Health Scientist Administrator (Program Officer)

National Institute of Mental Health
Rockville, Maryland
commensurate with experience
Closing date
Dec 1, 2022

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Job Function
Position Type
Full Time
Mid Level
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Job Details

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)

Genomics Research Branch (GRB)

Program Overview

The National Institutes of Health (NIMH), Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science (DNBBS) directs, plans, and supports research programs in the areas of fundamental neuroscience, human genetics, basic behavioral science, research training, resource development, technology development, drug discovery, and research dissemination.  The Division also has the responsibility, in cooperation with other components of the Institute and the research community, to ensure that relevant basic science knowledge is generated and harvested to created an improved diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental and behavioral disorders.  Therefore, the Division is looking for a motivated individual to serve as a Program Officer in its Genomics Research Branch.

The Branch plans, supports, and administers research programs toward the discovery and function of gene variants and other genomic elements that contribute to developing mental illnesses and related traits. Research projects apply genome-scale approaches to case-control, family, and population-based study designs to identify genetic risk factors and the underlying genetic architecture of serious mental illnesses. The Branch also supports basic research into the relationship between human genetic variation and phenotypic variation in molecular, cellular, affective, and cognitive traits relevant to mental illnesses. Towards this end, the Branch encourages the development and distribution of research resources such as novel statistical, computational, and bioinformatics tools and comprehensive genomic reference maps derived from healthy and patient brains, organoids, and cells. The goal is to establish a robust foundation based on human genetics and human biology for translational neuroscience efforts aiming to diagnose, treat, and ultimately prevent mental illnesses.

Position Duties

Individuals are encouraged to apply who can initiate, plan, develop, and direct NIMH extramural research programs administered by the Branch. The selected candidate will serve as Program Officer for a portfolio of grants, contracts, and/or cooperative agreements and participate in collaborative activities with other NIH institutes and Federal departments or agencies, as appropriate.

Competitive candidates are expected to be accomplished scientists with a good understanding of how biomedical research is performed and expertise in interdisciplinary genomics research focusing on understanding the genetics of the brain and behavior. A publication record, prior research experience, and evidence of familiarity with current literature in human genomics related to mental illness are essential. This position requires working independently and collaboratively and offers opportunities to impact priorities, develop new initiatives, and contribute to the advancement of a national research program.


Applicants must be U.S. citizens and have a Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent degree from an accredited college or university, including acceptance of the dissertation in genomics or other pertinent academic fields of 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 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.



The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders.

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