Skip to main content

Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Celebrating 75 Years! Learn More >>

Job Vacancy Announcement – Scientific Review Officer, Extramural Review Branch

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Division of Extramural Activities (DEA)
Extramural Review Branch (ERB)

Position Overview

The NIMH is seeking superior candidates for the position of Health Scientist Administrator/Social and Behavioral Sciences Administrator (Scientific Review Officer) within the Extramural Review Branch in the Division of Extramural Activities (DEA). The Division of Extramural Activities: (1) provides leadership and advice in developing, implementing, and coordinating extramural programs and policies; (2) represents the Institute on extramural program and policy issues within the Department and with outside organizations; (3) provides scientific and technical peer and objective review of applications for grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts; (4) provides information and guidelines for grant applications; (5) oversees National Advisory Mental Health Council activities; (6) provides committee management services for peer review, council, and any other FACA-related committee meetings that are required at NIMH; and (7) awards grants, ensures that applications chosen for funding comply with federal laws, regulations, and policies prior to award, which involves critical communication with the grantee throughout the pre-award, award, and post-award processes.

The Extramural Review Branch is responsible for the initial scientific and technical merit review of grant applications and contract proposals submitted to NIMH. This first level of review is carried out by a Scientific Review Group (SRG, or study section) composed primarily of non-federal scientists who have expertise in relevant scientific disciplines and current research areas. Each SRG is led by a Scientific Review Officer (SRO). The SRO is an extramural staff scientist and the Designated Federal Official responsible for ensuring that each application receives an objective and fair initial peer review, and that all applicable laws, regulations, and policies are followed.

Position Duties

The Scientific Review Officer will serve as a Health Scientist Administrator/Social and Behavioral Sciences Administrator for the DEA and provides policy direction and coordination for the planning and execution of the initial scientific and technical review of grant applications and contract proposals. The incumbent will maintain uniform policies and procedures governing the technical and scientific review of grant applications and contract proposals, conduct peer review for applications and proposals that address NIMH-specific needs, i.e., research grants (R01, R03, R21, R33, R34, R61); program projects (P50), research career awards (K), fellowships (F31, F32), institutional training grants (T32) and contracts in response to NIMH-initiated RFAs, PAs, PARs, and RFPs. He/She will conduct review meetings under the charter of one NIMH standing committee, the Services Research Review Committee (SERV); or under Special Emphasis Panels (SEP) which are groups of reviewers who have been specifically invited to review groupings of applications (few to many) for which their expertise is needed. The incumbent will conduct initial planning for scientific peer review, including working with NIMH Program Staff in the development of funding opportunity announcements (FOA) and maintain the core values of peer review  (expert assessment, transparency, impartiality, fairness, confidentiality, integrity, and efficiency). He/She will coordinate instructional pre-review meeting teleconferences with reviews, formulate and guide peer review strategies for new or unusual FOAs, coordinate review activities with Office of Committee Management and Grants Management and coordinate grantsmanship/outreach seminars for the community.


Applicants must be U.S. Citizens and have a doctoral degree and/or postdoctoral experience in neuroscience, mental health research or a related field. Knowledge of the NIH peer review policies will be a plus.

How to Apply

Please send your Letter of Interest and Curriculum Vitae to 

HHS and NIH are equal opportunity employers.

The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs and encourages the application and nomination of qualified women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities.