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Merck Principal Data Scientist in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Job Description

Our IT team operates as a business partner proposing ideas and innovative solutions that enable new organizational capabilities. We collaborate internationally to deliver the services and solutions that help everyone to be more productive and enable innovation.

Our team is a diverse collection of data scientists, bioinformaticians, and engineers, all working towards the same goal – enabling and accelerating the next generation of pharmaceutical sciences. We collaborate closely with laboratory and in silico scientists, proposing and implementing innovative solutions that enable new organizational capabilities.

Scientists in the Data Science and Scientific Informatics team develop techniques for quantitative analysis of numerous data types across the drug development pipeline, including imaging (histology, CT, MRI, PET, and confocal microscopy), multi-omics (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, single-cell sequencing), and numerous other quantitative bioassays (flow cytometry, mass spectroscopy, and more). We are seeking an applicant with expertise in Natural Language Processing to accelerate our team’s insights by leveraging external, open-source data sources, as well as internal, semi-structured data sources (reports, electronic lab notebooks, clinical results / EMR). A successful applicant will apply machine learning and data mining techniques to extract and automate extraction of meaningful information from these high-dimensional, multi-modality datasets. The position will strongly collaborate with scientists and clinicians across the entire breadth of the pharmaceutical pipeline, from discovery to clinical assessment. The position presents an opportunity to apply cutting-edge data analysis techniques to an emerging field with exciting and impactful applications in drug discovery and development.

Minimum education and Experience

  • Masters +9 years experience)

Required Experience and Skills

  • Min 7 years exp and proficiency in one or more of the following languages or software packages: Python, JavaScript, Matlab, or R (with preference for Python)

  • Min 3 years exp and proficiency in Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques, including open source text-mining, deep learning, knowledge graphs, regex, feature engineering, statistical models (sklearn, keras), and generative models

  • Proficiency with statistics, discrete math, statistical inference, algorithm development, and/or probabilistic modeling

  • Unix/Linux OS experience

  • Strong English communication skills

  • Proven track record in staff development, team mentoring, organizational partnering, and focus on addressing critical business needs

  • 10-20% travel

Preferred Experience and Skills

  • PhD + >=7 yrs experience in biomedical engineering, applied math, computer science, chemistry, physics, computer engineering, and related disciplines

  • Familiarity with structured data sources, such as SQL, PostgresSQL, mongoDB, neo4j, or Big Table

  • Familiarity with common machine learning and NLP libraries such as sklearn, NLTK, pytorch/tensorflow, pandas, spacy, genism, transformers a plus

  • Familiarity with XML, JSON, RESTful, and/or SOAP APIs

  • Familiarity with statistical learning, such as supervised, semi-supervised and unsupervised learning, a plus

  • Experience in distributed or cloud computing environments (AWS, Azure, etc)

  • Practical experience with complex analytical methods (quantitative modeling, causal inference, feature selection, Bayesian statistics, etc.)

  • Experience with network science, such as graph theory & processing

  • Version control and related code reproducibility practices (git, documentation, etc.)

Our Support Functions deliver services and makes recommendations about ways to enhance our workplace and the experience of working at our organization. Our Support Functions include HR, Finance, Information Technology, Legal, Procurement, Administration, Facilities and Security.

Who we are …

Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA is known as “Merck” in the United States, Canada & Puerto Rico. We are known as “MSD” in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America & Asia Pacific. We are a global biopharmaceutical leader with a diverse portfolio of prescription medicines, oncology, vaccines and animal health products.

We are driven by our purpose to develop and deliver innovative products that save and improve lives. With 69,000 employees operating in more than 140 countries, we offer state of the art laboratories, plants and offices that are designed to Inspire our employees as we learn, develop and grow in our careers. We are proud of our 125 years of service to humanity and continue to be one of the world’s biggest investors in Research & Development.

What we look for …

In a world of rapid innovation, we seek brave Inventors who want to make an Impact in all aspects of our business, enabling breakthroughs that will affect generations to come. We encourage you to bring your disruptive thinking, collaborative spirit and diverse perspective to our organization. Together we will continue Inventing For Life, Impacting Lives while Inspiring Your Career Growth .





In accordance with Managers' Policy - Job Posting and Employee Placement, all employees subject to this policy are required to have a minimum of twelve (12) months of service in current position prior to applying for open positions.

If you have been offered a separation benefits package, but have not yet reached your separation date and are offered a position within the salary and geographical parameters as set forth in the Summary Plan Description (SPD) of your separation package, then you are no longer eligible for your separation benefits package. To discuss in more detail, please contact your HRBP or Talent Acquisition Advisor.

US and Puerto Rico Residents Only:

If you need an accommodation for the application process please email us at

For more information about personal rights under Equal Employment Opportunity, visit:

EEOC Poster at

EEOC GINA Supplement​ at

OFCCP EEO Supplement at

OFCCP Pay Transparency Rule at

We are an equal opportunity employer, Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran – proudly embracing diversity in all of its manifestations.

Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully

Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Kenilworth, 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.

Employee Status:




VISA Sponsorship:


Travel Requirements:


Flexible Work Arrangements:

Flex Time


Valid Driving License:

Hazardous Material(s):

Number of Openings:


Requisition ID: R61605