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Research Strategist

Boonton, NJ
  • Expired: November 05, 2019. Applications are no longer accepted.

Do you consider yourself to be a collaborative, critical and cross-disciplinary design thinker? Have you been described as an "integrator" or someone who can "connect the dots"? Have people told you that you know a lot about a lot of things? Have people told you that you "see things" before others? Are you a "doer" who is able to conceptualize systems and experiences, then actually describe them on a slide and get a "go" decision?

If the answer to these questions is yes, this is a role where you can positively impact millions of patients over the next few years.

We are an intentionally small, focused consultancy working on concept development and refinement for combination products (medicine in a delivery device). Combination products are being used to treat autoimmune diseases, cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, asthma, eye diseases, diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. "Smart" delivery devices and connected systems are a significant part of our work.

Small but mighty, we dominate the early concept phase of this work. Our team of engineers, clinicians, and businesspeople start from client molecule pipelines and strategies.

Insatiably curious researchers, we understand the nuances of patients, caregivers, and HCPs. Not content to just report findings, we are inventors, compelled to invent useful and usable product and service concepts that differentiate. Because devices can only help if patients receive them, we use our corporate experience to build compelling, data-driven business cases that illustrate the possibilities, inspiring confidence for investment decisions. Many companies may do one part of this, but we're unique in bringing these perspectives together around specialty pharmaceuticals.

Our approach is unconventional, the quality of our results turns heads, and we've built a company through word of mouth alone. Clients give us projects that defy simple requests for proposals and easy elevator speeches.

Each project is at the forefront of specialty pharmaceuticals and chronic disease, and there is no "right" answer to what we do. The right person will feel exhilarated jumping into an unfamiliar disease area, treatment, or drug delivery approach, immersing themselves in the clinical, technical, and commercial aspects of better delivery devices enabling more effective treatments and self-care.

Our team is intentionally small and recognized by our pharma clients as being the best at what we do. We've been described by clients as "mercenaries for value creation" and "the SEAL team of concept development." We've set aside jargon, departments, hierarchy, and cookie-cutter approaches, instead favoring nimbleness, cleverness, and raw intellectual horsepower and bandwidth. Laser focus on team and craft lets us continue delivering work that is the envy of the industry at mind-bending speed.

The Strategist works with our pharmaceutical clients and internal team to develop plans and manage tactical execution of client projects comprehensively, creatively and empathically. They lead the research approach: defining the core challenge, discovering rich and relevant insights and their related opportunities, designing strategic recommendations, developing actionable solutions, and helping communicate these to clients in memorable and actionable ways.



  • Engage with clients in meetings, calls, and workshops to critically understand, reframe, and scope opportunities to improve delivery devices for chronic disease in homes and hospitals.
  • Use knowledge of design research methodologies to develop research approaches to deliver novel, nuanced insights to improve delivery of medicines for chronic diseases treated with specialty pharmaceuticals.
  • Communicate the approach to a small project team and manage overall project execution, providing coaching and feedback where necessary.
  • Execute research approaches with the team or individually depending on project scope, complexity, and team loading.
  • Translate research results into sharp insights, concrete opportunities, and clear "so whats," weaving qualitative/quantitative primary and secondary research into a clear, compelling case for action.
  • Craft narratives and visualizations that communicate findings and simplify complex relationships and natural tensions that exist in human-centered design.
  • Interact with clients throughout the process with a high degree of polish, professionalism, and reliability to ensure needs are met, changes are incorporated, and deliverables exceed expectations.
  • Contribute to development of frameworks, new research approaches, and publication of our work in peer-reviewed journals or co-presentations with pharmaceutical clients.


At a small company, experience, enthusiasm, fit, mindset, and potential are more important than degrees and formal qualifications. Based on our experience, you are a good candidate if:

  • You have a bachelor's degree in a STEM field such as Human Factors, Engineering, Biology/Biological Sciences, Cognitive Psychology, Anthropology, or a related field. Alternatively, you have a clinical background (RN, APN, PharmD, BSPharm). MBA or other postgraduate education is great but not required.
  • You have 3-5 years' experience at a design firm, device company/pharma, or independent consulting. (A more senior role can be created for the right person with more experience).
  • You are a person who needs command of both details and the big picture. Your knowledge of the detail builds credibility for buy-in on the strategy.
  • You are comfortable in a small company - able to get your work done without formal process and oversight, finding value in high visibility work, and eager to shape a growing company in an emerging space.
  • You are a dynamic team player - willing to lead and be led as the situation requires, working collaboratively toward project goals, and seeking feedback and perspective from other team members
  • You're an outstanding communicator. People find you engaging in person, confident and respectful in group discussions, and to the point in writing. You are deeply satisfied by elegantly reflecting complexity in tight, data driven presentations that captivate and inspire.
  • You're energized by the challenge of wrestling ambiguity and uncertainty to the ground, and can confidently triangulate when there's no "right" answer and a guess won't cut it.
  • You are a skilled influencer, with a knack for understanding different stakeholder wins and communication styles, anticipating objections, and managing competing agendas.
  • You are a thinker and a doer who enjoys having dirt under your fingernails. You have a knack for developing strategies and doing the work to make them practical and doable against business realities.
  • You are driven by intent and can see the way forward without a task list. You are proactive, with low activation energy and biased towards action. You think like an owner, not a renter.
  • You dynamically reprioritize as client needs change and research evolves. You naturally look at critical path, managing risks to deliverables in a business that moves faster than Gantt charts.
  • You're efficient without being hasty. For you, speed, quality, and thoughtfulness are not mutually exclusive. Looking for tools and techniques to be more efficient without sacrificing quality is as natural for you as breathing.
  • You like to move fast. You are able to make confident, informed decisions and commit to deadlines in the moment without long deliberation or extensive planning.
  • You're T-shaped - you have deep knowledge in your area of expertise, but take joy in making connections across multiple disciplines in your work. You apply deep understanding in one area alongside ideas from other different areas to invent better solutions. You likely are a person described as "interesting" or "smart" beyond your degrees.
  • You are an agile, quick learner. You're as comfortable reading blogs as a scientific paper, and constantly scan for new ideas and inspiration. Your knowledge has been built consistently each day, and your commitment to lifelong learning is obvious.
  • You are resourceful and clever. You are introspective, focused on improvement, and relentless in finding new and better ways to do your work and make it more valuable.
  • You are honest and forthright. We work in a regulated industry, and we despise passive aggressiveness and other bad corporate behavior.
  • You are authorized to work in the US (we cannot sponsor any authorizations).
  • You value being in an office with others and the collaboration presence brings (this is not a remote position).


These are not requirements for the role, but we're always interested in specific skill sets and experiences that are a good fit for our work. We don't expect you will have all of these, but as a small company, we can shape roles and focus for applicants with the following types of experience that can have an outsize effect on our work:

  • Experience with contextual inquiry, ethnography, other formal research (remote or in-person), journey mapping, co-creation, or other human-centered design approaches
  • Hands-on clinical experience (infusion, oncology, critical care, patient education, or specialty pharmacy)
  • Experience at professional services or consulting firms
  • Experience leading smaller teams (especially at smaller companies) and guiding development of a less experienced team with high potential
  • Experience with medical device development teams; strategic marketing or product management experience at a medical device company (especially disposable devices)
  • Cross-functional experience (rotational programs, sales/business development, transitions from engineering to marketing/commercial, finance/manufacturing, or special projects/programs), especially with demonstrated ability to bring different functions together to accomplish business results
  • Corporate and start-up/small company experience together
  • Pharma experience (particularly roles that involve cross-functional strategy or execution)
  • Demonstrated examples of being able to look at a market, understand unmet needs, and build the case through research and analytics for investment and launch


  • Your work makes a meaningful difference in patients' lives - you'll meet them everyday and have the satisfaction of seeing your work used to improve their outcomes in tangible ways.
  • You can shape a growing company. Your impact is limited only by your ability to help see, shape, and build the future.
  • You will learn and grow. The pace of development at Matchstick is far faster than at other companies, and you'll be pushed by our team and clients, both of which are world-class.
  • We offer health and dental coverage and cover 70% of your premium (including partner/family coverage), comparable to many much larger corporations.
  • We offer a portable Health Savings Account - you keep the money in your account if you leave Matchstick, unlike most larger corporations where you lose unused funds.
  • We provide three weeks of personal vacation time from the start of your employment and paid holidays, as well as the annual company shutdown during the last week of each year to spend time with family before the start of the New Year.
  • We have a 401(k) plan and end-of-year profit sharing, based on your performance and contribution to the company.
  • We offer access to discounted auto/home/renters insurance through NJ Manufacturers.
  • We offer cash referral bonuses to candidates we ultimately hire.



Boonton, NJ