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Associate Principal Scientist, Data Science



Data Science
South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Job Description

Our Discovery Biologics group is seeking an Associate Principal Scientist with experience in biologics and data science to expand our abilities to design and engineer biotherapeutics. We are building a department that directly integrates computational and wet-lab researchers with state-of-the-art automation to accelerate the discovery of novel biologics. We are a highly diverse and collaborative group of biologists, engineers, and computer scientists working at the edge of computation, disease biology, and biotherapeutics. We collaborate broadly within our Company and with academic and industry partners to accelerate the pace of biologics discovery and engineering.

We recognize that the diversity in our team is our strength, and we are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. Successful candidates must demonstrate inclusive behaviors in working with a diverse group of researchers to drive our core mission.

Job Responsibilities:

In this role, the successful candidate will work side-by-side with wet-lab researchers to design experiments and build datasets that enable machine learning to predict improved biologics. They will contribute to the identification and application of computational tools that enable the discovery and engineering of biologics. They will partner broadly across Discovery Biologics, Data Science, and IT to implement systems and practices that support high throughput data capture, integration, and the generation of predictive models. As part of project teams, they will analyze diverse multidimensional data to enable teams to drive programs forward. As part of technology development teams, they will pursue novel research that enhances our ability to collect and learn from large datasets. They will mentor, coach, and train fellow researchers. The successful candidate will join a diverse group of innovative researchers who are driving the next revolution in biologics discovery and engineering.

  • Develop data science based predictive models for biologics to advance early phase drug discovery programs
  • Develop computational routines and custom visualizations that enable project teams to impact protein engineering designs and allow teams to rapidly make program decisions from real-time data
  • Collaborate across groups to systematize and automate the process of capturing raw instrument data and preparing it for storage and analysis
  • Provide technical expertise and leadership for data science working groups and teams
  • Author and contribute to presentations, publications, and patents
  • Foster a high-performance culture of collaboration, engagement, self-accountability and inclusion


  • Ph.D. (with 4 years of relevant experience) in Computational Biology, Biostatistics, Biochemistry, Computer Science, or a related discipline with demonstrated expertise in biologics and data science, Master’s with (8) years or Bachelor’s with (12) years of relevant experience

Required Experience and Skills:

  • Fluency in at least one modern programming language such as C++, Python, or similar
  • Strong expertise in data science based predictive models for life science applications
  • Experience working with large multidimensional datasets to extract predictive features
  • Demonstrated ability to succeed in a collaborative, multidisciplinary team environment
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Champion for diverse and inclusive culture
  • Mentor and coach group members to complement and strengthen the team

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Experience with protein engineering or the discovery and development of biologics
  • Expertise in the application of relational databases and object-relational databases for semi-structured and unstructured data
  • Experience with multiple types of protein structure and sequence representations, featurization, and embeddings
  • Experience with protein modeling software (e.g., AlphaFold, Rosetta, TrRosetta, MOE, GROMACs, or similar)
  • Familiarity with data visualization tools and libraries
  • Ability to teach biologists and biochemists the fundamentals of data science



Employees working in roles that the Company determines require routine collaboration with external stakeholders, such as customer-facing commercial, or research-based roles, will be expected to comply not only with Company policy but also with policies established by such external stakeholders (for example, a requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to access a facility or meet with stakeholders). Please understand that, as permitted by applicable law, if you have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and an essential function of your job is to call on external stakeholders who require vaccination to enter their premises or engage in face-to-face meetings, then your employment may pose an undue burden to business operations, in which case you may not be offered employment, or your employment could be terminated. Please also note that, where permitted by applicable law, the Company reserves the right to require COVID-19 vaccinations for positions, such as in Global Employee Health, where the Company determines in its discretion that the nature of the role presents an increased risk of disease transmission.

Current Employees apply HERE

Current Contingent Workers apply HERE

US and Puerto Rico Residents Only:

Our company is committed to inclusion, ensuring that candidates can engage in a hiring process that exhibits their true capabilities. Please click here if you need an accommodation during the application or hiring process.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability status, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. For more information about personal rights under the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment laws, visit:

EEOC Know Your Rights

EEOC GINA Supplement​

Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination

We are proud to be a company that embraces the value of bringing diverse, talented, and committed people together. The fastest way to breakthrough innovation is when diverse ideas come together in an inclusive environment. We encourage our colleagues to respectfully challenge one another’s thinking and approach problems collectively.

Learn more about your rights, including under California, Colorado and other US State Acts

U.S. Hybrid Work Model

Effective September 5, 2023, employees in office-based positions in the U.S. will be working a Hybrid work consisting of three total days on-site per week, generally Tuesday, Wednesday and either Monday or Thursday, although the specific days may vary by site or organization, with Friday designated as a remote-working day, unless business critical tasks require an on-site presence. This Hybrid work model does not apply to, and daily in-person attendance is required for, field-based positions; facility-based, manufacturing-based, or research-based positions where the work to be performed is located at a Company site; positions covered by a collective-bargaining agreement (unless the agreement provides for hybrid work); or any other position for which the Company has determined the job requirements cannot be reasonably met working remotely. Please note, this Hybrid work model guidance also does not apply to roles that have been designated as “remote”.

Under New York State, Colorado State, Washington State, and California State law, the Company is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the salary range for this job. Final determinations with respect to salary will take into account a number of factors, which may include, but not be limited to the primary work location and the chosen candidate’s relevant skills, experience, and education.

Expected salary range:

$151,900.00 - $239,200.00

Available benefits include bonus eligibility, long term incentive if applicable, health care and other insurance benefits (for employee and family), retirement benefits, paid holidays, vacation, and sick days. A summary of benefits is listed here.

Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully
Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA, also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC, Rahway, NJ, USA, does not accept unsolicited assistance from search firms for employment opportunities. All CVs / resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at our company without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of our company. No fee will be paid in the event a candidate is hired by our company as a result of an agency referral where no pre-existing agreement is in place. Where agency agreements are in place, introductions are position specific. Please, no phone calls or emails.

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Job Posting End Date:


*A job posting is effective until 11:59:59PM on the day BEFORE the listed job posting end date. Please ensure you apply to a job posting no later than the day BEFORE the job posting end date.

Job Posting End Date:07/31/2024

A job posting is effective until 11:59:59PM on the day BEFORE the listed job posting end date. Please ensure you apply to a job posting no later than the day BEFORE the job posting end date.

Requisition ID:R293710