Posted to MedZilla on 10/13/2018

Syneos Health

US-MA, Director of Custom Research, Health 3191138-MZ



The Research, Evidence, and Design group at Syneos Health is looking for a fellow research geek: an ambidextrous market and communications research leader with a background in health psychology, proven track record in selling, designing and delivering biopharma research projects, and an arsenal of innovative research methods.

You will help grow the custom research practice of our group. You will plan, design, lead, and analyse primary quant, qual, and experimental research to understand what factors influence patients and physicians choices in a wide range of disease states, and play a key role in helping our clients shape effective communication and behavior change strategies.

About us

Syneos Health Communications is a network of PR, communications, branding, and advertising companies that help bring new medical products to market.

Due to popular demand, we are expanding the group that helps the company s clients -- biopharma companies -- make better marketing decisions using advanced research methods. We draw from the rich body of scientific knowledge in health, social and cognitive psychology, behavioral economics, semiotics, and anthropology. You will be instrumental in translating this knowledge into a superior marketing strategy.

Types of projects

Projects we ve shipped in the past month include:

  • Understanding information-seeking behaviors of physicians in the hunter and the gatherer modes

  • Comparing effectiveness of different ways to phrase clinical trial recruitment messaging

  • Characterizing the different dimensions of caregiver stress and identify its potential drivers

  • Evaluating patient preference for serif vs sans-serif fonts in medical communications

It is meaningful and challenging work in a small but growing team of supportive and bright colleagues. A lot of things will have to be invented and built from scratch. There s not a lot of downtime. You will be traveling. You will not be bored.


You will help grow the custom research practice of our group. You will help shape the business model, define the range of offerings, and design a robust process and a supply chain.

Get things done

  • Create research plans: work with internal and external clients to understand their business needs, decide what data needs to be collected and how to go about collecting it, choose appropriate analytical methods, and budget the work

  • Design and conduct in-person interviews, online surveys, and experimental studies focused on patients health choices

  • Interpret research data in the context of the original business problem, identify the key insight, propose further course of action

  • Conduct review of relevant academic literature and boil the complexity of an issue down to a one-page summary

  • Manage the supply chain: line up suppliers to execute on research proposals, write specifications and RFPs, select the right tools, negotiate prices

Make us better

  • Introduce new research methods and theoretical frameworks that improve effectiveness and efficiency of our work

  • Train and mentor other team members

  • Get published in the trade, general-interest, and academic press by finding interesting stories to tell, and telling them well.

  • Share your knowledge by documenting best practices and writing instruction manuals

Job Requirements

We are looking for someone who has done similar work elsewhere and can dig right into the work that s been piling up.

  • Past experience delivering patient and physician research to biopharma companies. Experience with designing and conducting sophisticated primary qual and quant health research in an industry setting.

  • Experience with designing and programming questionnaires and interview guides; and conducting in-person and phone interviews.

  • Familiarity with a broad array of research methods, both for gathering the data and for analysing it, including methods from outside market research proper -- UX, psychographics, biofeedback, etc

  • A network of contacts among the research vendor space, from sampling and recruitment to analytics.

  • Familiarity with key business and marketing principles; interest in consumer and popular culture

  • A skillful communicator who can deliver complex information in an accessible and authoritative manner equally well via email and in a boardroom.

Extra points if...

  • You have done UX research work

  • You have worked on international research projects

  • You have done work that involved more advanced elements such as conjoint, maxdiff, TURF, perceptual maps (correspondence analysis), etc

  • You are familiar with key concepts of media planning

What it will take to succeed here

  • Shipping: Executing the day-to-day tasks; delivering projects on time and within parameters

    • Task-related knowledge. The nuts and bolts of running research projects.

    • Triage skills. There will be a lot of incoming requests, and being able to prioritize them is crucial.

    • Independent spirit, grit, and a knack for problem-solving in a fast-paced environment.

    • Ability to collaborate in a rapidly evolving environment, as well as ability to work on your own

    • Obsessive accuracy when it comes to numbers.

  • Driving: Identifying and pursuing the most impactful opportunities. Requires an entrepreneurial, self-directed attitude, creativity, and familiarity with the business context (healthcare marketing).

  • Growing: Being able to solve problems of increasing complexity. Requires awareness of gaps in one s own skills and knowledge, and a motivation to fill them; lots of self-directed learning. You will have access to whatever online tutorials, textbooks, and reference materials you need.

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