• Start-up Project Director

    Job Location(s) SG-Singapore | AU-Sydney | KR-Seoul
    Job Number
    Job Category
    Clinical Study Start Up
    Position Type
  • Job Overview

    Spotlight Job/Singapore


    The Start-up Director provides oversight at a portfolio level for clients. Responsibilities include oversight of Start-up PMs to ensure client deliverables are met. They supervise and assess the performance of their direct reports; motivate, train and develop direct reports expertise to ensure efficient and effective day-to-day operations, while maintaining good relationships with clients.


    Essential Job Duties:

    Line management and client leadership responsibilities for the training, utilization, development and performance review of assigned staff.



    • Provide leadership and support to direct reports during study start-up and maintenance.
    • Delivers visible leadership for clients both internally and externally through effective problem solving.
    • Responsible for oversight of provision of client deliverables on-time, within budget and scope and with required quality for projects or program assigned to direct reports.
    • Ensure team alignment to client expectations at a project and portfolio level, representing start up to clients at a portfolio governance level.
    • Promote and support effective cross-functional teamwork among project team members and portfolios. Serve as an escalation point and resolve conflicts, as needed,
    • Initiate improvements to enhance the efficiency and the quality of the work within site activation and maintenance. Lead and support  successful implementation of initiatives 
    • Effectively communicate management strategies, policies and procedures in conjunction with leadership teams.
    • Reviews and approves timelines during Bid Defense meeting preparation; attend and present at Bid Defense meetings. 
    • Contribute to proposal strategy, development, costing, and bid defense for assigned business development opportunities


    • Understand and manage client expectations. Anticipate client needs and plan accordingly.
    • Approve and provide input for site activation timelines in alignment with client expectations.. Support and pressure test country re-forecasts and push back if reforecasted timelines are not realistic. 
    • Find creative and cost-effective ways to meet quality metrics agreed with client and key stakeholders.
    • Support SUPM team in proactively identifying out of scope activities, ensure necessary change orders are executed and support negotiations with client on project budget issues. 
    • Accountable for budget management across assigned projects and/or programs.   Support development of  strategies to control and minimize write-offs
    • Monitor progress against project plans and oversee implementation of mitigation or revision to plans as necessary. 
    • Lead internal Project Review meetings to monitor if site activations are on track. Ensure project risks are discussed. Provide ongoing oversight to ensure mitigation plans are in place and working for any projects off track or at risk for becoming off track. 
    • Use lessons learned to adapt and implement quality improvements across projects and portfolios.
    • Responsible for appropriate issue escalation and timely resolution of quality issues  
    • Support both internal and external audits and resolution of any audit findings.


    • Support and develop direct reports and monitor performance, facilitate adjustments when necessary to ensure goal attainment and continued development
    • Responsible for the supervision of assigned direct reports. Ensure that direct reports adhere to professional standards and SOPs. Schedule and/or conduct trainings as applicable.
    • Develop and grow staff within and across the organization through mentoring and training. 
    • Place staff into roles which maximize their contribution and organizational effectiveness
    • Develops succession plan. Responsible for detailed performance review and management of assigned direct reports, including Annual Performance Management and Development (PMD) and Individual Development Plan (IDP). 
    • Responsible for appropriate management and resolution of performance issues. 
    • Support business unit and utilization targets


    • Present at external and/or internal meetings.  
    • Provide performance feedback to respective functional areas. 
    • Perform other duties as assigned by management.



    • University/college degree (life science preferred) or certification in a related allied health profession (i.e. nursing, medical or laboratory technology) from an appropriately accredited institution 
    • Thorough Knowledge of financial control procedures.
    • Thorough knowledge of project management processes, especially regarding study start-up.
    • Thorough knowledge of ICH Guidelines and GCP including international regulatory requirements for the conduct of clinical development programs.
    • Broad knowledge of drug development process and client needs.



    • Masters or other advanced degree.
    • PMP certification
    • Detailed knowledge of Covance and the overall structure of the organization.
    • Basic knowledge of Covance sales and business development strategies and procedures.



    • 6 or more years of drug development and clinical research experience (pharmaceutical, biotech or CRO), preferably including 4 or more years project management responsibility / leading clinical trials in Study Start-up.
    • 1 or more years global leadership experience, ideally in a complex, virtual and matrix environment leading large multi-functional teams 
    • Experience in managing global programs with large financial value and complicated structure, multiple vendors and/or sub-CROs and Academic Research Organizations in a virtual environment.
    • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple competing priorities
    • Ability to utilize resources effectively on large global scale including programs with multiple budgets 
    • Financial awareness and ability to actively manage financial tracking systems.
    • Demonstrated ability to inspire effective teamwork and motivate staff within a matrix system.
    • Demonstrated ability to lead by example and to encourage team members to seek solutions.
    • Excellent presentation skills and confidence presenting to senior management.
    • Excellent communication, planning and organizational skills.
    • Ability to work independently.
    • Ability to negotiate and liaise with clients in a professional manner.
    • Ability to present to staff at all levels.
    • Ability to mentor junior level staff
    • Good computer skills with good working knowledge of range of computer programs


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