Project Manager / Program Manager, Pharmaceutical R&D Development Scientist

Consulting San Francisco, California


Relocation Assistance is Available

Are you a results-oriented pharmaceutical R&D scientist looking for a career change? Consider a career in life sciences project management that will enable you to utilize your strong analytical skills and deep scientific knowledge while broadening your experience to new science, to all phases of the product development life cycle, and to formalized, professional project management.

For more than three decades, premier organizations have trusted IPM to lead the successful execution of their strategic portfolios and critically important initiatives.  Headquartered in Chicago with offices in Boston, Parsippany, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, IPM has led more than 5,000 projects for over 500 clients.  Our clients range from Fortune 100 companies to start-ups.

We are a certified “Great Place to Work” company and have been named to the Great Place to Work list of “Best Workplaces in Consulting and Professional Services”.

Our Consultants are our full-time employees and the competitive advantage that sets us apart from the rest.

We have hired many life sciences scientists who have found success and fulfillment in their project management career pivots.  Here’s what our consultants say about their transition from scientist to project management consultant:

“While working at IPM I have been exposed to new science. That’s appealing to me. As a scientist, my background was pre-clinical drug development in infectious disease. It has been exciting to learn how other therapeutic areas bring drugs, devices, and biologics to market.”

“At IPM I focus on project strategy, process and collaboration and not on the pure science. I wanted to be in a role where I could be at the center of a project, integrating all of the interdependent workstreams. My scientific background helps me to understand, participate, and lead the project.”

Below are some examples of projects our scientist/project management consultants have led:

  • Within a collaborative PMO, managed a product development portfolio for a pharmaceutical client
  • Provided leadership in onboarding, technical training, and mentoring of other consultants while implementing best practice project management for client process improvement and therapeutic development programs
  • Devised and implemented a project management strategy at a start-up pharmaceutical company.  Managed the multi-functional integration of an asset in late-stage development for a start-up therapeutic company
  • Managed a vaccine development program for the COVID-19 virus.


Scientists hired by IPM that experienced high levels of success personified the following characteristics:

  • Exemplary leadership skills demonstrated in relationship building and engagement with a broad spectrum of audiences
  • Calm and competent executive presence and the ability to effectively communicate in diverse environments
  • Solid analytical and strategic capabilities
  • Complex problem-solving skills and the ability to navigate ambiguity and change.
  • Proactive in seeking help when needed and acclimating to new environments
  • Ability to produce and present clear, concise, and professionally written communications and presentations


As a Consultant, your primary goals and focus will be to:

  • Lead product development projects and programs in the pharmaceutical industry, including pre-clinical R&D, commercialization and product lifecycle management
  • Lead business process development and optimization, with a focus to functional project and portfolio management capabilities
  • Develop and drive integrated project plans, aligning project tactics with project strategy
  • Manage projects within established scope, schedule and budget while exceeding IPM project management standards
  • Develop and document high-level strategies for accomplishing specific project objectives
  • Establish, maintain and lead high performance project teams, serving as the project advocate within the client organization.


The ideal candidate will possess the following: 

  • BS, MS and/or PhD in one of the life sciences
  • 10+ years of pharmaceutical industry experience in drug development
  • 3+ years of team leadership experience


  • Engaging culture:  IPM has a caring, nurturing culture with a transparent communication approach and culture-building and team-building events, both regional and company-wide.
  • Inclusion:  Diversity, Equity and Inclusion have always been a part of our culture; we are a company that treats everyone with respect and dignity.  Everyone has a voice and is heard.
  • Professional development:  We ensure you reach your professional aspirations by providing you with training and development opportunities.  We’ll create the bandwidth you need to further your career at IPM.  You are IPM’s future – we only promote from within.
  • Orientation and training:  IPM provides a formal new hire orientation to position you for success. This orientation includes extensive training in our proprietary project management methodology
  • Diverse projects:  We lead a wide variety of projects and provide significant exposure to many clients and project types.
  • Collaborative work environment:  We have a well-structured system to provide support from managers, internal teams, and our Centers of Excellence (CoE).  Our CoEs serve as a resource for specific service and industry knowledge, tools and best practices.
  • Comprehensive compensation and benefits program:  including 100% employer-paid health for employees and 85% paid health for dependents; 401(k)matching, performance bonus, relocation assistance, tuition reimbursement, paid vacation, holiday, personal and sick time, among many others; salary range is $135,000 - $150,000 dependent on experience.
  • Philanthropy:  We are devoted to the communities we serve and actively promote employee involvement in community improvement projects.  We’ve created “Project Mercy” to channel our philanthropic efforts every quarter.

IPM is an equal opportunity employer.  We are committed to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment.