Senior Director Data Scientist - Digital Health R&D

AstraZeneca UK

Location: Cambridgeshire, Gaithersburg, Maryland, Waltham, Massachusetts

Job Type: Full time


Perfection not required
Excited about this role, but not sure if you meet 100% of the criteria? Employers would still love to hear from you.

At AstraZeneca, we work together to deliver innovative medicines to patients across global boundaries. We make an impact and find solutions to challenges. We do this with integrity, even in the most difficult situations, because we are committed to doing the right thing.

The Digital Health Oncology R&D Human-centered AI and Machine Learning Team strives to transform the patient experience and clinical trial process. We will do so by deploying digital solutions to clinical trials and in the real world to decrease patient burden. The approach the team takes will incorporate clinical trial data, Real World Evidence (RWE) data, clinical free text, medical imaging, Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs), and device data to define new digital approaches to addressing the pressing problems across the AZ R&D portfolio.

The team is looking for a Senior Director of Data Science to specialize in development of innovative machine learning methods focused on multi-modal datasets including clinical trial data, RWE, imaging data, and other biomedical data sources to address patient burden. This role will have a heavy emphasis on clinical trial design, optimization and incorporation of machine learning into clinical trial process and supporting functions. This Data Scientist will also work closely with subject matter experts and collaborators to develop innovative new machine learning enabled process innovation. Applicants should have a strong foundation in statistics, experience with machine learning in a production environment, demonstrated success leading a team of data scientists in industry and experience maintaining a portfolio of machine-learning enabled products.

Examples of projects the team works on include machine learning models for developing digital biomarkers, digital therapeutics, computer vision diagnostics and clinical decision support tools, approaches to quantitatively analyze wearable data, linking of medical imaging data with ‘omics and longitudinal outcomes to identify and/or validate new drug targets, and much more!

  • Leads team of data scientists to provide sophisticated data science expertise to AstraZeneca projects and recommend data science solutions.

  • Engages with the wider organization to articulate complex challenges and opportunities. Define the direction of analytical and cross-functional teams to identify, structure, and implement analytical solutions.

  • Leads portfolio of data science projects and/or products to drive strategic company priorities.

  • Delivers innovative data science solutions to AstraZeneca projects, appropriately communicating with non-technical partners.

  • Design review with non-technical collaborators and interpretation of complex business needs into tangible technical solutions.

  • Lead regular code reviews with teams to ensure quality delivery.

  • Works within established frameworks to deliver a variety of tasks that support projects in meeting their objectives.

  • Independently keeps own knowledge up to date and learns from team members, proposing appropriate training courses for personal development.

  • Reviews working practices and ensures non-compliant processes are raised.

  • Manages, coaches, and develops data scientists. Represents team at internal and external venues and ensures both development of internal resources and recruitment of external talent.

  • Partners with cross-functional team leads in a multidisciplinary environment with world leading clinicians, data scientists, biological experts, statisticians and IT professionals.


  • Master’s degree in relevant field

  • Deep understanding of drug development and clinical trial process and data (all phases)

  • Demonstrated an outstanding track-record of delivering a portfolio in a highly regulated clinical setting

  • Practical software development skills in standard data science tools: Python, Agile, Code versioning (bitbucket/git), UNIX skills, familiarity working in cloud environment (AWS preferred)

  • End-to-end experience leading collaborative data science projects in an industry setting

  • ML Ops experience: model tracking, model governance, multiple models in different production contexts

  • Experience developing machine learning first products including optimization, time-series analysis, forecasting, graph data modeling and analytics and natural language processing

  • Knowledge of range of mathematical and statistical modelling techniques and strives to continue to learn and develop these skills

  • Communication, business analysis, and consultancy; ability to present compelling cases to partners and operate dynamically to identify solutions


  • Ph.D. degree in rigorous quantitative science (such as mathematics, computer science, engineering) or M.B.A. with analytics experience in industry.

  • Experience within the pharmaceutical industry or tech sector with extensive knowledge of clinical trial process (all phases) and associated regulatory activities.

  • Advanced machine learning models: transformer-based NLP models, reinforcement learning, ML-based optimization, GNNs, state-of-the-art time-series & forecasting models

We provide competitive salary and benefits

This role can sit at our Cambridge, UK; Gaithersburg, MD; or Waltham, MA locations.

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 recognising their potential. Join us on our journey of building a new kind of organisation to reset expectations of what a bio-pharmaceutical company can be. This means we’re opening new ways to work, pioneering cutting edge methods and bringing unexpected teams together. Interested? Come and join our journey.

So, what’s next!

If you are ready to make a difference - apply today, and we'll make it happen together!

Where can I find out more?

Date Posted


Closing Date


AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.

AstraZeneca requires all US employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 but will consider requests for reasonable accommodations as required by applicable law.

You’ve got this!