD, Degree within natural sciences is required, PhD and/or MBA strongly preferred
  • 15+ years’ relevant professional experience (if applicable, PhD time included):
  • Project management experience leading cross-functional projects (prefer 5+ years in global projects); experience managing larger programs (not individual projects) is preferred
  • Previous experience managing strategic alliances with demonstrated value creation is preferred
  • Ability to run programs and projects independently and in close cooperation with colleagues across Novo Nordisk to ensure a holistic strategic solution to often multifaceted business problems
  • As decisions involve coordination with other internal stakeholders in the HQ organization, affiliates, and external stakeholders, the ability to successfully navigate internal dynamics is required and experience working in a matrix organization preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to present to, influence and build rapport with senior management
  • Understanding the interface btw Legal, business development and alliance management
  • Strong scientific and business understanding across R&D, and ideally experience from translational medicine / pre-clinical drug development
  • Strong intercultural understanding and global collaboration capabilities both internally and externally
  • High capacity for idea generation, hypothesis testing and problem solving, the ability to consolidate large amounts of complex information in a dynamic environment and to think outside the box to arrive at creative solutions
  • Excellent collaboration, influential leadership skills and an ability to learn the Novo Nordisk business and organization, as well as the general pharma/biotech industry, is preferred
  • Ability to motivate and influence others to advance goals, and the ability to effectively manage multiple projects or roles in a rapidly evolving environment
  • Demonstrated ability to make strategic recommendations and manage risk with timely go/no-go decisions at all stages of the project/program delivery process
  • Knowledge about different cultures, practices and procedures often required
  • Demonstrates excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office suite of products (Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint)


We commit to an inclusive recruitment process and equality of opportunity for all our job applicants.


At Novo Nordisk we recognize that it is no longer good enough to aspire to be the best company in the world. We need to aspire to be the best company for the world and we know that this is only possible with talented employees with diverse perspectives, backgrounds and cultures. We are therefore committed to creating an inclusive culture that celebrates the diversity of our employees, the patients we serve and communities we operate in. Together, we’re life changing.


Novo Nordisk is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by local, state or federal laws, rules or regulations.


If you are interested in applying to Novo Nordisk and need special assistance or an accommodation to apply, please call us at 1-855-411-5290. This contact is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.