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Job Details

Merck & Co, Inc

Postdoctoral Research Fellow: Quantitative Pharmacology and Pharmacometrics

Science and Research

Research and Development


Rahway, New Jersey, 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:

Scientific Question

Noisy clinical measurements – e.g., with coefficient of variation > 30% – are typically censored as falling below the limit of quantification. Biomarkers that routinely fall below limit of quantitation are deemed “exploratory” or “merely qualitative,” and their utility in clinical trials is questioned. This challenge arises across areas of drug development, e.g., :

  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus cure research: viral reservoirs persist far below levels detected by regulated clinical assays and are characterized only by exploratory assays;
  • Wearable neurosensors: rapid fluctuations in cognitive states may be difficult to disentangle from mere noise;
  • Viral-vector vaccines: understanding efficacy involves measuring the biodistribution of small quantities of vaccine virus.

Censored data from exploratory assays can be “rescued” to provide real biological insight in a regulated clinical setting. To do so, we need the right quantitative tools to use this data in mathematical models and clinical endpoints for trials. That’s where you come in…

What is the Position?

As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Quantitative Pharmacology and Pharmacometrics, you will work with a collaborative team of scientists in pharmacology, bioanalysis / biomarker development, and discovery biology. You will develop new quantitative methods to extract meaningful information from noisy biomarkers, with the aim of incorporating them into predictive models of disease and treatment. The initial focus of the fellowship will be on applications for Human Immunodeficiency Virus cure research, with additional topics and projects available depending on your interest and development goals. All Postdoctoral Research Fellows work with a dedicated mentor, collaborate with experienced scientists, and are fully integrated into the larger Quantitative Pharmacology and Pharmacometrics group.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Building statistical / mathematical methods to interpret raw biomarker data (e.g., qPCR, ddPCR, RNAscope, wearable sensors) and incorporate them into longitudinal models of disease progression and treatment;
  • Developing recommendations, based on your modeling work, for how exploratory and below limit of quantitation data can be used in drug development;
  • Collaborating with biologists and clinicians on development and clinical use of novel biomarkers;
  • Publishing your research in peer-reviewed journals.

Education Minimum Requirement:

  • Candidates must currently hold a PhD OR receive a PhD by Fall 2022
  • Degree in mathematical biology, systems biology, statistics / biostatistics, mathematics / applied mathematics, computer science, computational biology / chemistry, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, pharmacometrics, chemical / biomedical engineering, or a related field

Required Experience and Skills:

  • Experience with mathematical and/or statistical modeling of biological systems (e.g., within-host, epidemiological, time-to-event, or other longitudinal models)
  • Proficiency in at least one programming language or pharmacometrics application (e.g., R, MATLAB, Python, Stan, NONMEM, Monolix, or other language)
  • Scientific writing skill, demonstrated by publication record (includes preprints)

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Experience with Bayesian statistics, including ability to formulate custom likelihood functions in a programming language
  • Understanding of experimental design and interpretation of data from infectious disease assays (PCR-based, outgrowth, flow cytometry, etc.)
  • Understanding of statistical analysis and validation of biomarkers
  • Experience working in multidisciplinary teams that include clinicians and biologists

We are a research-driven biopharmaceutical company. Our mission is built on the simple premise that if we “follow the science” that great medicines can make a significant impact to our world. We believe that a research-driven enterprise dedicated to world-class science can succeed by inventing medicine and vaccine innovations that make a difference for patients across the globe.


Who we are …

We are known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, New Jersey, USA in the United States and Canada and MSD everywhere else. For more than a century, we have been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Today, our company continues to be at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions and advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and animals around the world.

What we look for …

Imagine getting up in the morning for a job as important as helping to save and improve lives around the world. Here, you have that opportunity. You can put your empathy, creativity, digital mastery, or scientific genius to work in collaboration with a diverse group of colleagues who pursue and bring hope to countless people who are battling some of the most challenging diseases of our time. Our team is constantly evolving, so if you are among the intellectually curious, join us—and start making your impact today.


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 Human Resource Business Partner or Talent Acquisition Advisor.


Post Doc:

Under New York City, Washington State and California State law, the Company is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the salary range for this job. Final determinations with respect to salary will take into account a number of factors, which may include, but not be limited to the primary work location and the chosen candidate’s relevant skills, experience, and education.

Expected salary range:


Available benefits include bonus eligibility, health care and other insurance benefits (for employee and family), retirement benefits, paid holidays, vacation, and sick days. For Washington State Jobs, a summary of benefits is listed here.

For positions located in the United States and Puerto Rico – Subject to applicable law, all new hires (including internal transfers) must demonstrate that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they qualify for a medical or religious exemption to this vaccination requirement. New hires (including internal transfers) to a position that, as determined by the Company, requires routine collaboration with external stakeholders (such as roles in health services or customer-facing commercial or research-based roles) (“Customer-Facing Role”) who are not vaccinated must qualify for a medical or religious exemption and be in a position that the Company determines can accommodate unvaccinated employees without causing an undue burden to business operations. If, following dialog with the candidate as appropriate, it is determined that the candidate either a) does not qualify for a religious or medical exemption or, b) for candidates applying for Customer-Facing roles, it is determined that allowing the candidate to work without vaccination would cause an undue burden to the Company, the candidate will be ineligible for hire or transfer, or any offer of employment or transfer (if applicable) will be revoked. Please note that notwithstanding the approval of any reasonable accommodation, the Company reserves the right to monitor, modify, or revoke any such accommodation if it is determined, following dialog with the employee, that the accommodation is no longer effective or results in an undue burden to the Company.

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US and Puerto Rico Residents Only:

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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. We are an equal opportunity employer, committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace.

Residents of Colorado:

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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.

Employee Status:



No relocation

VISA Sponsorship:


Travel Requirements:

Flexible Work Arrangements:


Valid Driving License:

Hazardous Material(s):

Number of Openings:


Requisition ID:R156592