Chief, BRAIN Bioinformatics and Data Integration

Submitted by on Thu, 09/01/2022 - 14:39

Job Contact:

Nhi Floyd


NIH BRAIN Initiative

The Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative is aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. By accelerating the development and application of innovative approaches, researchers aim to produce a revolutionary new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, will demonstrate how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space. The hope is that these pioneering approaches will lead to new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders by filling major gaps in our current knowledge and provide unprecedented opportunities to understand how the brain acquires, processes, utilizes, stores, and retrieves vast quantities of information, all at the speed of thought.

BRAIN Initiative is a collaboration among 10 NIH Institutes led by the Office of the BRAIN Director (OBD) in NINDS. OBD coordinates and directs eight trans-NIH Teams that support and manage a $500+ million annual investment in multiple research portfolios by bringing together scientific expertise from across the NIH guided by two key strategic plans: the "BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision" and "The BRAIN Initiative 2.0: From Cells to Circuits, Toward Cures."

In addition to established BRAIN research programs, in FY21, BRAIN initiated three new Transformative Projects that focus on generating novel tools and large complex data sets crossing structural, functional, and traditional boundaries (molecular genetic, physiologic, and brain connectomic). Currently, over 120 staff from across the 10 ICs participate in managing BRAIN-funded programs. The diversity of approaches and data types have expanded dramatically in the last two years especially. In addition to the 10 participating ICs, the NIH BRAIN Initiative staff frequently interact with colleagues at NSF, DOE, FDA, and IARPA as well as with numerous non-Federal partners. Thus, OBD seeks to recruit a senior bioinformatics scientist with a well-established record of exceptional scientific and technical expertise in data science and data integration with strong executive administrative management experience to guide these critical discovery and coordination efforts.

The incumbent for this position will be responsible for developing and organizing data science and informatics needs across the large cross-disciplinary trans-NIH teams at the critical interface of basic research and translational science relevant to the BRAIN Initiative and related programs. The appointee will oversee the operation of BRAIN Team Data, which is a cross-IC team charged with tracking data needs and promoting data sharing policies and practices. Currently, it is not anticipated that the appointee will supervise staff directly in OBD, but the incumbent will be tasked with leading individuals and teams and drive engagement efforts and trans-IC/trans-agency workgroups (existing and new) to establish leading-edge data integration efforts. The appropriate skills include proven experience and leadership in research on the fundamental understanding of data science, bioinformatics, computational biology, and/or data integration and harmonization. The incumbent will be required to demonstrate and execute a clear vision of how to develop BRAIN data science priorities and manage budget opportunities and constraints in support of BRAIN Initiative research efforts. The incumbent must understand policies and ethical considerations regarding data acquisition, use, reuse, and responsible sharing of brain data. In this role, the incumbent will represent the BRAIN/OBD at relevant scientific and policy forums and will be expected to contribute to and influence IC policies related to execution of the BRAIN Initiative data science efforts. In addition, it is important that the incumbent will be able to manage and coordinate projects across the scientifically diverse BRAIN portfolio both within NIH as well as with federal and nonfederal partners.

The incumbent should have significant experience dealing with complex, program evaluation strategies and also demonstrated cutting-edge expertise in a scientific or technical discipline critical to developing data standards, data harmonization, and/or interoperability efforts. In addition, the incumbent should have also played a leadership role in bringing groups together to develop data workflows. The incumbent should have a well-established record of exceptional scientific and technical experience in one or more areas supported by the BRAIN Initiative (neuroscience, computational biology, physics, engineering, math etc.) as well as research, knowledge and skills in data-intensive science and executive administrative management of large budget programs. The incumbent should have a fundamental understanding of data integration strategies and would ideally demonstrate a recognized track record of developing and/or coordinating large data science programs. Familiarity with the principles and broader challenges of making data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) and AI-ready is desired. Knowledge and understanding of complex biological processes, ideally in the nervous system is preferred. Experience in data harmonization efforts and the development and implementation of data standards would be a plus.

Required Qualifications

In order to qualify for this position, candidates must possess a Master's level or higher degree in:

  • engineering
  • bioinformatics
  • or an emerging or related scientific field.

In addition, candidates must have at least one year of experience related to the position, including achievements in one or more of the following areas to demonstrate the individual has received recognition as an expert in the field:

  • conducted original biomedical research published in peer-reviewed journals of high stature;
  • received major prizes and awards (such as visiting professorships and named lectureships) in recognition of original contributions to biomedical research;
  • received invitations to speak at or chair major national or international meetings or symposia;
  • elected to membership in professional societies of high stature; or
  • meets other criteria demonstrating sufficient rigor or accomplishment in a relevant or closely related field that is necessary to the accomplishment of NIH's mission.

If you are a current Federal Title 5 employee, you must have one year of equivalent experience at the GS-14 level or above.


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If selected, you will be required to complete a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report, OGE Form 450 to determine if a conflict or an appearance of a conflict exists between your financial interest and your prospective position with the agency.

Foreign Education

This position has an education requirement. You are strongly encouraged to submit a copy of your transcripts (or a list of your courses including titles, credit hours completed and grades). Unofficial transcripts will be accepted in the application package. Official transcripts will be required from all selectees prior to receiving an official offer. Learn more about Foreign Education.

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