Saturday, February 6, 2010

Scientific Affairs Liaison (or MSL)

The term "Scientific Affairs Liaison" is a phrase used by some companies to refer to individuals who are also known as a "Medical Science Liaison" or MSL. Here's a brief explanation from Wikipedia:
A medical science liaison (abbreviated as MSL) is a healthcare consulting professional who is employed by pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and managed care companies. Other job titles for medical science liaisons may include medical liaisons, medical science managers, regional medical scientists, and regional medical directors.
Do you know any physicians who are currently working as an MSL?  Maybe you know some pharmacists or PhD grads who are working as MSLs. You can expect to do a lot of traveling if you work as an MSL.

So what does an MSL do? Let's take a look at a current job post/job description from

Medical Science Liaison
Hiring Company Industry: Biotech/Pharma
Number of Employees: 1,000 - 10,000 Employees
Total Compensation: $150K
- Base Salary: $130K
- Bonus / Commission: 20%
- Other: $15K
Reports to: Medical Science Liaison Director
Location: Orlando, FL; Boston, MA; Miami, FL; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Tampa, FL; Washington, DC


XYZABC  Pharma, Inc., a XYZABC  Company, is seeking an experienced Medical Science Liaison for the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest Territory. The candidate must have a doctorate degree (PharmD., PhD, D.O., or M.D) with at least 1-2 years experience as a Medical Science Liaison or equivalent medical/ professional experience. MSL experience and knowledge preferred in one of the following areas: ADHD/ Pediatrics or Men’s Health/ Urology.


* Ability to interpret and effectively communicate relevant scientific topics and literature.
* Ability to present complex scientific ideas fluently to internal and external audiences including, health care professionals, managed care organizations, key health care decision makers, and Executives.
* Ability to appropriately identify, develop, and maintain strong working relationships of Key Opinion Leaders.
* Possess doctorate level scientific knowledge and professional demeanor to earn and maintain the respect of all health care professionals.
* Ability to work effectively across multidisciplinary groups in a timely fashion in support of business outcomes.
* Attend major conventions, symposiums, advisory board programs, and congresses to provide medical and scientific support to internal and external customers.
* Complete accurate and timely administrative reports, projects, and required documentation requests.


1. Minimum of one to two (s) years of experience in a medical liaison type role within the pharmaceutical industry or a healthcare environment.
2. Excellent written and verbal communication skills, organizational skills and attention to detail.
3. Professional appearance and demeanor.
4. Demonstrated computer experience with MS Word, Excel, Access and Outlook, and Power Point.
5. Doctorate level degree (PharmD, PhD, D.O., or M.D.)
6. Ability to effectively prioritize, multi-task and meet established deadlines.
7. Ability and willingness to travel up to 75% of the time to accomplish responsibilities associated with this role.
8. Located near a large HUB airport for travel.


1. Doctorate level degree (PharmD, PhD, D.O., or M.D.)
2. 1-2 years Medical Science Liaison Experience or equivalent healthcare industry experience.
3. MSL experience and knowledge preferred in one of the following areas: ADHD/ Pediatric or Men’s Health/ Urology.

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