Program Director, Pain Therapeutic Development Program

NIH HEAL Initiative

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is a leading supporter of biomedical research on disorders of the brain and the nervous system at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

The NINDS Division of Translational Research (DTR) is recruiting a Health Scientist Administrator who will be responsible for the management of HEAL Pain Therapeutic Development Program (PTDP) research grants and contracts. These cooperative agreement research grants feature cross-functional therapeutic discovery research teams where grantees are provided resources that include industry-experienced drug discovery consultants and access to Contract Research Organizations to facilitate progression of their project.

The HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-Term) InitiativeSM, is an aggressive, trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis. The initiative supports hundreds of projects nationwide through two primary approaches:

  1. Understanding, managing, and treating pain.
  2. Improving treatment for opioid misuse and addiction.


Attributes of the successful candidate include: 

  • Prospective candidates with a doctorate are highly preferred, or s/he must demonstrate equivalent experience to be considered.
  • Excellent communication, negotiation and facilitation skills required, both oral and written.
  • Proven ability to interact effectively with senior management, in public forums and within project teams.
  • Proven leadership and management skills.
  • Knowledge of the drug discovery and development process from exploratory development to clinical Phase I;
  • Significant experience with drug research and development in the pharmaceutical industry or equivalent is preferred with project leadership experience on cross-discipline drug discovery or development teams.
  • A strong background in neuroscience is highly desirable.

The successful candidate will work with the Program Director for the PTDP, along with Scientific Project Managers and Program Directors from the Biologics and Small Molecule Blueprint Neurotherapeutics programs. Since these programs feature considerable collaborative work with other NINDS Divisions and with other NIH Institutes, the incumbent will be part of a large interactive team within NINDS and NIH.

Responsibilities of the incumbent will include: defining project objectives; planning, execution, and finalization of projects according to strict deadlines and within budget; oversight of quality control, data assembly and management of program budgets.  The incumbent will, in conjunction with the Director of the DTR, define and communicate the DTR’s strategic goals and initiatives both internally and externally to the NIH.  S/he will work with the Director of DTR to identify and foster relationships with private and public concerns to facilitate transition and commercialization of DTR’s translational projects. 

How to Apply

Interested candidates should send the following to Mary Ann Pelleymounter:

  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Letter of introduction describing experience and interest in this position

Application materials will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. All information provided by candidates will remain strictly confidential and will not be released outside the search process without a signed release from candidates. 

Additional Application Information

Who May Apply: 

You must be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National to be considered for this position. Foreign nationals or legal permanent residents are not eligible for consideration.  Selection for this position is dependent upon successful referral from a Health Scientist Administrator announcement (GS-13/14 and Non-Supervisory GS-15 position) on the website USAJOBS.

Related Information

Salary and Benefits

The position will be filled under a Title 5 GS-601-14 or Non-Supervisory GS-601-15 appointment. Salary is commensurate with the experience and a full package of Civil Service benefits is available, including retirement, health and life insurance, leave, and savings plan (401K equivalent). 

Equal Opportunity Employment

HHS and NIH are Equal Opportunity Employers. Individuals with diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. 


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