Senior Vice President, Research & Development

Sheridan, IN

Summary / Purpose of Position:
The Sr. VP of Research directs all research and technical service programs & activities. Understands where research and business overlap resulting in greater opportunities to drive more business. Partners and collaborates with business unit leaders to develop forward thinking ideas for new product development programs that maximize customer and commercial value. Applies extensive research expertise and in-depth knowledge of product development process and project management acumen to drive team alignment in creation of product development strategy, plans and programs through product approval and post-approval commitments. Ensures team operational disciplines by appropriate adherence to approved strategy, budget and timelines.

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Primary Job Responsibilities/Duties:


  • Routinely exhibits courage to adapt and quickly resolve difficult issues or conflicts. Takes a position with challenging issues when appropriate and skillfully challenges teams to reach high-quality decisions that are in the best interests of the program. Displays a demeanor that effectively balances being assertive and personable.
  • Skilled in leading through influence and collaboration. Communicates effectively with other senior leaders and beyond to assure timely decisions are made.
  • Identifies hi-potential future talent, coaches, develops and empowers both research and technical service team members so that they perform effectively; recognizes and rewards efforts of those who make outstanding contributions.  Provides stretch opportunities to increase skill, leadership depth and career growth.
  • Sources and develops key contacts and external partners in the scientific community and animal health industries.

Team Effectiveness

  • Ensures that teams work effectively to move programs forward. Skilled at developing trust and collaboration with team members and business unit leaders.
  • Develops effective and collaborative working relationships with key functional stakeholders including senior leaders. Experienced in managing difficult situations and conflict management.
  • Understands the business side enough to sell and motivate staff researchers on why it is important to focus on key areas and projects.

Process Knowledge

  • Exhibits a continual interest in learning across all aspects of animal nutrition development and leads process improvement efforts as needed.
  • Facilitates and participates in ideation and innovation across business units to identify new technologies yielding new products and services resulting in new or expanded markets.
  • Has knowledge of animal nutrition or health development. Understands animal nutrition and/or animal health development process and internal procedures and expectations. Uses knowledge of United Animal Health processes to achieve program objectives.
  • Analyzes and integrates data from across business unit areas to provide strategic guidance to the team to develop and execute projects.
  • Ensures compliance with policies related to industry impact and adoption of animal health and nutrition technologies.
  • Responsible for and ensures compliance with company policies for developing, protecting and commercializing IP to optimize return on investment and commercialization success.
  • Facilitates and actualizes product development work streams from development stages to commercialization.

Program Planning and Management

  • Knowledgeable in research & innovation project management planning methods and systems. Knowledge of individual project timelines and assumptions supporting major program/project milestones. Understands how individual project timelines affect an overall program (portfolio of projects). Drives program/project issue resolution by working with key business unit stakeholders.
  • Manage projects effectively by focusing more budget funding resources and people to drive top earning projects to completion faster to improve revenue streams.
  • Skilled at meeting management / facilitation; drives team to respond rapidly to new information in order to move the program forward expeditiously.
  • Comfortable in dealing with ambiguity and uncertainty regarding near-term outcomes in development while maintaining a focus on the most efficient means to achieve the future value proposition.  Experienced in options, scenarios and risk analysis.

Scientific/Technical Knowledge

  • Clearly understands development process, scientific mechanism of action, research methodologies, applied animal production systems and competitive landscape in relation to the program.
  • Assimilates new and emerging health challenges, program-specific and competitive data and applies this to ongoing and future development programs.

Additional Job Responsibilities / Duties

  • International and domestic travel to support company products, research, development and technical service, and develop additional market share.
  • Other duties and responsibilities, as assigned

 Typical Work Environment

  • This is a hybrid position where the majority of work is conducted in a temperature-controlled office environment.

Minimum Job Qualification Requirements:

Education / Training:

  • Ph.D. degree in animal science or equivalent professional experience

Relevant Job Experience:

  • 15+ years professional experience in research, with a preference for relevant experience in animal science
  • 8+ years experience with process re-design or efficiency improvement planning and implementation
  • 5+ years experience leading others through positive reinforcement and empowerment

Specialized Job / Technical Knowledge:

  • Excellent analytical, planning, problem solving and decision-making skills at both an operational and strategic level
  • In-depth understanding of animal health concepts
  • Excellent business intelligence gathering skills in order to monitor the dynamic marketplace and gain competitive advantages

Non-Technical Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to effectively manage and lead cross-functional teams, providing leadership and influence for a business unit
  • Ability to effectively delegate responsibilities and tasks to team members and maintain accountability for their actions
  • Sustained and successful experience with project management methods and systems working with cross-disciplinary and functional teams; works well across boundaries in a matrix-based organization
  • Successful experience in interacting with and influencing thought leaders, including the development and rationalization of scientific and business strategies
  • Effective in communication skills both verbal and written; listens and understands well. Excellent interactive skills with people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
  • Proactively recognizes needs and problems, and independently identifies and implements effective steps and solutions
  • Has demonstrated the ability to have a positive impact on team members and others in the company
  • Champion and steward of United Animal Health Culture

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