Program Manager, ODC

Pennsylvania, United States
Oct 14, 2020
End of advertisement period
Dec 14, 2020
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Full Time

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Job Description Summary

Orphan diseases represent a collection of disorders that afflict fewer than 200,000 individuals for any single disease type, yet there are more than 7,000 distinct orphan diseases. The Orphan Disease Center (ODC) in the Perelman School of Medicine was founded in 2011 to promote and fund research in rare diseases globally, beyond Penn, making a difference for these under-served patient populations. A unique aspect of ODC is that it is a “Center without walls” which sources and contributes to developing transformative therapies through the use of platform technologies and of research strategies that can be deployed across multiple rare disease programs. The main feature is a pilot grant program which provides $8M annually to over 35 global institutions.

Continuation of all ODC positions is contingent on funding.

Job Description

We are currently seeking a new Program Manager, ODC to partner with the Programs of Excellence (POE) to manage diverse program portfolios of rare disease initiatives relevant to the ODC.

As the Program Manager, you will work with external partners to oversee directed research projects. You will partner with legal affairs to develop contractual agreements with these external partners and use these contractual agreements to develop timelines and milestones relevant to the project. You will continually monitor project progress, identify and implement solutions and mediate non-alignment between ODC expectations and external partner. 

You will provide administrative support and scientific management for pilot grant program request for applications (RFA), which includes oversight of the peer review process and determination of final awardees. You will work with ODC leadership and patient advocacy groups to determine final awardees. You will monitor the research activities of the awardees, including research milestones and funds.

You will also partner with POE Directors on research scouting activities or other projects that are relevant to the ODC and the rare disease communities it supports. 

A successful candidate will have a background in in-vitro or in-vivo pharmacology, project management experience with superior communication and relationship building skills. 

Joining the ODC offers you with unique opportunity to contribute to revolutionizing the practice of medicine for these under-served patient groups.


  • Master's Degree (life sciences or molecular biology desired) and 5 to 7 years of applicable experience, preferably in scientific research project management, or an equivalent combination of education and experience is required. PhD preferred. 
  • Research experience with in-vitro or in-vivo pharmacology strongly preferred. 
  • Ability to interact professionally with key leaders, as well as external academic, for-profit, and non-profit organizations. 
  • Ability to work with all levels within the organization from senior management to technicians. 
  • Ability to work independently and to perform well under pressure and embrace dynamic environment. Strong organizational and time management skills. Excellent oral & written communication skills with exceptional attention to detail.
  • Strong computer/technology skills including MS Excel, PowerPoint, and MS Project (or other similar Project Management tools).

Job Location - City, State

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School

Perelman School of Medicine

Pay Range

$72,837.00 - $138,391.00

Affirmative Action Statement 

Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements 

Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.