Senior Director, Allogeneic Research


Oxfordshire, GB
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Function: Research Sci/Assoc/Mgr
  • Post Date: 02/07/2021
  • Website:
  • Company Address: 351 Rouse Boulevard , Philadelphia, PA , 19112

About Adaptimmune

Adaptimmune, a leader in T-cell therapy, is a multinational, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel immunotherapies using its proprietary SPEAR T-cell receptor platform to treat solid tumors, which has the potential to transform the treatment of cancer.

Job Description

The remit of the Allogeneic Research team is to produce off-the-shelf therapies to treat cancer patients. The Stem Cell team’s main focus is using a stem cell platform and directing cell differentiation to produce T-cells suitable for clinical use. Stem cells are amenable to rounds of editing to change their characteristics and the Gene Editing team are focused on testing multiple editing strategies to develop a suitable product that will use Adaptimmune’s TCR technology to target cancer.

The purpose of this role is to provide overall leadership of the Gene Editing and Stem Cell teams within Allogeneic Research. A director is expected to have a broad technical understanding of the department’s disciplines and contribute to all the science performed within their department and matrixed projects. The director is also accountable for the running of their department and the welfare and development of those within it.

A summary of accountability is as follows:

•       Day to day activities of the department

Promote Adaptimmune’s project systems, ensuring resource is appropriately scheduled across matrixed projects according to company priorities.

Ensure equipment requirements and maintenance, licensing and legal requirements are in place (if appropriate) and outsourcing is arranged as required.

•      Department budget - spending and reconciliation (with appropriate sign-off levels)

•      Department compliance to relevant company policies and regulations.

•      Responsibility for Departmental Health and Safety (legal accountability)

Ensuring all personnel are fully trained on use of equipment and conduct of techniques

Ensuring COSHH are in place for all materials/procedures used by your department

•      People Management

Accessing and rewarding department members

Ensuring the appropriate level of scientific and technical knowledge is maintained across the teams.

Performance management - training, motivating, directing and coaching to achieve highest levels of performance. Creating and fostering a positive and engaging environment of respect and integrity, openness, effective communication, participation and support within the teams.


The director role is a leadership role within the company and as such it is expected that the director will follow and provide leadership according to the following guidance:


Provide inspiration as a role model for your divisional functional activities

  1. Act as a role model for all other junior members of the company.
  2. Provide inspiration and empowerment to your senior reports where possible.
  3. Ensure all aspects of the company’s culture are understood and exercised by members of your team(s).
  4. Problem solving: Provide time for yourself and others to contemplate the best solution with a focus on both the matters in hand and also the future strategic direction.


Provide guidance, judgement and context to your department’s direction while keeping it within the context of the overall business objectives.

  1. Synthesize details and direction to your division’s work in the context of the business’s objectives.
  2. Understand how you and your team affect the business and how your actions affect others within this context.
  3. Question the work being performed through seeking and answering critical questions to ensure rapid and suitable progression of projects.
  4. Ensure that your senior reports understand their leadership responsibilities (at their level) and act accordingly. Provide appropriate environments for them to learn these skills and empowerment to apply them.
  5. Understand the delegated accountability and responsibilities of your subordinates and ensure appropriate training is in place throughout your division.
  6. Ensure roles and responsibilities within the team are clearly defined, objectives are set and monitored, whilst ensuring appropriate training is in place.
  7. Achieve success through others by effectively leading team members, developing their ability to manage teams to achieve functional objectives.


Establish and maintain communication lines throughout the company wherever and whenever possible and appropriate.


Contribute to company strategy and direction where appropriate.

  1. Review, assess and provide opinions on company strategy with regards to partnering and direction when requested.
  2. Identify areas of interest (either inside or outside of your area of expertise) for uptake into the company or collaboration, and present/defend for company assessment.


Key Responsibilities and AccountIbilities

  1. Leadership of the department; Develop the strategy and vision for the department and department groups (including the organisation and re-organise as the business changes), gain organizational buy-in, recruit the team and establish an infrastructure within the department.
  2. Accountable for the day to day running of the department including planning, scheduling and prioritisation of work (including enabling matrixed groups to function), either directly or via delegation.
  3. Accountable for the department’s operational activities including budget setting and reconciliation, human resource/people management, departmental health and safety, equipment requirements and maintenance, licensing and legal (if appropriate), outsourcing, and resourcing
  4. To optimally guide the work of others within your department by:
  • Ensuring they are fully trained to use the equipment and techniques required, either directly by yourself or by others.
  • Ensuring their work is clearly planned, either by yourself or by them, with the same care that you would apply to your own work.
  • Ensuring their plan of work is challenging, but also manageable.
  • Pro-actively managing their performance, monitoring the timeliness and quality of work and identifying and managing areas of under-performance in a constructive manner, seeking support and advice when needed.
  • Creating and fostering a positive and engaging environment of respect and integrity, openness, effective communication, participation and support within the department
  • Participate in project meetings and discussions
  • Line Management of Team


The Director may also act as a Project Leader/Champion enabling and scientifically directing a project team to achieve a company objective (NOTE. this is separate to operational management, or project management of the project team).



Qualifications & Experience

  • Degree in Life sciences, or related discipline.
  • Extensive and relevant post-graduate experience, preferably including an MSc or PhD in a relevant scientific area.
  • Demonstrable scientific drive, sound judgement, technical ability, autonomy, authority and confidence, backed by solid and broad knowledge and experience, are all key factors to success in this role.
  • Proven management and leadership experience within pharmaceutical/biotech industry including performance management, training and mentoring/coaching
  • Extensive experience of relevant laboratory procedures, stem cell differentiation techniques and gene editing preferred but not essential.


Skills & Competencies

  • Computer literate and ability to familiarise with different IT systems.
  • Excellent numeracy and English language skills (both written and verbal).
  • Excellent communication skills (both written and verbal).
  • High attention to detail, good time management skills and problem-solving skills. 
  • Most importantly the individual needs to be enthusiastic and inspirational with a positive can-do attitude
  • Proven project and people management skills with a diplomatic and balanced approach.
  • Experience of building and developing teams is essential.


Decision Making Authority


  • The responsibility of the role is to provide leadership to the department.
  • Team of 20 - 30 including junior and senior scientists and junior managers, Participate in selection of new team members as required
  • Setting and reconciliation of the departmental budget including CAPEX and travel budget in collaboration with the project teams.

Other Requirements

Some international and local travel may be required eg to attend conferences/events/meeting with outsourcing partners/academic institutions and to our US offices

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Disclaimer: Local Candidates Only
This company does NOT accept candidates from outside recruiting firms. Agency contacts are not welcome.