Data Strategy & Design Expert, Open to flexible working

3 days left

Stevenage, Hertfordshire
01 Jan 2021
24 Jan 2021
Contract Type

Achieving a step-change in the ability to leverage internal and external data assets and tools to drive scientific discovery is a key objective for the Data and Computational Sciences (DCS) team within GSK's Pharmaceutical R&D organisation. The Data Strategy and Design (DSD) group within DCS supports this objective via the design, development and deployment of data pipelines and products in collaboration with multiple partner groups across GSK.

The overall aim of the Data Strategy and Design team is to transform the way decisions are made within GSK R&D by providing capable people with easy access to data and tools that they can trust. There are four key drivers for this strategy, which are closely aligned with GSK's corporate priorities of Innovation, Performance and Trust:

  • Unlocking value of new science: Unlocking value of investments in new science and technology platforms by providing the capability to exploit the data they generate
  • Improving efficiency: Reducing project cost and / or increasing bandwidth through the automation of data activities that are currently manual and FTE-intensive
  • Enabling acceleration: Shortening cycle-time through reducing duration of data activities to keep R&D off the critical path for project delivery or enabling new science or technology to do the same
  • Supporting licence to operate: Increasing assurance of data integrity through automation, integration and reducing the number of opportunities for human error to occur

The primary purpose of the Data Strategy and Design (DSD) Expert role in the DS&D team is defining the scientific business case and translating it into technical requirements for data pipeline and analytics designs. The DSD Expert will be expected to lead the early stages of informatics solutions development efforts that evaluate the potential to automate the integration, preparation and provisioning of access to analysis-ready data, enabling our scientists to spend more time on the interpretation and decision-making and less time on repetitive, manual data manipulation. The DSD Expert will also have a leadership role in activities to improve the overall data landscape of partner organizations within GSK R&D in area such as increasing the quality, reliability, reusability of data capture in operational systems, as well as developing and embedding data standards including controlled terminologies, defining required fields for uniqueness and re-usability and file formats. We are currently recruiting for one autonomous individual to join the existing DS&D team and be based in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK or Collegeville, Pennsylvania, USA.

Key Responsibilities

Individuals will be expected to:

  • Consolidate the scientific business case with datatype generators and customers and partner with solution providers for the delivery of Informatics projects driven by the Data Strategy and Design team
  • Work across complex matrix teams with internal and external partners in the exploration, design, and development of key data models, pipelines, and products
  • Lead business change activities to sustainably embed Informatics solutions and approaches into the partner organisations
  • Act as subject matter expert on data formats and their performance in ingestion, transfer, storage and analysis solutions to enable integration of various data types to allow novel biological insights; champion and ensure business partners have a ground truth position as well as available narrow and in-depth datasets for exploration of the biology
  • Identify emergent trends and opportunities in the area of data pipelines and provide expert Informatics input and support to prioritised strategies, projects and activities to improve the overall data landscape for GSK R&D
  • Identify areas for quick wins to repurpose pipelines, processes and tools developed to support new organisations within GSK with similar needs
  • Representing GSK in discussions with external parties/conferences

Job related skills/background

Background required

  • Master-level degree or Bachelor-level degree in a relevant scientific discipline (biology, bioinformatics, or equivalent field) with 2+ or 5+ years of experience, respectively, in the Pharmaceutical industry

Background preferred

  • Higher-level degree (PhD) in a relevant scientific discipline (in any of the above listed areas) with 1-2 years of experience in the Pharmaceutical industry

Skills required:

  • Hands-on experience using data and informatics to support and enable decision-making and a track record of defining and delivering complex projects by leading matrix teams of scientific and technical experts
  • Ability to communicate and engage effectively with diverse stakeholders across different organisational levels and functional areas
  • Ability to effectively translate between scientific and technical lines to translate business needs and use cases into data and product development milestones
  • Ability to build trust with key stakeholders to drive efforts to embed FAIR data principles within research business lines and provide mentorship with key users
  • Hands-on experience leveraging coding languages (e.g. SQL, Python, Perl) for data access/transformation
  • Proficient with applied statistics, data analysis and visualisation tools (e.g. R/Spotfire) and tools for reproducible research (git, Docker) to develop POCs for research data and analytics solutions
  • Knowledge of pharmaceutical research project progression and understanding of the challenges and opportunities in leveraging data and informatics
  • Experience handling primary domain entities within pharmaceutical research (e.g. - chemical structures, sequences, bioactivities, cell-lines, targets)
  • Knowledge of publicly available high-profile datasets and initiatives, with a focus on genomics, e.g. TCGA, GTEx, HCA and understanding of genomic data formats (e.g. FASTQ, VCF), types (e.g. WES, WGS)
  • Awareness of ontologies and metadata standards within life sciences
  • Knowledge of change management approaches and experience in embedding new ways-of-working
  • Awareness of regulatory expectations regarding use of software for GxP business process

Skills preferred:

  • Hands-on experience in the delivery in software solutions to support pharmaceutical research business processes
  • Knowledge of Agile software development approaches and experience in following them



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