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Scientific Computer Specialist - NIMH

Neurophysiology Imaging Facility, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Bethesda, Maryland
Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Apr 5, 2023

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Job Details

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, via the third-party contracting mechanism, for a Scientific Computer Specialist position in the Division of Intramural Research Programs (IRP), Neurophysiology Imaging Facility (NIF).


The NIF is a central core facility with a small team of dedicated staff that support basic systems neuroscience research at NIH involving brain imaging, including structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The purpose of the Scientific Computer Specialist role is to provide technical IT support to the core facility staff, associated labs, and researchers who use the facility, as well as developing innovative technical and computational solutions to brain imaging data acquisition, transfer, storage, and processing. This role would be ideal for somebody technically minded with a neuroimaging or neuroscience research background or interest, who has already pivoted towards a more computational, data science or software development oriented career path.


Qualifications and experience:


  • Candidates must hold an advanced degree in neuroimaging, neuroscience, statistics, engineering, computer science, or a related discipline. 
  • Proficiency with at least one interpreted programming language (MATLAB and/or Python) and experience with Linux operating systems.
  • Candidates must be familiar with Git-based version control (e.g., GitHub) for collaborative code development.
  • Experience with MRI data, biomedical image processing, or data processing pipelines is highly desirable. Prior experience with brain imaging analysis software (AFNI, SPM, FSL,  Nipype, etc.) would be a particular advantage.
  • Experience with managing server and desktop hardware, software, and operating systems (Windows, Mac, and Linux), as well as virtual machines are preferred.
  • Experience with shell scripts (e.g., bash),  Cron jobs, SQL database management, Sphinx documentation, HTML, and continuous deployment (e.g., Jenkins) are desirable.
  • Experience in medical imaging data (e.g., DICOM) network transfer and storage server applications would also be a bonus.


The successful candidate will be expected to:


  • Manage local server hardware and software, including Linux and Windows virtual machines, and NetApp disks.
  • Manage the facility’s web services that are hosted on the servers, including SQL databases and a DICOM database of medical imaging data.
  • Work with research scientists to establish and communicate best practices for data handling and analysis, including via web documentation resources (e.g., Sphinx / Wiki).
  • Have strong organizational skills and the ability to work independently, as well as being reliable and capable of working with different teams of personnel, including facility staff, scientific researchers, and IT professionals.
  • Liaise with institutional-level IT services to maintain compliance and resolve any issues arising with the network, cloud storage, hardware acquisition and management, data security, and other institutional-level IT issues. This will entail acting as an interlocutor to facilitate the communication of needs between scientific researchers and IT professionals.
  • Have a general interest in cognitive and systems neuroscience, to motivate collaborations that seek to innovate in the domain of brain imaging data processing (for example, through applications of machine learning or real-time data analysis).

How to Apply

The position is open to both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens. Interested candidates must submit a current curriculum vitae and cover letter to Dr. David Leopold via e-mail at

This position is located on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, MD, and requires full-time on-site presence with the possibility of working remotely on an ad hoc basis.  The anticipated start date is early 2023. This position is a contractor position and will require the successful candidate to enroll with one of the contracting agencies utilized by NIMH. Salary will be commensurate with education and experience.

DHHS and NIH are Equal Opportunity Employers

Applications from women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged.



The Neurophysiology Imaging Facility (NIF) is a central core facility with a small team of dedicated staff that support basic systems neuroscience research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) main campus in Bethesda, MD. Research conducted in the NIF is focused on brain imaging, including structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

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