Chief of Staff, R&D Strategy, Portfolio & Operations, Open to flexibility

Brentford, Ware, Stevenage
12 Oct 2018
24 Oct 2018
Contract Type

Chief of Staff, R&D Strategy, Portfolio & Operations, Open to flexibility

Do you have experience in a fast-paced, complex Pharma environment and enjoy managing ambiguity? Do you thrive in a high performing and high accountability environment? If you do, this could be the role for you!

About Strategy, Portfolio & Operations:

The Strategy, Portfolio & Operations (SPO) group comprises of several collaborative functions that work together to shape, guide and consult with R&D in reaching its goals. The objectives of SPO are closely aligned with and help support the R&D Leadership, R&D Management Teams, and Corporate Executive Teams.

Job Purpose:

This is a key role that partners with and supports the SVP SPO to make her and the SPO Leadership Team (SPOLT) as effective as possible, including the following primary areas of responsibility:

  • Ensuring the SVP SPO is visible and accessible to SPO and the wider GSK organisation; close to the pulse of the organisation and able to anticipate and respond to the changing needs of the organisation. Optimise time allocation in line with business priorities.
  • Driving focus and progress of SPO against core objectives and performance goals, including primarily the delivery of the R&D Science, Technology and Culture strategy and associated transformation.
  • Acting as primary contact with the Office of the CEO and other Pharma businesses on areas of strategy, performance and operations; leading alignment on these shared agendas and priorities.
  • Leading prioritisation and focus across the SPOLT on areas of shared importance such as Inclusion & Diversity, talent pipelining (with HR partner), external best practice etc.

Responsibilities and Accountabilities:

You will optimise the effectiveness of the SVP SPO role, e.g. ensuring that internal/external meetings and site visits are aligned with strategic priorities, that progress is being made on core business objectives, ensuring the right questions are being asked of the organisation and followed-up, and that related activities are connected behind the scenes. Includes taking direct responsibility for several components of this programme of work.

You'll lead development of the internal communications and engagement strategy for the SPOLT and SVP SPO to ensure that site visits, Town Halls, digital channels etc are leveraged and optimised in creation of the new SPO community and the perception of a visible, engaged and accessible LT that encourages dialogue.

Prepare internal and external presentations and content for board papers etc, working closely with content owners and experts and finding the right balance of individual accountability vs accountability for oversight of others.

In active partnership with the rest of the SPOLT, you will support the development and execution of strategic initiatives, and ensure that operational and change priorities are well executed.


This is a role which must be able to deal with high levels of complexity and ambiguity, as well as be able to effectively navigate multiple diverse stakeholders. As such, this role requires the ability to think strategically about key issues affecting R&D and its organisational implications as well as to demonstrate organisational savvy in dealing with senior executives and understanding how to get things done.

Critically, this role requires a high degree of influencing skills and independent thinking, both working with the R&D Leadership Team and SPOLT, but also across all functional groups in R&D. The job holder will have access to significant amounts of confidential and sensitive information and will have good judgement on how to treat this information.

Role can be based at GSK House, Brentford, London or GSK Stevenage or Ware R&D sites.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Closing date, Wednesday 24th October 2018.


Why You?

Basic qualifications:

  • Degree level in Life Sciences, Business, or other relevant areas

Required Capabilities:

  • Experience of the pharmaceutical industry, key challenges, business processes and technical environments
  • Broad understanding of pharmaceutical drug development, and commercialisation
  • High level of understanding of key R&D processes and decision-making processes
  • Consistent attention to detail, ability to deliver to demanding deadlines and at the highest quality
  • Strong organisational skills and ability to juggle many things at once
  • Absolute reliability with regard to business and personnel confidentiality as the job holder has access to significant amounts of confidential information
  • Strong networking skills and an ability to achieve through engaging the co-operation of others
  • The ability to operate both independently and as part of a team simultaneously
  • The ability to build strong and sustainable relationships and the capability to interact effectively across all levels of the organisation
  • The ability to both think strategically, working at a global level, and to dive deep into operational issues when required, moving quickly between the two levels of working with a sense of urgency
  • Pragmatic, operational focus, seeking to assist others in finding practicable solutions
  • Confident use of relevant IT systems, software and databases to access, analyse and present data/information in the most effective ways
  • Solid analytical skills and the ability to manipulate complex data, propose and test hypothesis and challenge assumptions.

Preferred qualifications:

  • PhD, MBA or other post-graduate degrees, including relevant disciplines such as communications and change-management.

Why GSK?:

GSK are a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer. Our goal is to be one of the world's most innovative, best performing and trusted healthcare companies. We have three global businesses that research, develop and manufacture innovative pharmaceutical medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products and employ over 100,000 people worldwide.

Our Pharmaceuticals business has a broad portfolio of innovative and established medicines. We currently focus on developing new medicines in respiratory, HIV, oncology and immuno-inflammation; with an R&D approach focused on science related to the immune system, use of genetics and advanced technologies. £3.9 billion was invested in GSK R&D in 2017.

Contact information:
You may apply for this position online by selecting the Apply now button.

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