Applications for this job have closed. Try searching for similar jobs.

Senior Director R&D Portfolio and Performance

AstraZeneca UK

Location: Cambridgeshire, Gaithersburg, Maryland

Job Type: Full time


Senior Director R&D Portfolio and Performance

Cambridge, UK or Gaithersburg, US

Competitive salary and benefits

Join a talented global team that’s powering AstraZeneca to better serve patients, every day. The fuel behind our evolving, rapidly growing enterprise, we’re here to help unlock the power of what science can do and ultimately have a big impact on patients’ lives.

We use our distinctive scientific capabilities to deliver a pipeline of life-changing medicines. With 179 projects in our development pipeline, 15 NMEs in our late-stage pipeline and 121 NME or major LCM projects in Phase II and Phase III. Total Revenue of $44.4bn (up by 8% from last year), we can boast countless opportunities and you can be sure this is the place to build an unrivalled reputation. Take your career in new directions and to even greater heights you’ll be rewarded for your successes.

You will lead the R&D Portfolio and performance teams across the full spectrum of research and development in AstraZeneca. With +$10b investment across Oncology, Biopharmaceutical and Rare Disease you will lead the Portfolio and Performance teams providing the financial input, guidance and challenge to shape the business strategies and develop the operational plans for R&D Portfolio. Leading the central R&D FP&A and Portfolio teams by providing leadership and people management to a team of multi-skilled finance staff located across UK, US and Poland. Driving efficiencies and implementing consistent ways of working with other teams and across geographies, you’ll work directly with Senior Executive Team (SET) members and Senior finance leaders and as such is regarded as the Portfolio and Performance Finance expert in R&D. You will be leading members of a global network of Finance Business Partners, Finance Business Managers and Business Analysts, sharing best practice and delivering valued support to the Business with global consistency and efficiency.

Typical accountabilities:

Business Strategy & Decision Support

  • Contribute to strategy development by shaping strategies and developing business and operational plans. Lead financial business and risk analysis and decision support to leadership teams showing various business models and ROI analysis. Generate innovative ideas based on synthesis of qualitative and quantitative information. Decisions to be supported in both value and impact include: implications of R&D Portfolio strategies choices, impact of payer and other environmental impacts on forecast, strategic change programme business case development, sourcing strategies and capacity decisions, resource allocation, commercial and/or procurement decisions, etc.

  • Provide financial input to shape strategies and develop business and operational plans. Lead Finance role in review and development of short & long-term strategy for GPPM and broadly across the R&D portfolio. Maintain an up-to-date understanding of all developments which may affect the organisation’s options and assessing business impact.

Business Performance

  • Joint accountability with the business for the accuracy of forecasts and leveraging sound understanding of the business model and financial drivers to challenge and influence the key cost drivers.

  • In partnership with the VP Finance R&D , manage the R&D costs as part of the overall AZ P&L as appropriate.

  • Ensure team provides reliable operational and financial forecasts ensuring resources are allocated to maximize value

  • Lead the financial planning cycle across R&D, setting stretch but attainable performance targets and incentives, aligned to strategy and operational plans. Partner with the Business Partner Center of Excellence to provide accurate reporting and ensure timely flow of information from the CoE to the business unit/ project/central finance. Highlight sensitivities and risks.

  • Lead the automation, standardisation and efficiency of R&D planning and portfolio activities

  • Proactively drive efficiencies across Global R&D Finance seeking cross functional process solutions

  • Lead finance and cross-functional teams and drive initiatives leading to increase business improvement.

  • Direct preparation of all presentations for key business and finance review meetings. Liaise with CoE to provide accurate data.

  • Through best practice stakeholder management techniques, explore needs with internal customers and external suppliers and utilize this information to improve business results leveraging significant commercial and business acumen.

Continuous Improvement, Governance and Coaching

  • Coach and lead a team of Senior Business Partners, Business Partners and Business Analysts to excellent performance. Drive teams to focus more on decision support activities and less on routine components of Business Performance Management. Develop the professional capability of the finance team and financial understanding on non-finance managers.

  • Coach business team members on finance planning and business cases. Coach both direct and indirect(CoE) Finance team members to understand needs of the business customer.

  • Initiate changes to improve working practices and processes in Finance and communicate these amongst the Finance Network. Drive to shift appropriate levels of work to Group Transactional Finance to optimize delivery of Finance processes.

  • Lead Finance role in communicating governance and compliance standards and statutory regulations to non-specialist in a way that is understandable and relevant and relays the risk of commercial decisions effectively.

  • Lead insightful and proactive risk management processes to ensure the organisation’s regulations, rules and process are adhered to; highlighting areas of concern.

Critical criteria:

  • Qualified finance professional operating at the senior level in a small level business unit.

  • Experience of leading a finance team and working within a global organisation

  • Significant experience of senior finance management and control roles.

  • Experience of working in a global pharmaceutical organisation/ understanding of the drug development life cycle and/or commercial aspects

  • Rigorous and analytical thinking. Experience developing business cases and use of decision support tools and coaching others in their development and use

  • Ability to apply governance, risk and compliance components

  • Excellent commercial knowledge of the business area and local financial environment

  • Impact and Influence/Collaborative Partnering

  • Organisational Awareness – demonstrates knowledge of corporate business context

  • Excellent communication and presentation skills, including oral and written

  • Working across boundaries with Centres of Excellence, remote teams and 3rd party vendors.

Desirable criteria:

  • Experience in managing a small or medium size country or in the role of Finance Director – Business Partnering

At AstraZeneca we’re dedicated to being a Great Place to Work. Where you are empowered to push the boundaries of science and unleash your entrepreneurial spirit. There’s no better place to make a difference to medicine, patients and society. An inclusive culture that champions diversity and collaboration. Always committed to lifelong learning, growth and development.

This role is open until the 21st March 2023.

Where can I find out more?

Follow AstraZeneca on LinkedIn

Follow AstraZeneca on Facebook

Follow AstraZeneca on Instagram

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.