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Clinical Operations Program Head

East Hanover, NJ

About the Role

100,000+ That's how many patients participate in our clinical trials at any given time. GCO is Novartis' powerhouse of Global Clinical Operations, redesigned to enable faster trial recruitment and enhanced trial delivery resulting in more timely access for patients to potential novel treatments. Every day, we are the link between science and medicine - imagine the impact you could have as Clinical Operations Program Head! #GCO

This role will be part of the GCO Selection University approach. If you wish to apply for any more Selection University positions, please make sure you do so within the same day to ensure your applications can be reviewed jointly by the selection panel.

The Clinical Operations Program Head (COPH) is accountable to deliver data-driven, actionable operational and strategic insights for execution of a clinical development program and all associated trials by representing GCO at the Global Clinical Team (GCT) as well as at the Global Program Team (GPT).

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The COPH actively contributes to the GPCH's and GCT's strategic objective to achieve their own overall accountability for delivering the clinical program. The COPH provides the operational perspective to the Clinical Development Plan and to trial protocol design, ensuring that GCT/GPTs are aware of operational considerations and options, and that these are adequately reflected in planning. The COPH is the single point of contact for a trial/program within GCO and partners closely with key members of the GCT/GPT such as GPCH, GPH and other key communities to ensure best collaboration with operations to drive overall success of our programs and trials.

The COPH leads the GCO sub-team to determine the GCO operational input to planning prior to any given development tollgate and to prepare the Operational Execution Plan (OEP), which is authored and owned by the COPH. The OEP incorporates both data-derived insights as well as country insights which enable informed decision-making, identify complexity, enable the generation of risk mitigation plans to reduce chances of delays, allow easier adaption of actions, and ensure transparency of the GCO operational position and the downstream delivery of program and trial milestones.

Experienced leader guiding members of the organization through the GCO organizational evolution, the evolution of new "product aligned" ways of working and of our overall culture. He / she champions a product oriented agile mindset, fostering a culture of experimentation combined with accountable delivery and overall high performance.

Your Key Responsibilities:
1. Accountable for the operational delivery of the clinical development program and is responsible for the overall operational execution of the clinical program and related trials, as aligned with the IDP/CDP.
2. Single GCO point of contact for assigned clinical development program and related trials.
3. Key partner to GPCH during strategy, planning and execution stage of the program and related trials ensuring that the clinical science and strategy are consistently harmonized with an operationally feasible approach within the OEP-defined operational boundaries, so that the trials generate reliable information to answer the research questions and support decision making while protecting study participants.
4. In partnership with GCPH and other GCT members, actively offer operational insights and options to contribute to the program and trial strategy, in particular with respect to study design and protocol optimization and timelines planning.
5. Leads the GCO sub-team to ensure the creation of best-in-class OEPs and to ensure that progress of the assigned programs and trials is on track and that operational risks are identified and mitigated proactively. The COPH further leads the GCO sub-team to ensure monitoring of the status of the progress of the clinical trials in line with the OEP and to deploy mitigation measures whenever needed to ensure overall trial success.
6. Leads the GCO sub-team taking accountability for the success of the team and of each team member by implementing "agile" and "product-oriented" ways of working.
7. Holds accountability for the operational delivery of the assigned program and related clinical trials and for all related strategic planning, prioritization of activities within that program.
8. Is a key contact to senior leaders in GCO and beyond. Empowered to manage stakeholders, resolve conflict, and facilitate agreement.

The pay range for this position at commencement of employment is expected to be between $201,600 and $302,400/ year; however, while salary ranges are effective from 1/1/23 through 12/31/23, fluctuations in the job market may necessitate adjustments to pay ranges during this period. Further, final pay determinations will depend on various factors, including, but not limited to geographical location, experience level, knowledge, skills and abilities. The total compensation package for this position may also include other elements, including a sign-on bonus, restricted stock units, and discretionary awards in addition to a full range of medical, financial, and/or other benefits (including 401(k) eligibility and various paid time off benefits, such as vacation, sick time, and parental leave), dependent on the position offered. Details of participation in these benefit plans will be provided if an employee receives an offer of employment. If hired, employee will be in an "at-will position" and the Company reserves the right to modify base salary (as well as any other discretionary payment or compensation program) at any time, including for reasons related to individual performance, Company or individual department/team performance, and market factors.

The ideal location for this role is East Hanover (or any other primary Novartis work site including Indianapolis, IN or Forth Worth, TX), but employees with an existing Distant Working Arrangement (DWA) or remote designation who have been impacted through restructuring will be considered for a DWA. Please note that this role would not provide relocation as a result. All home office expenses and any travel/lodging to a primary work site for periodic live meetings will be at the employee's expense. The expectation of working hours and travel (domestic and/or international) will be defined by the hiring manager.

Diversity & Inclusion / EEO

We are Equal Opportunity Employers and take pride in maintaining a diverse environment. We do not discriminate in recruitment, hiring, training, promotion or other employment practices for reasons of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital or veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status. We are committed to building diverse teams, representative of the patients and communities we serve, and we strive to create an inclusive workplace that cultivates bold innovation through collaboration and empowers our people to unleash their full potential.

Accessibility and Reasonable Accommodations: Individuals in need of a reasonable accommodation due to a medical condition or disability for any part of the application process, or to perform the essential functions of a position, please let us know the nature of your request, your contact information and the job requisition number in your message:

  • Novartis: e-mail [email protected] or call +1 (877)395-2339
  • Sandoz: e-mail [email protected] or call: +1-609-422-4098

Role Requirements

What You'll Bring to the Role:
• Bachelors in life science/healthcare required; Advanced degree or equivalent education/degree in life sciences/ healthcare preferred (PhD/MD/ PharmD/ Masters).
• Fluent English (oral and written)
• 10 or more years of experience in pharmaceutical clinical drug development.
• Experience in managing associates globally and in management in a matrix organization.
• Proven ability to lead cross functional matrix teams applying product-oriented agile ways of working.
• Strong leadership, interpersonal and problem-solving skills. High resilience and ability to advocate and implement new ways of working.
• Has ability to understand data and insights with ability to communicate this succinctly and accurately
• Extensive knowledge of clinical development processes, preferably extensive knowledge of Novartis late-stage development processes or high likelihood to develop it within 6 months after appointment.
• Proven ability to lead in times of organizational transformation and to lead across organizational boundaries.
• Strong organizational awareness and stakeholder management skills.
• Strong knowledge of therapeutic area or high likelihood to develop it within 6 months after appointment. Strong matrix management skills for bridging stakeholders (business, scientific, technical)
• Strong relationship-building skills; can influence, negotiate with and motivate executive leadership
• Strong tolerance for ambiguity, willingness to adapt, willing to speak-up and challenge
• Embraces a culture of diversity, inclusion, quality, innovation and driving forward with integrity at all times

Why Consider Novartis?
766 million lives were touched by Novartis medicines in 2021, and while we're proud of this, we know there is so much more we could do to help improve and extend people's lives. We believe new insights, perspectives and ground-breaking solutions can be found at the intersection of medical science and digital innovation. That a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment inspires new ways of working.

We believe our potential can thrive and grow in an unbossed culture underpinned by integrity, curiosity, and flexibility. And we can reinvent what's possible, when we collaborate with courage to aggressively and ambitiously tackle the world's toughest medical challenges. Because the greatest risk in life, is the risk of never trying! Imagine what you could do here at Novartis!

Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion: Novartis embraces diversity, equal opportunity, and inclusion. We are committed to building diverse teams, representative of the patients and communities we serve, and we strive to create an inclusive workplace that cultivates bold innovation through collaboration and empowers our people to unleash their full potential.

Accessibility and Reasonable Accommodations: Individuals in need of a reasonable accommodation due to a medical condition or disability for any part of the application process, or to perform the essential functions of a position, please send an e-mail to [email protected] or call +1 (877)395-2339 and let us know the nature of your request and your contact information. Please include the job requisition number in your message.

Join our Novartis Network: If this role is not suitable to your experience or career goals but you wish to stay connected to learn more about Novartis and our career opportunities, join the Novartis Network here:

Why Novartis: Helping people with disease and their families takes more than innovative science. It takes a community of smart, passionate people like you. Collaborating, supporting and inspiring each other. Combining to achieve breakthroughs that change patients' lives. Ready to create a brighter future together?

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Business Unit


East Hanover, NJ

Company / Legal Entity
Novartis Pharmaceuticals

Functional Area
Research & Development

Job Type
Full Time

Employment Type

Shift Work

Client-provided location(s): East Hanover, NJ, USA
Job ID: Novartis-389961BR
Employment Type: Full Time