Health Program Specialist, Neuroscience

Job Contact
Division of Neuroscience

Location: Montgomery County, MD

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is seeking to hire Health Program Specialists


  • Demonstrate expertise, experience and/or educational background in neuroscience or related discipline.
  • A PhD or postdoc is not required but is generally preferred.

The successful candidate will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Plan, coordinate, and screen proposed projects for their interest and appropriateness for extramural grant programs at NINDS.
  • Provide scientific support in planning, coordination, evaluation and communication of research in neuroscience and neurology to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Conceive, design and perform detailed analysis of scientific and/or administrative factors affecting research program priorities and performance in the areas of specialty.
  • Serve as representative on committees and working groups, focusing on areas of programmatic expertise.
  • Evaluate grant program supported by NINDS by tracking applications, success rates, activities and spending of grant recipients to inform future funding and policy decisions.
  • Prepare and make oral presentations to NINDS leadership and staff, NIH staff and the extramural community.
  • Provide guidance to grantees on their research objectives, funding opportunity requirements, compliance documentation and safety monitoring plans.
  • Work with Program Directors to ensure that tasks relevant to the scientific administration of assigned grants are performed accurately and in a timely fashion.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should send their resume to Ling Wong, PhD.

  • Applications will be accepted via upcoming job announcements for "Scientific Program Specialist", "Scientific Program Analyst", “Health Specialist” or “Health Program Specialist” GS-601-11/12/13 on 
  • Applicants may target a specific team(s) in their cover letter. Please note that while a match between an applicant’s scientific background and the team they would join is generally preferred, it is not required.
  • If you are currently a Federal employee or work in NIH Intramural, detail opportunities are available.
  • Candidates will be considered on a rolling basis until the positions are filled.

Additional Application Information

All information provided by candidates will remain strictly confidential and will not be released outside the search process without a signed release from candidates. 


Teams with Health Program Specialist Vacancies

Neural Environment (NET) Cluster

Neurological disorders may result when extra-neuronal cells are compromised; when extra-neuronal cells themselves become aggressors; when cells of the nervous system become cancerous and form tumors; when viruses, bacteria, or parasites infect the cells of the nervous system; when autoimmune responses damage nerve and muscle; or when cells of the blood-brain barrier are dysfunctional. Glial cells, microvascular endothelia, and cells of hematopoietic origin are integrally involved in the normal development and/or functioning of the nervous system and play a crucial role in disease. The major goals of this cluster are to support research on the interactions among these cell types to increase our understanding of how the nervous system works in normal and diseased states. Supported topics include: neuroimmunology, neurovirology, neural vascular biology, the blood brain barrier, stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, neuro-AIDS and neuroinfectious diseases, prion diseases, and CNS infections.

Neurodegeneration, Dementia, & Repeat Expansion Disorders Cluster

The major goals of this cluster are to support research on juvenile- and adult-onset neurodegenerative disorders to identify neurobiological processes that, when disrupted, play a role in neuronal dysfunction, circuit alteration, and degeneration, as well as management of the NIH NeuroBioBank, a large-scale, centralized resource of human post-mortem brain tissue and related biospecimens to catalyze research on conditions of the nervous system.  Supported topics include: contributions of neurons as well as non-neuronal cells and systems, such as the vasculature and neuromuscular junction, to the biology of neurodegeneration; neuronal cell death; protein misfolding and aggregation; RNA and protein processing; mitochondrial dysfunction; and calcium homeostasis.

Neurogenetics (NGN) Cluster

The major goals of this cluster are to understand the role of genetics and genomics in normal development and function of neurons and glia; clarify how genetic mutations impact neurological function; and develop treatments for various neurodevelopmental, neuromuscular, metabolic, and rare diseases and disorders. Supported topics include: genetics and genomics of normal neural development and neurological diseases; basic, translational and clinical research in rare neurological, neurodevelopmental, metabolic, and neuromuscular disorders; gene expression, proteomics, and metabolomics; gene therapy and gene delivery; molecular basis of neurodevelopment (including neurogenesis and cell fate determination, cell migration, axonal guidance and neurotrophic signaling); and glia biology.  This cluster also supports the Undiagnosed Diseases Network.

Repair & Plasticity (R&P) Cluster

The major goals of this cluster are to support: 1) efforts to understand mechanisms of plasticity, endogenous neurogenesis, and stem and progenitor cell biology in the development, maintenance, and repair of the nervous system; 2) research that focuses on the course of degeneration and repair following injury to the nervous system (including spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury) and on strategies and interventions to improve functional outcomes; and 3) development of neural interface devices designed to monitor activity and restore function after neurological injury or disease. Supported research topics include: spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and associated research on the recovery of function; plasticity of the nervous system; neural circuits that underlie specific behaviors; repair of the nervous system in injury and disease; stem cell biology; neural prosthesis, neural engineering, and other means of repairing the nervous system due to injury or disease. 

Systems & Cognitive Neuroscience Cluster

The major goals of this cluster are to support research focused on the integrated functioning of neural circuits and systems that support higher brain functions. Supported topics include complex behavioral phenomena such as learning, memory, attention, language, cognition, sensation, and perception; motor control and complex behaviors; homeostatic regulation of cyclic and appetitive behaviors such as sleep, activity, feeding, and drinking; analysis of neural circuits and systems; peripheral and central mechanisms of pain, pain perception, and development of strategies to alleviate chronic pain.

Related Information

Salary and Benefits

This is a Federal GS-11, GS-12 or GS-13 position located in Montgomery County MD. Level is based upon individual qualifications and professional experience. A full benefits package is available, which includes Thrift Savings Plan participation, health, life and long-term care insurance.

Equal Opportunity Employment

HHS and NIH are Equal Opportunity Employers. 


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