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Associate Director, Lab Operations

Waltham, Massachusetts (US)
Closing date
30 Oct 2023

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Life Science
Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Professional certification

Job Details

The Associate Director, Lab Operations, provides leadership, direction and support to a team of multidisciplinary specialized staff at the AstraZeneca Boston R&D Site, ensuring seamless delivery of essential laboratory support services in conjunction with the larger, matrixed, Site Operations group. Initially responsible for Lab Operations at the Waltham site, this role will transition to the new Kendall Square location. The AD will ensure the efficient functioning of the laboratories, maintain compliance with industry regulations, manage resources, and foster a productive and safe work environment. This role will also manage services to ensure they meet current and future business requirements. You will lead change, define standards and influence across the organization. The AD will help build solutions for the future to support the R&D pipeline, give time back to scientists, reduce cost, and build in quality.

Laboratory Operations Management:

  • Oversee delivery of Laboratory Operations services through a combination of internal staff and external service providers in the following key areas: lab support services, consumables and equipment life cycle management as well as coordination of, and assistance with, lab move activities.
  • Utilize in depth technical and management expertise while leveraging applicable global R&D standards and ways of working.
  • Ensure consistent delivery of essential lab support services by managing the team’s response to customer requests.
  • Coordinate and optimize workflows for efficient and timely results.
  • Direct mitigation activities during unplanned building system outages and ensure integrated scheduling of building system shutdowns.
  • Develop and maintain long-term business relationships with key service providers and consumables vendors.
  • Influence and promote deployment of new services and improvements.

Staff Management and Development:

  • Coordinate staffing needs.
  • Communicate regularly with the all team members responsible for service delivery to provide guidance, mentoring, and training as needed.
  • Coordinate work flows & projects, and build KPIs into new and existing services to ensure focus on measurable outcomes and contractual compliance.
  • Manage people, processes, organizational needs cross-functionally, to ensure each line of service is positioned to drive compliance, give time back to scientists and provide the highest level of support.
  • Collaborate with Procurement to obtain competitive bids for service contracts.

Collaboration and Communication:

  • Lead customer communications initiatives, develop key messages, set expectations, and monitor satisfaction levels of stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate impeccable customer service by providing problem identification, root cause analysis, expedited resolution and appropriate follow up.
  • Collect voice of customer data from Research and Development scientists and leaders regarding current and potential new services as well as performance against expectations.
  • Build strong relationships with other AZ R&D sites to provide input to and implement global ways of working.
  • Foster a culture of effective communication, knowledge sharing, and teamwork.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant scientific field,
  • Minimum of 5 years' prior experience managing laboratory operations, preferably in biotech or pharmaceutical R&D.
  • Minimum of 3 years' prior experience in people management; preferably in a matrixed environment.
  • Strong negotiation skills required along with the ability to plan and organize using an in-depth working knowledge of how R&D operates.
  • Ability to evaluate service requests and develop collaborative solutions.
  • Knowledge of laboratory techniques, instrumentation, and scientific methodologies.
  • Experience working in a multi-team environment within a global framework.
  • Good understanding of building readiness and handover in relation to lab services
  • Demonstrated leadership and team management skills.
  • Excellent organizational, problem-solving, and analytical skills.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience and knowledge with applying Six Sigma to R&D
  • Experience working in a LEAN environment.
  • Experience with procurement and financial tracking systems such as Coupa and SAP

Site Description

The Boston region is consistently ranked #1 globally for biotech research, investment, talent recruitment and lab space. Site amenities include:

  • Modern 64-acre campus nestled in 200+ acres of nature conservation land & hiking trails
  • Flexible, agile lab design with co-located write-up space
  • Vibrant site community with activities, clubs, sports & games
  • Onsite business & meeting center, office, AV & catering support
  • Onsite outdoor activities (e.g. frisbee golf, garden club, volleyball, etc.)

As AstraZeneca continues to put patients at the forefront of our mission, we are excited for our move to Kendall Square/Cambridge in 2026. Find out more information here:

Kendall Square Press Release

Why AstraZeneca?

At AstraZeneca when we see an opportunity for change, we seize it and make it happen, because any opportunity no matter how small, can be the start of something big. Delivering life-changing medicines is about being entrepreneurial - finding those moments and recognizing their potential. Join us on our journey of building a new kind of organisation to reset expectations of what a biopharmaceutical company can be. This means we’re opening new ways to work, pioneering groundbreaking methods and bringing unexpected teams together. Interested? Come and join our journey.


Life at AstraZeneca

We are AstraZeneca, one of the world’s most forward-thinking and connected BioPharmaceuticalcompanies. With a strong purpose, an even stronger bond between each of our people and a science-led, patient-first attitude, we’re changing the future of medicine and the impact it can have on lives across the globe. Are you ready for a challenge?

Bringing your whole self to work

Inclusion and diversity are fundamental to the success of our company because innovation requires breakthrough ideas that only come from a diverse workforce empowered to challenge conventional thinking. Our next ambition leads us into 2025 and focuses on scientific leadership. This places a big importance on diversity of thought and inclusive teamwork. It’s how we successfully perform as one enterprise, dedicated to achieving sustainable growth. How we lead together, learning from one another.

Great Place to Work

At AstraZeneca, being a Great Place to Work is one of our strategic priorities. It not only nurtures an innovative and collaborative culture, but it also enables us to celebrate our diversity –the different skills, perspectives and ideas that help us realise our bold ambition. Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) connect like-minded people across AstraZeneca and allow peer-to-peer support on a range of issues. They are voluntary, employee-led groups that encourage an inclusive atmosphere.

Celebrating the differences we bring

Inclusion and diversity are part of our DNA. At AstraZeneca, we have different experiences, backgrounds, strengths and weaknesses. We recognise that a team is at its most innovative and creative when it is made up of people who think differently from one another, in an environment where different views and perspectives are welcomed and valued.


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