Skip to main content

Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Celebrating 75 Years! Learn More >>

Job Vacancy Announcement – Staff Clinician 1 (Research Psychiatrist)

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Division of Intramural Research Programs (IRP)
Molecular Imaging Branch (MIB)

Program Overview

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a major research component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), is seeking exceptional candidates for a Staff Clinician 1 position as a psychiatrist in the Molecular Imaging Branch (MIB) of the Division of Intramural Research Program (IRP). This laboratory uses state-of-the-art techniques to develop novel positron emission tomography (PET) radioligands for targets related to neuropsychiatric disorders and to study molecular/protein targets in the brain. New radioligands are developed and evaluated with PET imaging of animals (rodents and monkeys), extended to healthy participants, and then to patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. Active research areas include imaging of neuroinflammation and cAMP signaling in patients with diverse disorders, including major depressive disorder, dementias, long-term COVID-19, and peripheral inflammatory disorders. The laboratory is increasing focusing on PET studies of MDD patients. For more information, see the MIB homepage.

Position Overview

The candidate will oversee all aspects of clinical studies conducted in Dr. Innis’s laboratory that involve human participants, both healthy volunteers and patients. Relevant duties will include selecting participants, diagnosing patients, obtaining informed consent, ordering, and monitoring PET scans, ensuring strict protocol adherence, and reporting adverse events. To assist with these duties, the candidate will work with and/or supervise two Nurse Practitioners, four postbaccalaureate trainees, and four postdoctoral fellows who lack clinical credentials (e.g., Ph.D.-level or foreign MD-level). A full-time protocol navigator will oversee most IRB-related tasks, but the candidate will assist in writing human protocols that use research radioligands under FDA regulation.

The candidate will evaluate and screen psychiatric patients to ensure that inclusion and exclusion criteria for the various protocols are met, most patients will be outpatients and not under our clinical care. The candidate will occasionally provide clinical care as an attending physician for those patients who are admitted to the hospital (i.e., the NIH Clinical Center). While the Nurse Practitioners will cover most PET scans, the candidate will attend some PET scans, monitor participants, and draw blood samples from an indwelling arterial catheter (placed by an anesthesiologist).

In short, the candidate will provide the necessary medical and psychiatric coverage to perform research PET scans under investigational new drug (IND) applications. Experience with PET is preferred but not required, as training in the theory and practice of PET will be provided on the job. The candidate will need good math and computer skills to learn digital image analysis and pharmacokinetic modeling. After this training (if the candidate does not already possess the skills), s/he may become the principal investigator and first author for some human studies. In that context, the candidate would manage the following aspects of human clinical studies: data collection, data release policies, design protocols, dissemination of results, informed consent, patient examination, patient safety, protocol adherence monitoring, randomization recruitment, referral for abnormal findings, and reporting of adverse events.

Performs other related duties as assigned.


The candidate must possess an M.D. medical doctor degree or D.O. doctoral degree; have a current unrestricted medical license in a state or territory of the United States; be board-certified in psychiatry; and have at least three years of prior research experience (clinical or basic). The position is open to both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens.

The ideal candidate for this position would have professional knowledge of and skill in applying concepts, principles, and methodology in the field of psychiatry and an in-depth understanding of research methodology. Experience in the areas of molecular imaging, pharmacology, radiochemistry, and/or the regulatory requirements for human studies is preferred but not required.


The Staff Clinician 1 will be appointed at a salary commensurate with their qualifications and experience. In addition, full federal benefits, including annual and sick leave and a Thrift Savings Plan (equivalent to a 401K), will be provided. 


How to Apply

This position is open to both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests, and contact information for three potential references to Please include "Staff Clinician 1 Application" in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. The position is subject to a background check.

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.