Scientific Director

Job Contact
Division of Intramural Research

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) seeks a Scientific Director with creative vision and strong leadership skills to guide its intramural neuroscience programs.  The Scientific Director will lead the NINDS intramural neuroscience programs in collaboration with the NINDS Clinical Director.  Currently the Scientific Director allocates an approximately $200 million annual budget, in consultation with the NINDS Director and the NINDS Clinical Director, to intramural NINDS laboratories and clinical programs in the NIH Clinical Center. The successful candidate will oversee a diverse group of 52 independent principal investigators (PIs), 15 science core leaders, and 280 trainees conducting research in basic, translational, and clinical neuroscience and help chart the future for a vibrant NIH neuroscience research community. The Scientific Director is advised by the NINDS Board of Scientific Counselors, a panel comprising prominent extramural researchers.  The Scientific Director reports to and also advises the NINDS Director on relevant NINDS policies. The Scientific Director recruits new faculty and steers a vibrant training program that includes post-doctoral, pre-doctoral and post-baccalaureate researchers. Most importantly, the Scientific Director, with the investigator community, charts the future direction of NIH’s intramural world-class neuroscience research.

Physical resources are outstanding including the Porter Neuroscience Research Center which joins together neuroscience PIs from multiple NIH Institutes and the NIH Clinical Center, the nation’s largest research hospital.  The NINDS Scientific Director plays a key leadership role in helping to integrate the different neuroscience programs across the Porter Neuroscience Research Center and the NIH intramural program.   

LOCATION:   Bethesda, Maryland

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants must possess a Ph.D. and/or M.D. and an established record of outstanding research accomplishments, scientific leadership, and service within the basic and/or clinical neuroscience community.  The Scientific Director may supervise their own research laboratory, supported by resources commensurate with the size and scope of their program. 

VACCINATION MANDATE:  In accordance with Executive Order 14043, Federal employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of the employee’s duty location or work arrangement (e.g., telework, remote work, etc.), subject to exceptions that may be required by law. If selected, you will be required to submit proof of vaccination by November 22, 2021 or before your entrance on duty if you are selected after the compliance date. Your HR Consultant will provide a list of documents acceptable as proof of vaccination and instructions for how to submit a request for a legally required exception, if needed, to comply with vaccination requirement. 

SALARY/BENEFITS:  Salary is competitive and will be commensurate with the experience of the candidate.  A full package of Federal Civil Service benefits is available, including retirement, health and life insurance, long term care insurance, leave, and a Thrift Savings Plan (401K equivalent).  A recruitment and/or relocation incentive may be available, and relocation expenses may be paid.

EXPANDED/MAXIMUM TELEWORK POSTURE:  Due to COVID-19, the agency is currently in a maximum telework posture.  If selected, you may be expected to telework upon your appointment. As employees are permitted to return to the office, you may be required to report to the duty station listed on this announcement within 30 calendar days of receiving notice to do so, even if your home/temporary telework site is located outside the local commuting area. Your position may be eligible for workplace flexibilities which may include remote work or telework options, and/or flexible work scheduling.  These flexibilities may be requested in accordance with the HHS Workplace Flexibilities policy. 

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 individuals with disabilities.

STANDARDS OF CONDUCT/FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: The National Institutes of Health 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 Program 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 educational 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

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 accommodation 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: Applicants should send a curriculum vitae with bibliography and a cover letter (not to exceed two (2) pages) that describes their qualifications for the position. Please include in the cover letter a description of mentoring and outreach activities in which you have been involved, especially those involving women and persons from racial/ethnic or other groups that are underrepresented in biomedical research, and examples of initiatives you have undertaken that illustrate your commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. In a subsequent two (2) pages the applicant should outline scientific plans for their own research as well as their scientific vision or ideas for potential development of the NINDS intramural research program. Application materials should be sent electronically to Dr. Lisa Cunningham, the Search Committee Chair, c/o Ms. Joanne Pomponio at  Review of applications will begin on Monday, January 16, 2023 and applications will continue to be accepted and considered until the position is filled.  Please contact Ms. Pomponio at with questions and for more information about this position.


HHS, NIH and NINDS are Equal Opportunity Employers