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Job Vacancy Announcement – Director, Division of Extramural Activities (DEA)

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders. NIMH is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest biomedical research agency in the world. NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Position Overview

The NIMH is seeking superior candidates for Director of the Division of Extramural Activities (DEA). The DEA has three (3) branches, which consist of the: Extramural Policy Branch, Grants Management Branch, and Extramural Review Branch. The Division provides leadership and advice in developing, implementing, and coordinating extramural programs and policies; represents the Institute on extramural program and policy issues within HHS, NIH, and with outside organizations; supervises scientific and technical peer review of applications/proposals for grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts; provides information and guidelines for grant applications; oversees National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC) activities; provides committee management services for peer review, NAMHC, and any other Federal Advisory Committee Act-related committee meetings required at NIMH; and awards grants ensuring that applications chosen for funding comply with federal laws, regulations, and policies before award, which involves critical communication with the grantee throughout the pre-award, award, and post-award processes. 

The incumbent will serve as the senior leader for the Division reporting directly to the NIMH Director. In this capacity, they will serve as the chief expert on extramural grants, review, and grants management policies. They will represent the NIMH at various NIH-wide meetings and committees and represent the NIMH at meetings hosted by other federal agencies and private organizations. The DEA Director will evaluate the Division's operations as they pertain to and contribute to the NIMH’s initiative planning process, referral guidelines oversight, review of the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts submissions by NIMH as well as extramural review processes, and stewardship and management of the payment of grants and cooperative agreements. The incumbent must ensure coordination with the NIMH’s extramural program divisions on grants management, extramural review policy, and issues on the management of the NAMHC. Also, the DEA Director works collaboratively with the Office of Clinical Research in the NIMH Office of the Director and grants management staff to ensure the safety and protection of human subjects who participate in NIMH studies, and also serves as the Research Integrity Officer for the NIMH. As such, they will contribute significantly to the oversight and monitoring of major national scientific research programs.

The DEA Director oversees and coordinates all activities of the NAMHC, serving as its Executive Secretary. The NAMHC advises the HHS Secretary, the NIH Director, and the NIMH Director on all policies and activities relating to the conduct and support of mental health research, research training, and other programs of the Institute. The DEA Director bears primary responsibility for ensuring all reports and documents of the NAMHC are accurate and convey appropriate policy positions. The incumbent also works closely with the NIMH Director and Deputy Director, and other NIMH senior leadership, assisting with the implementation of the NIMH's Strategic Plan for Research, particularly as it refers to the Division's activities and grants stewardship.

The incumbent must have extensive experience in a relevant scientific area and federal research grants. The incumbent must ensure coordination across the Institute’s extramural program divisions regarding scientific substance, policy, and procedural issues. They will represent the Institute on scientific and extramural policy issues within HHS and with domestic and foreign organizations, public and private.


Applicants must be a U.S. Citizen with an M.D. or Ph.D. or equivalent degree from an accredited college or university in a mental health relevant discipline.  Competitive candidates must demonstrate capabilities to provide strong policy over and monitoring of a major national scientific research program. They will be required to have extensive experience in federal research grants administration and demonstrated experience with supervising a large staff or program.  They must be able to manage interdisciplinary staff with a variety of backgrounds and interests to generate a work environment that is cooperative and productive. The Director will oversee a staff of approximately 52 full-time equivalent (FTE) and contractor staff.

How to Apply

The vacancy announcement will be posted on the NIMH website at Careers at NIMH and in various journals and listservs. Interested candidates should send a letter of interest and curriculum vitae to NIMH will accept applications between September 1, 2020, and October 1, 2020.  Please contact Melissa Kopyto at (301) 827-2862 if you have any questions regarding this process, or questions regarding this position.

The NIH encourages the application and nomination of qualified women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities.

HHS and NIH are Equal Opportunity Employers.

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