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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Job Vacancy Announcement - Health Scientist Administrator (Program Officer)

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science (DNBBS)
Developmental Neurobiology Program (DNP)

Program Overview

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Research announces an opening for a Health Scientist Administrator (Program Officer) position to guide and manage a grants program supporting basic research in developmental neurobiology. The Program Officer will lead an innovative program aimed at elucidating fundamental mechanisms underlying the establishment of neural cell types and functional circuitry mediating cognitive, affective and social domains of function in the developing brain. The program also supports research on developmental mechanisms of factors (e.g., genetic or environmental) that have been associated at high confidence with mental illness risk. This program encompasses studies (a) of prenatal, early postnatal and adolescent development, (b) at the molecular, cellular, circuit and behavioral levels, (c) involving in vitro preparations, model organisms or humans. This position provides an opportunity to impact priorities, develop new research initiatives and to contribute to the advancement of a national program of developmental neurobiology research spanning these topic areas.

Position Duties

Individuals are encouraged to apply who have state-of-the-art knowledge of neurodevelopmental principles and strong research experience using a broad range of cutting-edge neuroscience, genetic, molecular, cellular, anatomical, electrophysiological and/or behavioral methods and paradigms. Technical experience across multiple levels of analysis is preferable. Of particular relevance is expertise in evaluating mechanistic studies of cell fate and regional specification, neuronal/glial maturation and establishment of connectivity, synaptic and circuit function, along with studies of sensitive periods for developmental plasticity as they relate to cognitive, affective and social function. General responsibilities will include administering and managing an extramural portfolio of research grants, interacting with researchers and program officers for related programs at NIMH, NIH, and other funding agencies, and developing new research initiatives.


Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in an accredited college university including acceptance of the dissertation, in an academic field or the health or pertinent sciences allied to health or health related research.

This position requires working both independently and collaboratively. Strong organizational, oral, written and communication skills are also required. Experience managing research programs and coordinating professional groups and associations' activities is also desirable. Strong organizational, oral, writing and communication skills are required. Experience with the grants review process is preferable. The successful candidate is subject to a background investigation and public financial disclosure requirements.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens. The NIH encourages the application and nomination of qualified women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities. HHS and NIH are Equal Opportunity Employers. The work site is in Rockville, Maryland. A complete federal Civil Service benefits package includes retirement, health and life insurance, long-term care insurance, leave, and a Thrift Savings Plan (401K equivalent). Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.

How to Apply

For medical and scientific specialties, qualification requirements, evaluation criteria, and application instructions, please view the vacancy announcement at Interested candidates should send a letter of interest, including a curriculum vitae to

Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to visit the NIH Federal Resume Tips website for guidance on creating a federal resume.

DHHS and NIH are equal-opportunity employers

The NIH encourages the application and nomination of qualified women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities. The HHS and NIH are Equal Opportunity Employers.