Principal Scientist, Process Chemistry, MRL San Francisco

Date: Jan 28, 2019

Location: South San Francisco, CA, US

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Requisition ID: RES002238

Merck & Co., Inc. Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A. known as Merck in the United States and Canada, is a global health care leader with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines and animal health products. The difference between potential and achievement lies in the spark that fuels innovation and inventiveness; this is the space where Merck has codified its legacy for over a century. Merck’s success is backed by ethical integrity, forward momentum, and an inspiring mission to achieve new milestones in global healthcare.

Merck is on a quest for cures and is committed to being the world’s premier, most research-intensive biopharmaceutical company. Today, we’re doubling down on this goal. Merck Research Laboratories is a true scientific research facility of tomorrow, and will take Merck’s leading discovery capabilities and world-class small molecule and biologics R&D expertise to create breakthrough science that radically changes the way we approach serious diseases. 

Merck is currently seeking a qualified synthetic organic chemist to join the Discovery Process Chemistry (DPC) group at our San Francisco, CA site.

The core responsibility of the successful candidate will be to lead a team of scientists in the development of innovative solutions to complex chemistry problems across a diverse portfolio of projects in the discovery phase, from lead identification through candidate selection, with the goal to apply these solutions to facilitate medicinal chemistry research by overcoming synthetic bottlenecks, streamlining SAR analogue synthesis, and providing access to novel chemical space.  The position is also responsible for defining scalable synthetic routes and successfully transitioning candidate compounds from discovery into early development, as well as managing supply of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) at varying scales during this period. Close collaboration with chemistry colleagues in Medicinal Chemistry and Process Chemistry, as well as a broad array of other discovery and preclinical research groups, will be expected.  As such, subject matter expertise in Process or Medicinal Chemistry is critical. 

The candidate must be highly self-motivated, demonstrate exceptional leadership and mentorship skills, possess strong experimental skills, have excellent written and oral communication abilities, collaborate effectively on multidisciplinary teams, and be able to demonstrate flexibility in adapting to change in a fast-paced, dynamic research environment.  In addition to supervising direct scientific reports, the candidate is also expected to provide broader mentorship and expertise across the DPC group.  The candidate will be expected to remain current with the latest synthetic methodologies, drive innovation, actively apply new concepts to continuously improve PR&D capabilities and expertise, and be active in the external  scientific community via publications and external presentations.


Education Minimum Requirement:  PhD in Organic Chemistry or related field. 

Required Experience and Skills: 
  • A minimum of 5 years experience with a proven track record of scientific excellence and successful research in process and/or medicinal chemistry
  • Established scientific reputation supported by peer-reviewed publications and external presentations
  • Expertise in organic synthesis
  • Demonstrated creativity and innovation in problem solving
  • Productivity and efficiency working in the lab
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  •  Excellent collaboration skills 
  • Ability to contribute to and lead cross-functional teams and influence team strategy and decision-making
  •  Demonstrated ability to develop talent through good mentoring skills

Your role at Merck is integral to helping the world meet new breakthroughs that affect generations to come, and we’re counting on your skills and inventiveness to help make meaningful contributions to global medical advancement. At Merck, we’re inventing for life. 


If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request to


Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully: 

Merck & Co., Inc. is not accepting unsolicited assistance from search firms for this employment opportunity.  Please, no phone calls or emails.  All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at Merck via email, the Internet or in any form and/or method without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of Merck.  No fee will be paid in the event the candidate is hired by Merck as a result of the referral or through other means.


Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.


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Merck is an equal opportunity employer, Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran – proudly embracing diversity in all of it’s manifestations.

Job: Research Science (59000450)
Other Locations: Rahway, NJ, US
Employee Status: Regular
Travel: No
Number of Openings: 1
Shift (if applicable): N/A
Hazardous Materials: Yes; Chemistry R&D
Company Trade Name: Merck

Nearest Major Market: San Francisco
Nearest Secondary Market: Oakland

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