Lead/ Principal Medical Writer

  • 55000 GBP - 65000 GBP
  • -, United Kingdom
  • Permanent

A global, independent agency is looking for a Lead Medical Writer (LMW) who has a wealth of experience within the Medical Communications industry. They have experience working across a broad range of deliverables and therapy areas and are becoming a subject matter expert in at least one therapy area. An LMW has excellent technical writing skills and has become the delivery lead on a small-to-medium account. In this role, they are responsible for account delivery – ensuring deliverables from themselves and junior team members are on time, on budget, and delivered to the highest quality standards.

An LMW is all about the team and takes pride in upskilling junior writers by reviewing materials, providing regular feedback, and mentoring. They are a connector within the Scientific Services team and keep senior scientific team members in the loop on key account activity. An LMW is cool under pressure and can work with others to suggest resolutions to problems and navigate a path forward in the project. An LMW takes ownership of client interaction and, instead of only focusing on deliverables, is starting to develop their strategic thinking by advising and helping to shape the client delivery.


No two days are the same, and our LMWs actively support their account and the Scientific Services team. Some typical activities include:  

Technical Writing:

  • Designs, develops, and reviews different types of materials across a wide range of project types for various audiences. Materials include:
    • Slide decks
    • Video scripts
    • Leave-behind pieces
    • Website copy
    • Manuscripts and congress publications
    • Scientific communications platforms
    • Gap analyses
    • Meeting summaries and reports
  • Delivers client-ready work for review that is thoroughly researched, technically accurate, well written, presentable (reviewed once and sent out), and meets client objectives
  • Takes responsibility for the quality of the work by junior team members, ensuring that they are scientifically accurate, fully referenced, appropriate to the target audience, meet client objectives, and adhere to the time and budget allocated for the project
  • Provides constructive feedback and coaching to junior-level writers; always takes the time to answer questions from the team
  • Demonstrates a thorough understanding of the client brief; asks well-informed questions to ensure that all relevant information has been received and communicates the brief to the team to set them up for success
  • Has expert knowledge of client review and approval systems, such as Veeva, DataVision, etc., and ensures all deliverables comply with industry codes
  • Leads and drives the delivery of larger medical conference and meeting events, including symposia, advisory boards, investigator meetings, and communication and publication workshops, including on-site management

Scientific Knowledge:

  • Develops and maintains in-depth knowledge across relevant therapy areas, with emerging expertise in at least one therapy area (e.g., breast cancer)
  • Has their finger on the pulse of industry trends and scientific developments, sharing their knowledge with internal teams and clients (where appropriate)
  • Is flexible and eager to work across different client accounts, deliverables, and therapy areas
  • Has knowledge of leading experts within a specific therapeutic area

Client & Project Management Skills:

  • Leads client meetings when appropriate, including project kick-off, regular status, and ad hoc client and healthcare professional (HCP) calls; updates clients on key scientific/content actions and answers any questions they may have
  • Builds strong client relationships with the confidence to push back and advise where necessary
  • Has the experience to lead briefing calls and follow-up conversations with HCPs and other subject matter experts
  • Starts to help shape client strategy, recommending new projects or advising when taking a different approach may better meet client objectives
  • Plans weekly workload and long-term workload for their account team in collaboration with senior team members (as relevant)
  • Ensures that senior team members are regularly updated and have a clear picture of account activity and resourcing needs, foreseeing and escalating any red flags
  • Owns and delegates small–medium-scale projects (e.g., symposia, manuscripts, training materials) from start to finish with little to no technical input from senior team members
  • Organises and effectively manages their team as well as their own time to prioritise tasks across different accounts
  • Contributes to new business pitches when needed

Financial Management Skills:

  • Works closely with the Client Services team to review timelines, budget hours, and scientific resourcing needs
  • Has knowledge of account finances, inputs into budgets, tracks hours, and understands the importance of proactive financial management
  • Delivers projects as agreed within the client’s budget and timeline
  • Maintains an average billability in accordance with line management responsibilities
  • Ensures that timesheets for themselves and the team are completed promptly

People Management Skills:

  • Manages 1–2 direct reports effectively by providing constructive and actionable feedback
  • Provides regular feedback and guidance to the team throughout the course of projects
  • Mentors junior-level team members on skills and best practices and adopts a coaching approach to ensure that they feel supported
  • Oversees activities of junior colleagues, ensuring that excellent quality is maintained


  • Higher degree in a relevant subject (PhD, MD, PharmD, etc.)
  • 4–6 years of medical writing experience in Medical Communications
  • Excellent scientific and editorial competency
  • Experience in building strong relationships with clients and HCPs
  • Ability to critically review deliverables for scientific accuracy and integrity
  • Experience in coaching and mentoring junior-level writers
  • Proactive approach and an enthusiasm for trying new things
  • Ability to work under pressure and juggle multiple deadlines
Roisin Heekin Resourcer

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