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Associate Director, Health Systems Research Initiatives #2669



Menlo Park, CA, USA
Posted on Sunday, April 30, 2023
GRAIL is a healthcare company whose mission is to detect cancer early, when it can be cured. GRAIL is focused on alleviating the global burden of cancer by developing pioneering technology to detect and identify multiple deadly cancer types early. The company is using the power of next-generation sequencing, population-scale clinical studies, and state-of-the-art computer science and data science to enhance the scientific understanding of cancer biology, and to develop its multi-cancer early detection blood test. GRAIL is headquartered in Menlo Park, CA with locations in Washington, D.C., North Carolina, and the United Kingdom. GRAIL, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN). For more information, please visit
GRAIL is seeking an associate director to support our externally sponsored health system and academic partner research and GRAIL sponsored real world evidence studies. The individual in this role will need to work cross-functionally within GRAIL and across diverse partner organizations across the country to: define collaborative research projects in partnership with our commercial team and to manage, execute and report on initiatives with partner organizations. This role will be in Medical Affairs and will be accountable for building strong and valued relationships with partners and compliantly liaising with Clinical Development, R&D, Business Development, Commercial and Product Management Organization to initiate appropriate projects and activities related to the partnerships.
As part of our team, you will successfully navigate complex research programs, lead with influence, and create efficient but comprehensive communication channels both internally and externally. Partnership projects will span all areas of research, implementation science, population health, and real-world evidence generation. This role requires an appreciation of the healthcare ecosystem, molecular diagnostics and cancer screening, and how to execute on research initiatives that support GRAIL’s mission to detect cancer early, when it can be cured. Candidates will be required to understand how to successfully navigate complex contractual obligations, develop meaningful account relations, contribute to the design and execution of research projects and deliver high-value project concepts from contract execution through internal stakeholder management.

You will:

  • Foster and manage stakeholder relations to maximize organization’s strategic relationships to support research goals
  • Work cross-functionally with cross-departmental leaders and professionals within and across GRAIL
  • Seamlessly work with senior executives within GRAIL and our partner organizations
  • Drive research projects from idea through execution including developing and managing budgets and contracts
  • Develop and manage study budgets and maintain them within financial goals; review and approve clinical invoices against approved budget.
  • Track and report on progress of partner studies according to timelines and milestones
  • Act as a point of contact for medical affairs for ongoing and new initiatives, working closely with internal stakeholders to ensure alignment with partners and to drive towards successful execution of partnership and initiative concepts, as it relates to research activities
  • Coordinate scheduling partnership discussions, collating and disseminating agendas, and minutes, and tracking action items and progress related to research and study activities
  • Coordinate with internal GRAIL subject matter experts and stakeholders on partnership and initiative concepts; coordinating contracting, material transfer agreements and statements of work; aligning timelines internally and externally cross-functionally
  • Manage multiple study activities across different partners with the support of the GRAIL relationship owner
  • Anticipate potential issues and proactive troubleshooting, escalation, and problem solving, as needed
  • Identify risks and barriers within the research studies in advance that could deter from program timelines and use critical thinking and problem solving to identify both internal and external stakeholders to mitigate quickly, with flexible project plans in place.
  • Be a valued resource to partnership stakeholders, representing GRAIL’s science, technology, and portfolio of assets and services to ensure an “earned trust” between the organizations
  • Identify potential risks and complies with compliance requirements for both GRAIL and the partner health systemHave a positive, solution-oriented working mentality that excels in a team approach to drive meaningful change


  • Minimum of a Master degree in a health/scientific field is required
  • Ideal candidate has 10+ years in healthcare, life sciences, or related field with 10+ years in alliance management, project management or related function and shown leadership skills in health systems and research partnerships across organizations
  • Strong written and verbal presentation skills with the ability to present at executive leadership meetings including demonstrated experience communicating and reporting progress on strategic initiatives being executed by the team
  • Deep understanding of primary care, population health, cancer screening and outcomes, value based care, and health ecosystem models including public and private reported metrics for prevention and cancer screening and outcomes
  • Understanding the relational role of oncology stakeholders (academia, advocacy, providers) to the healthcare ecosystem at large; US model knowledge strongly preferred
  • Successful development of internal and external customer relationships, centered on identified mutual interests, including the ability to effectively represent organizational/product value to executive levels of management and key thought leaders
  • Strong organizational skills with innovative thinking and exceptional business acumen, analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Exceptional interpersonal and relationship management skills
  • Demonstrated ability to optimally lead cross functionally, interface with and influence clinical and leadership team stakeholders and managing external stakeholders and partners
  • Experience leading projects, using project and budget management tools and resources and skilled in quality / process improvement methodologies
  • General knowledge of research operations and principles
  • Strong understanding of compliance-related concepts including the laws, regulations and policies that govern marketing and sales activities and the importance of compliance in all job-related functions
  • Ability to understand, distill and communicate complex scientific and public health related concepts
  • Experience in partnership models and alliances across the healthcare ecosystem

Physical Demands/Working Environment:

  • Potential travel up to 15% of the time
The expected, full-time, annual base pay scale for this position is $154,000 - $205,000. Actual base pay will consider skills, experience, and location.
Based on the role, colleagues may be eligible to participate in an annual bonus plan tied to company and individual performance, or an incentive plan. We also offer a long-term incentive plan to align company and colleague success over time.
In addition, GRAIL offers a progressive benefit package, including flexible time-off, a 401k with a company match, and alongside our medical, dental, vision plans, carefully selected mindfulness offerings.
GRAIL is an Equal Employment Office and Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status. We will reasonably accommodate all individuals with disabilities so that they can participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation. GRAIL maintains a drug-free workplace.
Following extensive monitoring, consideration of business implications, and advice from internal and external experts, GRAIL US has made the decision to require that all U.S. employees be “Fully Vaccinated” with the COVID-19 vaccine. “Fully Vaccinated” is defined as two weeks after both doses of a two-dose vaccine (e.g. Pfizer or Moderna) or two weeks since a single-dose vaccine (e.g. Johnson & Johnson) has been administered. Absent a qualifying exemption, all GRAIL US employees are to comply with this requirement, including providing documentation of such vaccination status, as a condition of employment. Anyone unable to be vaccinated, either because of a sincerely held religious belief or a medical condition or disability that prevents them from being vaccinated, can request a reasonable accommodation for consideration by GRAIL.