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Staff Scientist 1 – Section on Light and Circadian Rhythms (SLCR)

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Division of Intramural Research Programs (IRP) 
Section on Light and Circadian Rhythms (SLCR)

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 (HHS) is seeking exceptional candidates for a Staff Scientist 1 position in the Section of Light and Circadian Rhythms (SLCR) to conduct research in retinal connectivity and function in the brain. The successful applicant will work closely with several behavioral setups measuring circadian rhythms and sleep. Retinal morphology and connectivity in the brain both in isolation and in whole animal preparations. The applicant will also have close collaborations with the Retinal Neurophysiology Section (RNS) at the National Eye Institute. The studies will help elucidate how retinal function and connectivity in the brain can influence many psychological diseases such as major depression.

Position Overview

The Staff Scientist will serve as the Lead Associate Investigator on current and future studies in both the LCR and the RNS. The successful applicant will be responsible for introducing the diurnal animal, tree shrews, to both sections and perform performing independent and cutting-edge research studies using in vivo non-invasive tools that include functional ultrasound imaging and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In addition, the individual will support and train lab members, establish and conduct collaborative research, attend and present at national and international meetings, and assist in writing manuscripts. The position is subject to a background check.


  • Candidates must have a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience, Neuroscience, or a related field.
  • Must have five years of experience working with Tree Shrews.
  • At least five years of experience with functional ultrasound imaging and fMRI.
  • Expertise in data analysis, including fMRI and functional ultrasound analysis.
  • Excellent record as a mentor to trainees.
  • High-quality scientific publications on the topics mentioned above.


The Staff Scientist will be appointed at a salary commensurate with their qualifications and experience. In addition, full federal benefits, including leave, and thrift savings plan (401K equivalent), will be provided. 

How to Apply

The position is open to both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens. Applicants must submit a current curriculum vitae and three letters of recommendation to Samer Hattar, Ph.D.., via email at by October 15, 2023. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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.