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The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), a major research component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), seeks to identify an outstanding Scientific Director to lead its Intramural Research Program

Location: Bethesda, MD

Dates: Applications will be accepted beginning March 15, 2021, and will be reviewed beginning May 15, 2021; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Position Description

The Scientific Director leads the government-based NHGRI basic and clinical research program that for nearly three decades has been at the forefront of scientific innovation, consistently making major contributions in areas such as genome structure and function, the genomic basis of human disease, and the application of genomics to medicine.  The Scientific Director is responsible for an annual budget exceeding $120 million and a staff of approximately 550.  In addition to providing scientific and administrative leadership for this premier research enterprise, the Scientific Director is expected to be an internationally recognized, highly accomplished researcher in genomics and/or genetics and will have the opportunity to maintain an active research group as part of the NHGRI Intramural Research Program. 

This position offers a unique and exciting opportunity to develop and implement an overall vision for the future of the NHGRI Intramural Research Program that aligns with the institute’s broader mission and strategic objectives, as recently articulated in the 2020 NHGRI Strategic Vision.  The Scientific Director will be responsible for recruiting and providing leadership for the NHGRI research faculty; creating and maintaining a research environment that encourages creativity and collaboration among different disciplines as well as a nurturing, inclusive, and diverse environment for trainees at all levels; providing effective administrative management; and being an active and valued member of the overall NHGRI leadership team.

Required Qualifications

Applicants must have an M.D. and/or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in the biomedical sciences, broad knowledge of genomics and human genetics, and a compelling vision for the future of the fields of genomics and human genetics research, including clinical applications.  Applicants will ideally have proven experience in directing and managing a large and diverse scientific research program and will have well-honed administrative and interpersonal skills; be highly skilled in facilitating productive interactions among researchers; possess the credentials to lead research across the entire spectrum of basic, translational, and clinical research; have the ability to serve as a spokesperson for ongoing research within the NHGRI Intramural Research Program; and be able to build and lead a robust scientific and administrative infrastructure.  Top candidates must have an ability to provide strong mentorship and to create opportunities in support of a diverse workforce, possessing a record of previous accomplishments in these areas. Applicants should be known and respected within their profession, both nationally and internationally, as distinguished individuals of outstanding scientific competence and integrity. 


Salary is competitive and will be commensurate with the candidate’s experience.  A full Federal benefits package is available, including retirement, health and life insurance, long-term care insurance, annual and sick leave, and the Thrift Savings Plan (401K equivalent).  Relocation expenses may be approved for the selectee.  Support and resources will be available to support the Scientific Director’s own research program.

Equal Opportunity Employment

Selection for this position will be based solely on merit, with no discrimination for non-merit reasons such as race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability, age, or membership or non-membership in an employee organization.  The NIH encourages the application and nomination of qualified women minorities and individual with disabilities.

Standards Of Conduct/financial Disclosure

The NIH inspires public confidence in our science by maintaining high ethical principles.  NIH employees are subject to Federal government-wide regulations and statutes, as well as agency-specific regulations described at the NIH Ethics Website.  We encourage you to review this information.  The position is subject to a background investigation and requires the incumbent to complete a public financial disclosure report prior to the effective date of the appointment.

Foreign Education

Applicants who have completed part or all of their education outside of the U.S. must have their foreign education evaluated by an accredited organization to ensure that the foreign education is equivalent to education received in accredited education institutions in the United States.  We will only accept the completed foreign education evaluation.  For more information on foreign education verification, visit the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) website.  Verification must be received prior to the effective date of the appointment.

Reasonable Accommodation

NIH provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities.  If you require reasonable accommodations during any part of the application and hiring process, please notify us.  The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter that includes a brief description of research and administrative experience, a current curriculum vitae and bibliography, names and contact information of five references, and a 2-page written vision for leading the NHGRI Intramural Research Program.  Please include in your application materials a description of your mentoring and outreach activities, especially those involving women and persons from racial/ethnic or other groups that are underrepresented in biomedical research.  Questions about the position and the application process should be sent to Ms. Susan Vasquez via email at susan.vasquez@nih.gov.  All information provided by the candidate will remain confidential and will not be released outside the NHGRI search process without a signed release from the candidate. 


Applications will be accepted beginning March 15, 2021, and will be reviewed beginning May 15, 2021; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


Last updated: March 15, 2021