General Topics " >General Topics

If you know someone who would like to work at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR), you can refer them for a job. Each job posting on has the option to “Send to a Friend” and this is our preferred option to receive their interest.

Immigration assistance is a complicated issue, made more so by the fact that we are a global organization and laws differ according to country. But, yes, for positions with a qualifying level, assistance with visa or permanent residency processes may be provided. Typically, permanent residency applications are not sponsored until the employee has been in his/her role for at least one year.

Your recruiter or HR contact will be able to tell you whether the position for which you are interviewing qualifies for relocation benefits.

NIBR works hard to ensure that its associates are able to integrate their work into their lives so they can effectively manage both personal and work responsibilities. We recognize that flexible ways of working are essential to meet the needs of our diverse workforce and the needs of our business in an increasingly competitive global marketplace and we offer a number of flexible work options including Flextime, compressed work week, telework, remote work and reduced time options. In our approach to flexibility, equity means “fairness” not “sameness” – employees have access to a fair and consistent process for requesting flexibility, but outcomes will vary depending on job requirements, individual performance and business needs and realities.

NIBR encourages associates to be highly responsible for their own development, known as self-directed development because no one knows your strengths and interests more than you. We provide resources such as hard- and soft-skills course offerings and programs such as speaker series, job sharing, and sabbaticals. However, our relatively flat organization focuses on hiring innovators and experts who enjoy project-based work. As a result, there is more focus on growing and learning in roles and as team contributors than on changes in job titles. Development at NIBR is not a linear and prescribed process focusing only on classroom  trainings; it is a dynamic process, unique to each individual, that incorporates on-the-job experiences, group workshops/ trainings  (in and out of the classroom), learning relationships, and sometimes role changes, it happens over continuous conversations, inputs, and agreements with managers and teams.

The Novartis Performance Management Process is one of the key business processes that help Novartis achieve sustained success of its business in a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive market. The process drives a performance culture by setting high standards for all associates and recognizing and rewarding their accomplishments. It combines objective setting with Novartis Values and Behaviors and is an ongoing cycle to help associates gain clarity on:

  • accountabilities
  • expected deliverables
  • values and behaviors to demonstrate to achieve deliverables
  • specific measures of individual performance and needs for future individual development
  • connection to the business strategy/objectives
  • rewards aligned with accomplishments

Working together, the associate and his/her manager set goals and objectives at the beginning of the year (or as soon as an employee is hired and onboarded). These are reviewed mid-year to determine if any changes need to be made based on circumstances. At the end of the year, the associate requests input from multi-raters, individuals with whom the associate has worked closely, both peers and managers. The associate enters his/her assessment and the associate’s manager and multi-raters input their feedback into an electronic performance management system. A year end discussion takes place and a performance rating is assigned and reviewed by the leadership team.

Setting goals and objectives is our way of preparing our associates for success and is incorporated into our annual performance review process and aligned with our corporate Values and Behaviors. This is a two-way process between an associate and his/her manager. We ask that you define the challenges where we want to explore the science, make progress and have impact. Goals and objectives should:

  • Enable you to focus on the value you add in achieving the vision
  • Highlight the key scientific questions you will help answer
  • Where applicable, speak to how you will progress projects as a team member
  • Provide an opportunity to include personal growth goals

Having goals and objectives agreed upon early in the year or at the beginning of an associate’s employment enables focused and productive collaboration and conversations and will make a difference to our patients.

At NIBR, paying for performance is the guiding principle of our compensation strategy. Our goal is to provide premium actual total pay (base salary, annual incentive and long-term incentive, if applicable) to employees who demonstrate sustained superior performance.

We use a market-based approach to compensation. Base salaries are reviewed annually against the external market to ensure competitiveness. And, annual salary increases awarded by managers are differentiated based on performance and salary position against the market reference point for each job.

While we are committed to completing the hiring process in a timely fashion, there are many variables that affect the length of time it takes to complete this process. There are many qualified individuals in the market and we review all applicants carefully to determine both their technical and cultural fit for open positions, in many cases conducting phone or video prescreening interviews. During the interviewing phase, schedules must be coordinated between both candidates and interviewers. If travel is required, it may take some time to arrange. Depending on the position, the number of interviewers can vary, which adds complexity (and time) to the interview  scheduling . There may be more than one round of interviews. Once a decision has been made to make an offer to a candidate, compensation issues must be addressed and background checks and drug tests performed. Your recruiting representative will be able to give you status updates and/or an estimation of how long the process will take.

For your interview, we recommend proper business attire.

We are committed to supporting the needs of a business that may require employees to move around the world, while at the same time giving employees a global perspective, as well as practical international skills. We see mobility as a long term career development opportunity, a key innovation driver and a way for our organization to leverage the skills and experience of high performing associates.

Whether travel is required will depend on the position. If travel is required, it should be indicated in the job description. If you are unsure, ask your recruiting representative.

Contacting a current or previous employer is a routine part of our reference check and background check processes. However, this will not be done without prior permission from you.

NIBR is a pay-for-performance company and, as such, offers both short and long term incentives based on performance.  In addition, there are other programs designed to recognize and thank NIBR associates for superior performance, whether that might be exemplifying our core Values and Behaviors, going the extra mile on a project or delivering outstanding results. We also have a Service Award Program, as well as a peer recognition program.

Interviewing " >Interviewing

Details and logistics of your visit will be provided by your host. You may have  initial  telephone or video interviews or an initial visit that is shorter as part of our screening stage, but the main interview visit is likely to be a full day. This main interview visit will have a number of interviews lasting 30-45 minutes each during which you will meet the Hiring Manager and various members of the team. You may also meet close collaborators, stakeholders, and a Human Resources representative. This may seem daunting at first but we often receive feedback on how quickly the day seems to go and how enjoyable candidates find the experience. You will meet a range of fascinating people; please take full opportunity to have quality discussions for your career decision-making.

Most meetings are one-to-one, but you may also be asked to give a seminar presentation, take an ability assessment, or participate in a group/panel interview with more than one interviewer in the room. Panel interviews are usually no more than a few people and may include peers or future direct reports of the position you are interviewing for.

We do our best to build suitable breaks into your schedule, including lunch where you are most likely to also meet future peers and direct reports. However, if you need to take a break at any time, please feel free to let your interviewer know. Guest wireless is available for  use,  if needed during your breaks.

For your interview, we recommend proper business attire.

Though the possibility of joining us is about looking forward, you can present yourself best by looking back! We practice Behavioral or Competency based interviewing, which is a common interview approach with most employers. Your interviewers will look for specific work examples from your previous employment history for the particular competencies / capabilities / behaviors they wish to assess. To prepare for this, take some time to reflect on your experiences: what you have achieved, how you did this, and the outcome and impact on others. Your ability to recall and discuss your experience in this way will serve you well through our interview process. Much like Science and Drug Discovery, one of the exciting elements of an interview process can be going into the unknown. At the interview visit stage,  we have an initial understanding of each other through the job description,  CV  and any previous telephone conversations. We invite you to consider the interview process as a good discussion rather than an examination. We are interviewing you to assess whether you meet our needs, but just as important is whether we meet yours. We will present a thorough and transparent view of the job and working  at NIBR and we encourage your questions on any subject that is important to you for your decision-making on the opportunity in front of you.