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Scientific Director

Bethesda, Maryland
Closing date
Oct 1, 2023

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Scientific Director

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

IC/POSITION INFORMATION: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the premier biomedical research center for the world. Its 27 institutes and centers employ more than 18,000 employees doing a vast array of jobs, all supporting efforts for a healthy nation.

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), a major research component of the NIH and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), seeks to identify an outstanding Scientific Director (SD) to lead its Division of Intramural Research (DIR), located in Bethesda, Maryland. The DIR SD is currently responsible for an annual budget of approximately $15 million which includes support for six tenure-track investigators, a senior investigator, a training coordinator, and two staff. There will be an opportunity for the new Scientific Director to expand the NIMHD DIR through recruitment of several additional investigators at the junior and senior level.

NIMHD DIR is focused on population health with an emphasis on social, behavioral, and clinical research while taking advantage of the robust basic science environment at NIH. The goal of the intramural research program is to address a wide array of health problems that disproportionately affect racial and ethnic groups and persons of less privileged socioeconomic status. More specifically, NIMHD seeks to define how health determinants lead to disparities in health and clinical outcomes and to develop, evaluate, and implement interventions to reduce health disparities and to improve the quality and length of life for all populations.

The SD is a key member of the NIMHD leadership team and works closely with the Institute Director and heads of other NIMHD divisions. The SD provides scientific and administrative leadership of DIR and provides mentoring to all tenure track investigators; oversees recruitment and professional development of staff; develops and implements new Division initiatives; and catalyzes interactions among the Division's research groups and between the Division and the other NIMHD divisions, other NIH Institutes and Centers, academic institutions, regulatory agencies, non-profit and for-profit organizations, and the broader research and patient communities. The SD is expected to contribute to many of the NIH-wide initiatives devoted to minority health and health disparities. The SD is also responsible for creating and maintaining a nurturing research environment that encourages creativity, collaboration among scientists from different disciplines and organizations, effective training of students and postdoctoral fellows, and efficient utilization of resources. Finally, the SD serves as a frequent spokesperson for NIMHD and translational research both nationally and internationally.


Key responsibilities of the SD include developing, directing, and coordinating the DIR research areas; mentoring and supporting the development of staff, including tenure track scholars, developing and implementing new DIR initiatives; overseeing program operations including program planning and evaluation, financial management and administrative supervision; recommending and designing new programs to meet national needs with respect to minority health and health disparities; representing NIMHD intramural interests at meetings of the NIH Board of Scientific Directors and other NIH committees; and facilitating interactions among NIMHD DIR, other NIH Institutes and Centers, academic institutions, non-profit and for-profit organizations, and the broader research and patient communities.

LOCATION: Bethesda, Maryland

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants must possess an M.D. and/or Ph.D. or an equivalent doctoral degree and have demonstrated scientific leadership and/or senior-level research experience in a research program of national and international standing in an area relevant to the population, behavioral, and/or clinical scientific community of minority health and health disparities. The successful candidate will have a compelling vision for the future of the field, proven experience in managing and directing a clinical research program, and well-honed administrative and interpersonal skills. Additionally, the candidate will possess the training and experience to lead a multidisciplinary team in the development of scientific discovery and innovation in our understanding of diseases that disproportionately affect the health of racial/ethnic minorities and persons from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds.  NIMHD seeks candidates who have a commitment to scientific excellence and the energy, enthusiasm, and innovative thinking necessary to maintain the NIMHD’s intramural research efforts at the forefront of science. Applicants should be known and respected within their profession, both nationally and internationally, as distinguished individuals of outstanding scientific competence, and those who possess a record of achievement as a senior scientific administrator/executive leader. Applicants also must have demonstrated experience in setting, planning, implementing, and analyzing program objectives and priorities. Candidates should have the demonstrated ability to manage financial and human resources and lead a clinical research program involving extensive internal and external collaboration. The candidate will be expected to supervise their own research laboratory, supported by resources commensurate with the size and scope of their program, with approval from the Institute Director. Candidates should also have the qualifications to be eligible for tenure as a senior investigator at the NIH.

SALARY/BENEFITS: Salary is competitive and will be commensurate with the experience of the candidate. A full package of Federal Civil Service benefits is available, including retirement, health and life insurance, leave, and a Thrift Savings Plan (401K equivalent). A recruitment and/or relocation incentive may be available, and relocation expenses may be paid. Resources will be available for the Scientific Director’s independent research program.

Please read the following guidance on Selective Service requirements. 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT: Selection for this position will be based solely on merit, with no discrimination for non-merit reasons such as race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability, age, or membership or non-membership in an employee organization. NIH encourages the application and nomination of qualified women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities.

STANDARDS OF CONDUCT/FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: NIH inspires public confidence in our science by maintaining high ethical principles. NIH employees are subject to Federal Government-wide regulations and statutes, as well as agency-specific regulations described at the NIH ethics website. We encourage you to review this information. The position is subject to a background investigation and requires the incumbent to complete a public financial disclosure report prior to the effective date of the appointment.

FOREIGN EDUCATION: Applicants who have completed part or all of their education outside of the United States must have their foreign education evaluated by an accredited organization to ensure that the foreign education is equivalent to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States. We will only accept the completed foreign education evaluation. For more information on foreign education verification, visit the website. Verification must be received prior to the effective date of the appointment.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: HHS has a critical preparedness and response mission: HHS protects the American people from health threats, researches emerging diseases, and mobilizes public health programs with domestic and international partners.  In support of this mission, HHS offers its employees the opportunity to volunteer to become Federal Civilian Detailees and contribute their unique skills through voluntary temporary assignments to humanitarian emergencies or Departmental priorities countering new and emerging health, safety, and security threats.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION: NIH provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodation during any part of the application and hiring process, please notify us. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

HOW TO APPLY: Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest, including a brief description of research and administrative experience; curriculum vitae (CV) and bibliography; and full contact information for five references. NIH and NIMHD are committed to building a diverse workforce and promoting an inclusive environment—so please include with your CV, a description of mentoring and outreach activities in which you have been involved, especially those involving women and persons from racial/ethnic or other groups that are underrepresented in biomedical research. Application packages should be sent by email to Dr. Stephen Chanock at Questions should be directed to Dr. Stephan Chanock at the same email address.  

Applications will be accepted beginning June 12, 2023, and must be received by 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time on August 13, 2023, for consideration in the initial review period.  Review of applications will begin on or about August 14, 2023, but applications will be accepted until the position is filled. This position is subject to a background check.


HHS, NIH, and NIMHD are Equal Opportunity Employers

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