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Job Details

Merck & Co, Inc

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – New vaccine platform development

Business Development

Strategic Planning


Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Job Description

Be a part of the legacy: Postdoctoral Research Fellow Program

Our Research Laboratories’ Postdoctoral Research Fellow Program aims to be a best-in-industry program for industrial postdoctoral researchers, designed to provide you with an academic focus in a commercial environment. With the resources, reach, and expertise of a large pharmaceutical company, postdoctoral researchers will be positioned to excel in an institution committed to breakthrough innovation in research and discovery.

Position Overview:

We are currently seeking a talented and motivated Postdoctoral Scientist with expertise in the fields of biochemistry and immunology. As a postdoctoral fellow within theour company's Research Laboratory, you will have the unique opportunity to collaborate closely with esteemed professionals in the fields of Biochemistry, Immunology, Vaccinology, and Quantitative Bioscience. Your primary objective will be to develop a novel antigen-presenting platform capable of eliciting a protective immune response. We are looking for an ideal candidate who can conceptualize and execute the development of various platform designs, each focused on achieving robust protective immune responses, multivalency, and safety for next-generation vaccines. As part of this role, you will receive training in cutting-edge multidisciplinary techniques and establish collaborations with functional areas within our Research Laboratories, with the ultimate goal of advancing knowledge in vaccine design and immunology through peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations. This full-time position will be based in Cambridge, Massachusetts (MA), with the opportunity for short-term travel to West Point, Pennsylvania (PA), for training and experiments.

Key responsibilities:

  • Design and synthesize antigen-presenting conjugates and characterize their biochemical and physical properties.

  • Establish and utilize biochemical tools, ex vivo and in vitro assays, murine in vivo immunogenicity models, and multi-parametric flow cytometry to evaluate vaccine-induced immunity and optimize vaccination strategies.

  • Interpret data, prepare manuscripts for publication, and deliver presentations.

  • Actively participate in meetings and seminars both within our company and externally.

Education Minimum Requirement:

  • PhD in biochemistry, immunology, pharmacology, or a related field

  • Less than 2 years of postdoctoral experience or plans to graduate with a PhD or will you have completed your PhD within the next year.

Required Experience and Skills:

  • Ability to design and execute experiments with a track record of publications.

  • Hands-on experience in either bio-orthogonal chemistry for biomolecule conjugation or in vitro and in vivo immunological assays.

  • Highly self-motivated, creative, and possess critical thinking skills to solve complex technical and scientific problems with excellent attention to detail.

  • Strong organizational and communication skills (oral and written).

  • Ability to analyze and interpret diverse types of scientific data.

  • Ability to work independently while maintaining a team-oriented approach and building strong relationships in highly collaborative, multidisciplinary teams.

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Experience in vaccine design and development.

  • Proficiency in bacterial cell and mammalian immune cell culturing.

  • Development and execution of fluorescence-based cell assays, including operating fluorescent microscopes.

  • Proficiency in molecular biology, biochemistry, and/or immunological techniques (binding affinity assays, protein characterization, Western Blot, ELISA, flow cytometry, etc.).

  • Analytical characterization skills (preferred, but not required).

  • Experience in synthetic chemistry (an additional asset, but not required).



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.

Employees working in roles that the Company determines require routine collaboration with external stakeholders, such as customer-facing commercial, or research-based roles, will be expected to comply not only with Company policy but also with policies established by such external stakeholders (for example, a requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to access a facility or meet with stakeholders). Please understand that, as permitted by applicable law, if you have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and an essential function of your job is to call on external stakeholders who require vaccination to enter their premises or engage in face-to-face meetings, then your employment may pose an undue burden to business operations, in which case you may not be offered employment, or your employment could be terminated. Please also note that, where permitted by applicable law, the Company reserves the right to require COVID-19 vaccinations for positions, such as in Global Employee Health, where the Company determines in its discretion that the nature of the role presents an increased risk of disease transmission.

Current Employees apply HERE

Current Contingent Workers apply HERE

US and Puerto Rico Residents Only:

Our company is committed to inclusion, ensuring that candidates can engage in a hiring process that exhibits their true capabilities. Please click here if you need an accommodation during the application or hiring process.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability status, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. For more information about personal rights under the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment laws, visit:

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We are proud to be a company that embraces the value of bringing diverse, talented, and committed people together. The fastest way to breakthrough innovation is when diverse ideas come together in an inclusive environment. We encourage our colleagues to respectfully challenge one another’s thinking and approach problems collectively.

Learn more about your rights, including under California, Colorado and other US State Acts

U.S. Hybrid Work Model

Effective September 5, 2023, employees in office-based positions in the U.S. will be working a Hybrid work consisting of three total days on-site per week, generally Tuesday, Wednesday and either Monday or Thursday, although the specific days may vary by site or organization, with Friday designated as a remote-working day, unless business critical tasks require an on-site presence. This Hybrid work model does not apply to, and daily in-person attendance is required for, field-based positions; facility-based, manufacturing-based, or research-based positions where the work to be performed is located at a Company site; positions covered by a collective-bargaining agreement (unless the agreement provides for hybrid work); or any other position for which the Company has determined the job requirements cannot be reasonably met working remotely. Please note, this Hybrid work model guidance also does not apply to roles that have been designated as “remote”.

Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully
Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA, also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC, Rahway, 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.

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Requisition ID:R250191