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Technical Associate Director Curation & Ontology (Remote)

United States
Closing date
Sep 22, 2023

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Job Description

Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) is the global pharmaceutical research organization of
Novartis. With approximately 6,000 scientists and physicians around the world, our research is focused on
discovering innovative new drugs that will change the practice of medicine. We have an open and
entrepreneurial culture, encouraging collaboration to make effective therapies.

At NIBR, our mission is to discover innovative medicines that treat disease and human health. To do that, our
scientists need cutting-edge, state-of-the-art computing systems.

With NIBR Informatics (NX), NIBR is making a strategic investment into informatics capabilities and is
positioning itself to deliver the systems and services that are critical to the future of drug discovery.

As the Ontology Expert in SDP, you will be responsible for the selection, internalization, or creation and the maintenance of controlled vocabularies, taxonomies, and ontologies for scientific domains. You will develop semantic models to increase the value and scientific impact of NIBR data. You will promote the use of ontology services throughout NIBR’s products and
champion innovative and disciplined application of consistent terminologies.

As a member of the Ontology and Curation team, you will raise awareness of the value of
integrated, consistent, and compatible data and metadata while educating users about the value
and proper use of ontologies. You will work closely with curation experts, supporting them by
providing context-specific vocabularies and dictionaries to be used by applications and text
mining services with the aim of harmonizing scientific data assets.

The role requires expertise in ontology authoring and engineering, informatics and/or
informatics systems with a good knowledge of research in a life science environment.

Major Accountabilities (may include but not limited to):
•Act as a key functional expert who creates and maintains or selects and
internalizes controlled vocabularies, taxonomies, and ontologies using semantic
web technologies and linked data principles in specific areas: medicine
(diseases), anatomy, cell biology, genomics, and proteomics (non-exhaustive list)
• Design and drive the implementation of automated extraction, conversion
and/or aggregation of data from selected sources to build ontologies (ontology
• Manage, direct, and coordinate the activities of a team of experienced specialists
contributing to ontology authoring and engineering
• Provide dictionaries derived from controlled vocabularies and terminologies to
support text mining services
• Diligently apply data governance principles while managing ontologies to
guarantee high quality and data consistency across ontology versions
• Provide expert advice and drive usage of a solution to enable contextual usage
of ontologies and facilitate requests for ontology enrichment and/or ontology
composition within scientific software products
• Raise awareness of the use of controlled vocabularies, ontologies, and data
management best practices to leverage interoperability of data and metadata
• Interact with NIBR scientists, business analysts, and product owners to provide
guidance in integrating appropriate ontologies
• Drive development and use of underlying ontology services

This opportunity is located at the Novartis Cambridge (MA) site and will have the ability to be located remotely.

The pay range for this position at commencement of employment is expected to be between $158,400 and $237,600 per year; however, while salary ranges are effective from 1/1/23 through 12/31/23, fluctuations in the job market may necessitate adjustments to pay ranges during this period. Further, final pay determinations will depend on various factors, including, but not limited to geographical location, experience level, knowledge, skills and abilities. The total compensation package for this position may also include other elements, including a sign-on bonus, restricted stock units, and discretionary awards in addition to a full range of medical, financial, and/or other benefits (including 401(k) eligibility and various paid time off benefits, such as vacation, sick time, and parental leave), dependent on the position offered. Details of participation in these benefit plans will be provided if an employee receives an offer of employment. If hired, employee will be in an “at-will position” and the Company reserves the right to modify base salary (as well as any other discretionary payment or compensation program) at any time, including for reasons related to individual performance, Company or individual department/team performance, and market factors.

Diversity & Inclusion / EEO

The Novartis Group of Companies are Equal Opportunity Employers and take pride in maintaining a diverse environment. We do not discriminate in recruitment, hiring, training, promotion or other employment practices for reasons of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital or veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status. We are committed to building diverse teams, representative of the patients and communities we serve, and we strive to create an inclusive workplace that cultivates bold innovation through collaboration and empowers our people to unleash their full potential.

Minimum Requirements

What will you bring to the role
You are curious about data and passionate about high data quality. You have managed
scientific data, provisioned vocabularies, taxonomies, and ontologies. You are knowledgeable
about semantics, ontology management approaches, and evolving technologies that improve
data value and interoperability.
Ideally, you will have the following skills and capabilities:
• Expertise in terminology management methods and tools such as CENtree (SciBite) or
PoolParty (Semantic Web Company)
• Deep understanding of one or more drug discovery data domains such as medicine,
biology, or chemistry
• Broad knowledge of semantic web standards (RDF, SKOS, OWL, OBO, SPARQL, SHAQL)
as well as linked data principles
• Experience with existing biomedical ontologies and data standards (HDO, MeSH,
• Competence in linguistics, natural language processing, text analytics, data mining or
text processing
• Ability to query data management systems of different kinds: RDBMS, NoSQL, Graph
• A track record of consistent, rapid, and effective execution
• Self-motivated
• Great communication skills
• Ability to work both independently and within a team
• A PhD in medicine, chemistry, biology, or a related field
• At least 5 years of experience in semantic technologies, ontology management
and data management
• 5+ years work experience in drug discovery or a core supporting scientific field.

Why Novartis?
766 million lives were touched by Novartis medicines in 2021, and while we’re proud of this, we know there is so much more we could do to help improve and extend people’s lives.

We believe new insights, perspectives and ground-breaking solutions can be found at the intersection of medical science and digital innovation. That a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment inspires new ways of working.
We believe our potential can thrive and grow in an unbossed culture underpinned by integrity, curiosity and flexibility. And we can reinvent what's possible, when we collaborate with courage to aggressively and ambitiously tackle the world’s toughest medical challenges. Because the greatest risk in life, is the risk of never trying!

Imagine what you could do here at Novartis!

Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion:
Novartis is committed to building an outstanding, inclusive work environment and diverse teams representative of the patients and communities we serve.

Accessibility and Reasonable Accommodations:Individuals in need of a reasonable accommodation due to a medical condition or disability for any part of the application process, or to perform the essential functions of a position, please send an e-mail to [email protected] or call +1 (877)395-2339 and let us know the nature of your request and your contact information. Please include the job requisition number in your message.

Join our Novartis Network: If this role is not suitable to your experience or career goals but you wish to stay connected to hear more about Novartis and our career opportunities, join the Novartis Network here:

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