Principal Data Scientist

Job description

Site Name: UK - London - Brentford, Home Worker - GBR, Home Worker - USA, UK - Hertfordshire - Stevenage, USA - Pennsylvania - Upper Providence
Posted Date: Aug 2 2022

Would you like to join a GSK-wide community of data and analytics professionals, who are truly valued and appreciated for their knowledge and skills?

Data and analytics professionals are critical to GSK’s success, performance and the difference we can make to patients’ lives. The work you do will transform GSK, making sense of our untapped data sources to drive better business choices, make advanced analytics a competitive advantage for GSK and secure better health outcomes for those who depend upon our medicines and innovation.

This Principal Data Scientist role is an exciting opportunity to channel your passion for Innovation in the field of Statistics and Data Science to help shape the future of the Biostatistics function and transform the way in which GSK uses data and quantitative thinking to drive decision-making in R&D.

Biostatistics is the single-largest functional group of Statisticians, Programmers and Data Scientists within GSK R&D, numbering approx. 700 permanent people in the US, UK, Europe and India. Our work ensures that robust quantitative examination and statistical analysis is at the heart of R&D decision-making and enables scientists to make timely, data-driven choices about which potential new medicines and vaccines are most promising to add value for patients – ultimately making the development process more efficient and maximising success. We are investing in growing our cutting-edge statistical innovation and data science capabilities by creating the new Statistics & Data Science Innovation Hub (SDS-IH) led by Prof Nicky Best.

SDS-IH’s mission is to build capability and deliver data-driven approaches to decision making across the organization. Achieving this vision requires us to adapt to new ways of working and rebalance skills across Biostatistics. The SDS-IH team itself is a model for our vision, consisting of Statisticians and Data Scientists with a variety of different skills and backgrounds, working together to develop novel quantitative methodologies, systems and tools.

An ideal candidate for this position has a broad interest in the application of data science to address varied business problems. You will need to have a strong grounding in R and/or python and have experience of delivering value through simple predictive modelling, tools and applications. Experience of Machine Learning or Statistical Modelling is required for this role. You will operate in matrix teams on a wide range of projects using agile ways of working collaboratively with other SDS-IH colleagues and partners from the wider Biostatistics, Data Science and R&D community. You will be expected to help drive delivery and uptake of data science solutions across R&D, and to effectively communicate complex technical concepts to a range of stakeholders.

Please note, we'd like you to use an application cover letter to tell us why you would be suited to a role in Data Science, SDS-IH.

In this role you will

  • Collaborate with other data scientists to build your understanding of the business context, systems, environment, strategy and people aligned to the given area. This also includes an understanding of the relevant internal and external data sources, validity and domains of such data to align with the intended business objective. You will conduct data acquisition from multiple data sources and wrangle data sets selecting appropriate techniques.
  • You can perform techniques to validate the quality of the data and can connect data from various sources using knowledge of data pre-processing techniques.
  • For the intended business objective, you can utilize predictive modelling techniques, such as regression, classification and clustering to create a model or models depending on requirements and specifications. You can anticipate how a model’s requirements or the available data, might change over time and be able to design a product that will be able to cope with these requirements.
  • You can apply best practice model fit testing, tuning and validation techniques, such as chi square, ROC curve, root mean square error, to assess model performance, compare results from various methodologies and suggest improvements. You both give and seek feedback with others from across differing business areas, as relevant, to create better products and continually advance your data science skills.
  • You are able to design rich data visualisations and use them to communicate complex messages to a variety of business stakeholders in a clear and simple way.
  • You will be accountable for driving projects and improvement activities through value delivery for GSK leaders from across different business areas. You will plan and execute value measurement of data work, in order to demonstrate and improve results
  • You will connect with internal and/or external scientific groups (industry, academia, regulators) and vendors through presentations, publications and collaborations, in order to contribute to innovation and uptake of predictive analytics and data science within GSK and across the pharmaceutical industry.

Why you?

Qualifications & Skills:

We are looking for professionals with these required skills to achieve our goals:

  • Minimum BSc degree (or equivalent) in STEM subjects (Computer Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Statistics, Bioinformatics, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry)
  • Practical experience working in a Data Science or related role
  • Working knowledge of Data Science frameworks, IDEs and toolkits
  • Experienced in R and/or python
  • Have a practical understanding of predictive modelling and understand the mathematical foundations of applied ML and AI algorithms and models.
  • Strong written, data visualisation and verbal communication skills and demonstrated ability to effectively communicate complex technical concepts

Preferred Qualifications & Skills:

If you have the following characteristics, it would be a plus:

  • Advanced degree in STEM subjects (as above), i.e., graduate diploma, Masters or PhD
  • Biomedical or Pharma knowledge
  • Working knowledge and experience of app development

Closing Date for Applications: 22nd of August 2022 (COB)

Please take a copy of the Job Description, as this will not be available post closure of the advert.

When applying for this role, please use the ‘cover letter’ of the online application or your CV to describe how you meet the competencies for this role, as outlined in the job requirements above. The information that you have provided in your cover letter and CV will be used to assess your application.

During the course of your application you will be requested to complete voluntary information which will be used in monitoring the effectiveness of our equality and diversity policies. Your information will be treated as confidential and will not be used in any part of the selection process. If you require a reasonable adjustment to the application / selection process to enable you to demonstrate your ability to perform the job requirements, please contact 0808 234 4391. This will help us to understand any modifications we may need to make to support you throughout our selection process.

  • LI-GSK

Why GSK?

Uniting science, technology and talent to get ahead of disease together

GSK is a global biopharma company with a special purpose – to unite science, technology and talent to get ahead of disease together – so we can positively impact the health of billions of people and deliver stronger, more sustainable shareholder returns – as an organisation where people can thrive. Getting ahead means preventing disease as well as treating it, and we aim to impact the health of 2.5 billion people around the world in the next 10 years.

Our success absolutely depends on our people. While getting ahead of disease together is about our ambition for patients and shareholders, it’s also about making GSK a place where people can thrive. We want GSK to be a place where people feel inspired, encouraged and challenged to be the best they can be. A place where they can be themselves – feeling welcome, valued and included. Where they can keep growing and look after their wellbeing. So, if you share our ambition, join us at this exciting moment in our journey to get Ahead Together.

Find out more:

Annual Report 2021


We’re combining the power of genetic and genomic insights into what causes disease, with the speed and scale of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to make better predictions about who a treatment might work for, and why. We believe this powerful combination of data and technology holds the key to fundamentally transforming medical discovery for the better, improving R&D success rates and shaping how even the most challenging diseases, like neurological conditions and cancer, can be both prevented and treated.

In 2021 we delivered four major product approvals: Cabenuva for HIV, Jemperli for endometrial cancer, Xevudy for COVID-19 and Apretude, our new long-acting medicine for HIV prevention.

Find out more:

Our approach to R&D

As a company driven by our values of Patient focus, Transparency, Respect and Integrity, we know inclusion and diversity are essential for us to be able to succeed. We want all our colleagues to thrive at GSK bringing their unique experiences, ensuring they feel good and to keep growing their careers. As a candidate for a role, we want you to feel the same way.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we are open to all talent. In the US, we also adhere to Affirmative Action principles. This ensures that all qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to neurodiversity, race/ethnicity, colour, national origin, religion, gender, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, disability, genetic information, military service, covered/protected veteran status or any other federal, state or local protected class*(*US only).

We believe in an agile working culture for all our roles. If flexibility is important to you, we encourage you to explore with our hiring team what the opportunities are.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to discuss any adjustments to our process which might help you demonstrate your strengths and capabilities. You can either call us on 0808 234 4391, or send an email

As you apply, we will ask you to share some personal information which is entirely voluntary. We want to have an opportunity to consider a diverse pool of qualified candidates and this information will assist us in meeting that objective and in understanding how well we are doing against our inclusion and diversity ambitions. We would really appreciate it if you could take a few moments to complete it. Rest assured, Hiring Managers do not have access to this information and we will treat your information confidentially.

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