Job Details

Senior Manager, Research & Development Operations

Senior Manager, Research & Development Operations
Accepting BioReady
Full Time

STEMCELL Technologies

not disclosed
British Columbia
Date Posted
03/10/2018 - 09:15
Closing Date
03/11/2018 - 09:15
Job Description

STEMCELL Technologies Inc. is a privately-owned biotechnology company based in Vancouver that helps power leading-edge life science research around the world. Scientists performing stem cell, immunology, cancer, regenerative medicine and cellular therapy research are among those who rely on our cell culture media, cell separation products, instruments, ancillary reagents and contract assay services. We create novel, useful, standardized products of unfailing quality and deliver them to more than 70 countries via our many regional offices plus distribution centres in Vancouver, Seattle, Grenoble and Singapore.  Driven by our love of science and our passion for quality, we see ourselves simply as “Scientists Helping Scientists” – standing by our customers to provide outstanding products, technical support and training.  We have over 1000 science-oriented employees globally, including 250 PhDs/MScs, with most others holding a BSc or engineering degree.  STEMCELL is proud to be the largest Biotechnology employer in Canada.

Reporting to the Vice President, Research and Development (R&D), the Senior Manager, R&D Operations is responsible for managing all facets of the R&D Operations business unit, the assigned team(s) and related project deliverables (including scope, budget and schedule), in alignment with R&D’s overall operational strategic direction. 

This brand new senior level role manages and ensures delivery of the R&D Operations portfolio (Administration, Operations, Product Development and Project Management) by contributing to the department’s organic and inorganic growth agenda, as well as achieving optimization of the internal systems, processes, department-wide projects, administration function and internal collaborations. The ultimate goal of the role is to evolve the R&D Operations as a strategically focused business unit to meet this expected growth. As a member of the R&D Executive Team, the Senior Manager provides strategic operational guidance and analytical insight by reporting and presenting findings and recommendations to the R&D Executive Team, which will enable them to make informed business decisions that enhance organizational capabilities, deliver on cost saving initiatives and improve operating efficiencies. 

To be successful in the role, the incumbent requires a high degree of operational, scientific/technical and project management experience, the requisite leadership capabilities to manage a diverse portfolio varying in scope and complexity, in addition to successfully building relationships and interfacing across the R&D department and with other business units across STEMCELL to deliver the targeted results.

Education & Qualifications: 
  • PhD in Immunology, Hematology or Stem Cell Biology, plus 4 years of industry experience. Development of products at STEMCELL is an asset.
  • Minimum 10 years of progressive managerial or operations management experience in a related industry leading operational functions and multi-departmental teams. MBA, PMP or change management certification is an asset.
  • Knowledge of RUO and clinical reagent markets in fields related to STEMCELL products.
  • Strategic mindset to design, develop and convey operational strategies and tactical plans.
  • Extensive experience generating new product proposals and business plans.
  • Comprehensive understanding of business priorities, corporate strategy and corporate operations.
  • Proven track record of planning, administration, prioritization and implementation of processes, protocols and projects, as well as identifying cost saving opportunities.
  • Strong analytical and negotiation skills, capable of problem solving and troubleshooting operational issues.
  • Strong knowledge of budget development, management and oversight; familiarity with business and financial principles. 
  • Demonstrated experience with stakeholder engagement and stakeholder management. Proven track record in collaborating with internal R&D and non-R&D functions.
  • Highly flexible, good tolerance for ambiguity and able to quickly adapt to changing priorities.
  • Proficient program / project management skills and principles, including scope, schedule and resource planning. Ability to anticipate, plan and realize significant projects involving multiple technical and scientific hurdles.
  • Knowledge of technical, scientific and regulatory principles related to the biotechnology / life sciences industry.
  • Strong intellectual curiosity, appetite for exploring new and previously unchartered processes, protocols, structures and programs to evolve the organization.
  • Previous leadership experience of hiring, managing, developing a high performing team.  Ability to lead and influence a diverse team during change, while maintaining cooperation, motivation and cohesiveness.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including ability to demonstrate tact and diplomacy with multiple stakeholders at all levels.
  • Confident, results-oriented.


Duties & Responsibilities: 

Operational Strategy, Business Plans & Goals:

  • In collaboration with the Vice President, R&D, contribute to the development and execution of a short- and long-term strategy for R&D Operations, including establishing fiscal goals, prioritizing projects and related tactical initiatives.
  • Ensure alignment with the R&D Executives in defining the R&D Operations Annual Business Plan. Serve as a lead for R&D Operations in the R&D Strategic Planning sessions.
  • Optimize and effectively respond to the current and future requirements and opportunities of a growing department in alignment with the company’s business partners (e.g. HR, Finance, IS, Facilities).
  • Identify and recommend key strategic and tactical initiatives within own area of responsibility; prepare and present proposals and opportunistic business cases to the R&D Executives for decision-making. Influence R&D Executives to buy-in to new organizational processes and protocols.
  • Working with the Senior Business Analyst, support the quality control, maintenance, administration and reporting of all R&D Business Plans including but not limited to i) Support the development of the Business Plans working with the Scientists, Business Development, Strategic Marketing, Business Operations and Finance ii) Organize Strategic Planning sessions annually and ad-hoc as required.
  • Define, manage and report on R&D Operations goals, milestones and key performance indicators to measure, track and evaluate progress of the business unit’s activities per quarter and the results / output of individual and team performance of R&D Operations.
  • Ensure all R&D business units have a 5-year plan for staffing and budget and update related documentation on a quarterly basis including wall charts, goals, budget, research/tax grant incentive programs, 5-year plan, team guidance documents and staffing requests. Develop sustainable processes to link the budget to the 5-year plan working with Finance.

Operational Management:

  • In collaboration with the Vice President, R&D, lead and manage the R&D Operations functions (Administration, Operations, Product Development and Project Management) and the team(s) accountable for providing services, support and administration to the R&D department and the employees with the goal of enabling organizational capabilities and increasing operational effectiveness.
  • Serve as the lead ‘go-to’ resource and representative of the R&D Operations business unit for the employees in R&D. Build and influence relationships within the department at all levels and across STEMCELL, up to C-level.  
  • Lead process improvement efforts and maintain oversight for operational effectiveness of R&D Operations, and apply improvements as needed. Foster a culture of continuous improvement and empowerment within the team(s).  Report effectively on these improvements to the Vice President and/or the R&D Executives.
  • Build, refine and continually work towards achieving efficient systems, including processes, structures, protocols and technologies aimed at operational efficiency and optimization.
  • Manage, track and report on the R&D Operations budget in partnership with Finance and communicate financial implications to the Vice President, R&D and/or R&D Executives. Identify and initiate cost reduction projects within the department and report out the results to the R&D Executives.
  • Manage the R&D fiscal staffing plan and respond to staffing requests/needs in partnership with HR.
  • Support R&D growth through resource planning, forecasting future needs and securing availability of current and future resources, including space planning and equipment allocation.
  • Oversee the R&D project management portfolio and deliverables that directly or indirectly impact R&D, including identifying potential critical path bottlenecks before they affect key timelines.
  • Ensure R&D Operations team(s) understands the corporate and R&D Executive expectations and project deliverables, including special projects as assigned. Use scientific and technical background to encourage exploration of multiple approaches.
  • Drive cross-functional, cohesive communication and alignment to ensure efficient operations within R&D. Serve as an interface between R&D business units and R&D Executives. Oversee the maintenance of R&D minutes and action items / decision logs to ensure robust documentation is in place.

Technology Review:

  • May evaluate technologies as appropriate and work with the Scientists, Business Development, Strategic Marketing and Business Operations to generate summaries of technologies evaluated. Report out on a quarterly basis

Team Leadership & Management:

  • Engage with the R&D Executives and R&D Team Leads to influence and negotiate in sensitive, complex and/or conflicting operational, management and staffing situations.
  • Chair and manage the agenda for the R&D Operations meetings, including follow-through of action items.
  • Propose team organizational structure and reporting changes in R&D Operations; communicate change effectively and manage impact of change in consultation with the Vice President, R&D.  
  • Build a talented workforce through effective hiring best practices. Assess the team’s training needs and ensure their needs are met within the departmental plan and budget.
  • Lead people development initiatives to increase individual and team bench strength within R&D Operations. Manage and evaluate direct reports through regular one-on-one and team meetings. Conduct and document performance reviews (quarterly goals and annual reviews) and make compensation recommendations for direct reports in accordance with Company policies and practices.
  • Responsible for conflict resolution within the team and use of negotiation skills to reach consensus or, where consensus is not possible, escalate for decision.
  • Ensure all corporate and R&D legal obligations, policies and procedures are adhered by the team(s).
Other Information: 

This is an opportunity to work with highly motivated colleagues in a science-oriented, creative and dynamic environment. We offer a competitive salary, excellent benefits and significant career development opportunities. If you are interested in this challenging and rewarding position, please apply online at