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Scientific Collaboration Director - Riverway Discoveries

Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, MA
Closing date
Nov 27, 2021

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The Opportunity to Change a Life Begins with Dana-Farber
Scientific Collaboration Director - Riverway Discoveries
Scientific Collaboration Director, Riverway Discoveries

Dana-Farber and Deerfield are searching for a Scientific Collaboration Director (SCD) to work with Dana-Farber investigators and the Joint Steering Committee, to manage Riverway Discoveries--an alliance between Deerfield Management and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

We are seeking qualified candidates with experience in both academia and industry. The ideal candidate will bring experience and in-depth understanding of drug development, ideally in the field of oncology, from working in biopharma. Academic research and/or administrative experience at Dana-Farber and similar institutions is a plus.

In February 2021, Dana-Farber and Deerfield announced the launch of Riverway Discoveries--a major strategic translational research partnership focused on accelerating the development of therapeutics and diagnostics or cancer. Deerfield has committed up to $130M over the next 10 years to advance research at Dana-Farber and translate scientific discoveries with potential applications to transform the lives of patients.

The SCD will manage all aspects of Riverway Discoveries, including engagement with faculty, solicitation and development of proposals, and overseeing the review process and joint steering committee efforts. The SCD will work closely with DFCI faculty and the broader Deerfield Discovery and Development (3DC) team to ensure a robust pipeline of projects. Once projects have been selected, the SCD will work with PIs to develop a research plan and work closely with the 3DC team to advance the drug pipeline forward.

This role presents an incredibly unique opportunity for a candidate to work closely with two world-leading institutions, delivering on Dana-Farber's ultimate goal of improving patient care and saving lives. The SCD has the ability to look broadly across science and apply drug development expertise to identify projects ready for advancement and contribute to an accelerated pace of development. This is an extraordinary opportunity to impact how oncology will be practiced in the future and creating companies around these innovative ideas.

Purpose of the position

The Riverway Discoveries Scientific Collaboration Director (SCD) will report directly to Chief Innovation Officer at Dana-Farber and will be the internal representative responsible for the overall Riverway Discoveries collaboration and Deerfield relationship and will coordinate across DFCI and with Riverway Discoveries stakeholders to ensure effective and productive engagement and progress toward the partnership's goals, including sourcing of new projects.

While keeping a close eye on the contractual commitments and boundaries, the SCD will maintain a wider perspective and will continually consider the principles, spirit, and long-term goals of the alliance to ensure both organizations are always driving towards those objectives through proactive and effective communication.

For more information on Riverway Discoveries, please visit:

  • Primary point of contact for DFCI for all matters regarding Riverway Discoveries
  • Manage all aspects of the Riverway Discoveries Collaboration and associated research programs and agreements including, overseeing deliverables and maintaining partnerships
  • Contribute to the sourcing of technologies and research programs to be presented as potential Riverway Discoveries research projects
  • Primary contact at DFCI to co-develop and co-execute faculty engagement strategies, which can include educational seminars, Principal Investigator meetings, etc.
  • Assist in conducting outreach to the DFCI scientific community to educate regarding the advantages the collaboration offers for advancing research and development
  • Build a robust interactive relationship with DFCI's academic and scientific community, DFCI's research administration professionals, and DFCI's Innovation and OGC offices to manage the process of assessment of new project proposals and establish mechanisms to ensure critical information is shared in a timely manner
  • Recognize and proactively address potential challenges through regular communication with all internal and external stakeholders
  • Responsible for all communication regarding Riverway Discoveries within DFCI and on behalf of DFCI with Collaboration stakeholders, including JSC members, Collaboration operations team members, etc.
  • Work closely with Joint Steering Committee members
  • Primary contact for Investigators related to Proposal Concept Sheets and LOI submissions
  • Responsible for LOI certification before release to JSC members
  • Responsible for facilitating interactions and discussions between Deerfield and the Investigators during the RFP proposal phase, including post-LOI submission "deep dive" presentations and development of initial experimental plan and budget
  • Responsible for supporting oversight of early projects (i.e. target validation stage) for which the majority of work is conducted within the Investigators' lab at DFCI
  • Manage joint meetings with Deerfield and DFCI, including JSC meetings and outreach/faculty engagement meetings.

  • PhD in the life sciences required
  • Minimum of 7 years of related experience in life sciences industry preferred

Special Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
  • Demonstrated understanding of the drug development process including direct experience working in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry
  • Knowledge of intellectual property, licensing, and research contracts
  • Ability to make independent judgments and act on decisions on a daily basis and assumes responsibility for decisions, outcomes, and results having an impact on people, costs, and/or quality of service within the functional area
  • Ability to work flexibly on multiple tasks simultaneously and to meet various concurrent deadlines
  • Strong computer skills including proficiency in Microsoft Office applications; experience with Salesforce preferable
  • Experience with various software applications (e.g. spreadsheets, relational databases, statistical and graphic packages), to assemble, manipulate and/or format data and/or reports
  • Ability to effectively interact with all levels of industry and DFCI employees, including faculty principal investigators
  • Ability to facilitate interactions designed to strengthen the relationship between DFCI and Deerfield
  • Highly organized, resourceful, and detail oriented
  • Excellent communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills

Located in Boston and the surrounding communities, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute brings together world renowned clinicians, innovative researchers and dedicated professionals, allies in the common mission of conquering cancer, HIV/AIDS and related diseases. Combining extremely talented people with the best technologies in a genuinely positive environment, we provide compassionate and comprehensive care to patients of all ages; we conduct research that advances treatment; we educate tomorrow's physician/researchers; we reach out to underserved members of our community; and we work with amazing partners, including other Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an equal opportunity employer and affirms the right of every qualified applicant to receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability, age, ancestry, military service, protected veteran status, or other groups as protected by law.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an equal opportunity employer.
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