Announcements

  • June 23, 2016

    NIA’s Grants for Early Medical/Surgical Specialists’ Transition to Aging Research (GEMSSTAR) program is now open to dentists and dental specialists interested in starting a research career related to aging. Details about the GEMSSTAR program are available on our website.

    “We know that older people can have particular problems with their teeth, gums and oral health,” said Susan Zieman, M.D., Ph.D., who oversees the program. “This is an excellent opportunity for early career dentists and dental specialists to investigate such issues which impact older adults including oral cancers, problems with salivation and taste, integrity of dental bone support, chronic inflammation caused by gum disease, and other topics.”

    The two-year program is designed to provide research experience and a professional development plan that will help young clinical specialists gain the skills for future research projects and a career as an independent investigator. Contact niagemsstar@mail.nih.gov for more information. The deadline for applications is October 6, 2016.

  • May 18, 2016

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the premier health research center for the nation and the world. The 27 Institutes and Centers at NIH employ approximately 18,000 employees in a vast array of jobs, all supporting efforts for a healthy nation. The NIH mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.

    Located in downtown Bethesda, Maryland, the Division of Extramural Activities (DEA) of the National Institute on Aging manages NIA's grants and training policies and procedures, including oversight of grants and contract administration, scientific review, and committee management functions. It serves as primary liaison for NIA with the NIH Office of Extramural Research and with other Institutes that share research interests.

    DEA plans to hire a Research Program Analyst with at least a Master's Degree with some training and exposure to analytical sciences. Prior experience in any aspect of the development of funding opportunity announcements for publication and in any aspect of analysis of NIH data would be advantageous.    

    Major responsibilities will include:

    • Work with NIH Office of Extramural Programs Staff to submit and coordinate NIA funding opportunity announcements and notices to the NIH Guide
    • Work with NIH program officers and program analysts to advise them on appropriate template forms to use for activity codes, and to help them respond to feedback from Guide staff on particular announcements.
    • Read and edit draft funding opportunity announcements for consistency with templates and provides feedback as appropriate.
    • Operate the Internal NIA software to advance funding opportunity announcements through NIA approval. Monitors the system to ensure no excessive unexplained delays in clearance.
    • Act as a Guide liaison and participates in the NIH Guide liaison group who advises on template updates, staff guidance on templates, and any concerns with software used to process announcements and notices.
    • Work with other DEA staff on preparation of standing reports of application activity – the statistical package for every Council round
    • Assist DEA analytic staff on tracking functions and on special projects requests from the National Advisory Council on Aging, NIA Office of the Director leadership.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a pre-announcement of the vacancy. A formal position announcement will be posted on www.usajobs.gov under two announcements:

    • NIH-NIA-DE-16-1696628 which is opened to all US Citizens; and
    • NIH-NIA-MP-1696632 which is opened to Status Candidates only (Merit promotion and VEOA Eligibles).

    We anticipate this posting will appear on or shortly after May 16, 2016. Please check that website regularly for updated postings, as the positions will be open for only 5-10 days.

    For additional information contact Robin Barr, NIH/NIA/DEA, 301-496-9322; BarrR@nia.nih.gov

  • May 18, 2016

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the premier health research center for the nation and the world.  The 27 Institutes and Centers at NIH employ approximately 18,000 employees in a vast array of jobs, all supporting efforts for a healthy nation.  The NIH mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.

    Located in downtown Bethesda, Maryland, the Division of Neuroscience (DN) fosters and supports extramural and collaborative research and training to further the understanding of neural and behavioral processes associated with the aging brain. DN is composed of three branches: Neurobiology of Aging, Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience, and Dementias of Aging. Overall, the Division supports a broad spectrum of research aimed at elucidating how the central nervous system and behavior are affected by normal as well as pathological aging. A central component of this Division is the support of basic, translational, clinical, and epidemiological studies of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related dementias of aging.

    DN plans to hire Research Program Analysts with a degree and experience in basic, translational and clinical research, to provide scientific and logistical support, in work areas such as those listed below:

    • Development and organization of scientific workshops
    • Administration, coordination and analysis of program activities; planning, organization, coordination, and management of segments of complex activities
    • Planning, implementation, and evaluation of programs and initiatives
    • Reviewing grantee progress reports and evaluating actions required to achieve adequate research progress
    • Conducting literature searches, portfolio analyses, and program analyses
    • Assisting in drafting ad hoc and periodic reports and presentations, and summarizing research findings.

    The successful candidate must be a US citizen, and have solid project management, writing, and communication skills, and familiarity with research in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias of aging.  Responsibilities of this position shall include:

    • Working with senior staff to develop Funding Opportunity Announcements, new research initiatives, and exploratory meetings of scientific experts
    • Attending and reporting on peer review meetings
    • Establishing, monitoring and updating systems for tracking program and research progress
    • Providing technical assistance and guidance concerning Division initiatives and priorities to applicants and grantees
    • Responding to requests from Congress, NIH and NIA directors, NIA divisions, and the public
    • Maintaining and updating content on the Division website

    IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a pre-announcement of the vacancy.  A formal vacancy announcement will be posted on www.usajobs.gov and applications must be submitted through that website to be considered. 

    For additional information contact:
    Dr. Laurie Ryan
    NIH/NIA/DN
    301.496.9350
    Ryanl@mail.nih.gov

  • September 22, 2016

    The National Institute on Aging (NIA), Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR), seeks a Health Scientist Administrator to manage and develop a portfolio of innovative grant-supported research and research training and identify scientific opportunities to generate new knowledge supporting the NIA mission, related to the National Alzheimer’s Plan of Action.

    The NIA, one of the 27 Institutes and Centers at NIH, leads a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life.  BSR supports social, behavioral, and economic research and research training on the processes of aging at both the individual and societal level.  Health Scientist Administrators in NIA/BSR enjoy a scientifically energizing and collegial environment with opportunities to develop research initiatives; cultivate a portfolio of grant-supported research; lead and participate in transdisciplinary research collaborations; and develop scientific programming (e.g., symposia, special journal issues, conferences, and workshops).  

    The successful candidate will have primary responsibility for research and research training on formal and informal dementia caregiving, including long-term supports and services for persons with dementia, and services for their caregivers:  

    • Providing scientific administration at each stage of the grants process, including reviewing and approving progress reports;
    • Identifying significant research findings in areas of expertise, summarizing and explaining the results to NIA leadership and other audiences;
    • Proposing future program emphases, and drafting Funding Opportunity Announcements, based on knowledge of the scientific fields and NIA goals;
    • Communicating about NIA program emphases and the NIH grant process to prospective applicants and grantees;
    • Presenting and justifying funding plans to NIA leaders and the National Advisory Council on Aging;
    • Participating in initiatives related to the National Alzheimer’s Plan of Action, working with NIA and NIH colleagues, staff from other agencies, and stakeholders from the private sector and other levels of government.

    Candidate Qualifications

    PhD, MD, or doctoral equivalent in behavioral, social or population science (e.g., Social Epidemiology, Health Policy, Health Services, Psychology, Behavioral Medicine)  and several years of significant experience in research or research management.  Candidates should have strong writing, communication and interpersonal skills.  Experience with research and programs on long-term supports and services, long-term care, or health of informal caregivers will be an advantage.  Candidates must be US citizens.

    All applicants will receive consideration without regard to ethnicity, gender, national origin, age, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.    DHHS, NIH and NIA are Equal Opportunity Employers.

    The work site is in Bethesda, Maryland.  Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience; excellent benefits are offered.   The position likely will be posted at the GS-12, 13, and 14 federal government salary grades, with an annual salary between $77,490 and $141,555.

    For more information

    Interested parties should contact John Haaga at John.Haaga@nih.gov or Lyn Neil at NeilE@mail.nih.gov, (301) 496-3131. This is a pre-announcement of the vacancy which will be posted on www.usajobs.gov, and applications must be submitted through that website to be considered. All inquiries will remain confidential.

  • April 28, 2016

    Previous research has shown that aging affects cognitive ability, and that subtle sex differences in cognition exist across the lifespan. A recent observational study by Dr. Anna C. McCarrey and colleagues in NIA’s Intramural Research Program showed that cognitive ability in some, but not all, domains declines at a steeper rate for men than for women.

    NIA researchers followed participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging up to nine years on average. Participants ranged in age from 50 to 96, and were free of cognitive impairment throughout the course of the study. Participants periodically took memory and other cognitive tests that assessed mental status, visuospatial ability, verbal learning and memory, perceptuomotor speed and integration, and other cognitive skills.

    Initially, men outperformed women on the two tests of visuospatial ability, and women did better than men on several other cognitive tests. Men showed overall steeper rates of cognitive decline in areas of mental status, perceptuomotor speed and integration, and visuospatial ability. None of the measures showed significantly steeper declines for women. This suggests that women have a greater resilience to age-related cognitive decline than do men.

    The researchers note that societal changes may contribute to these sex differences as they have resulted in greater improvements in cognitive stimulation, financial prosperity, and health for women. In addition, sex differences in cognitive aging may be affected by differences in brain structure and function, which tend to show more favorable outcomes for women at advanced ages. Further research is needed to link longitudinal brain changes to cognition in older men and women.

    Reference: Sex Differences in Cognitive Trajectories in Clinically Normal Older Adults. Anna C. McCarrey, Yang An, Melissa H. Kitner-Triolo, Luigi Ferrucci, and Susan M. Resnick. Psychology and Aging. 2016 Apr 13; 31(2):166-175. doi: 10.1037/pag0000070.

     

  • September 21, 2016

    The National Institute on Aging (NIA), Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR), seeks a population or social scientist to be a Health Scientist Administrator in the Population and Social Processes Branch.  The HSA will manage and develop a portfolio of innovative grant-supported research and research training and identify scientific opportunities to generate new knowledge supporting the NIA mission.

    Major duties:

    • Providing scientific administration at each stage of the grants process, including reviewing and approving progress reports;
    • Identifying significant research findings in areas of interest, summarizing and explaining the results to NIA leadership and other audiences;
    • Proposing future program emphases, and drafting Funding Opportunity Announcements, based on knowledge of the scientific fields and NIA goals;
    • Communicating about NIA program emphases and the NIH grant process with prospective applicants and grantees;
    • Presenting and justifying funding plans to NIA leaders and the National Advisory Council on Aging;
    • Participating in NIH- and department-wide research initiatives as approved;
    • Depending on qualifications and experience, serving as Project Scientist for one or more of the major longitudinal data resources supported by BSR, such as the Health and Retirement Study or the National Health and Aging Trends Study. 

    Candidate Qualifications:

    Ph.D. in a relevant discipline in social or population science (e.g., Demography, Sociology, Economics, Social Epidemiology, Health Policy) and several years of successful experience in research or research management.  Excellent oral and written communications skills are required.  Candidates must be US citizens.

    All applicants will receive consideration without regard to ethnicity, gender, national origin, age, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.

    The work site is Bethesda, Maryland.  Salaries are competitive and commensurate with experience; excellent benefits are offered.  The position will likely be posted at the GS-12, 13, and 14 federal government salary grades, with an annual salary between $77,490 and $141,555.

    For more information:

    Interested parties should contact John Haaga at John.Haaga@nih.gov or Lyn Neil at NeilE@mail.nih.gov, (301) 496-3131. This is a pre-announcement of the vacancy which will be posted on www.usajobs.gov, and applications must be submitted through that website to be considered. All inquiries will remain confidential.

  • September 22, 2016

    The National Institute on Aging (NIA), Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR), seeks a senior population or social scientist to serve as Chief of the Population and Social Processes Branch. The Branch Chief will lead a talented group of professionals and foster innovative grant-supported research and research training supporting the NIA mission.

    Major Duties include:

    • Supervising and providing scientific leadership to four professional staff members managing BSR's research and research training grants in the population and social  sciences;
    • Evaluating progress, assessing scientific opportunities, and proposing future program emphases in support of the NIA mission;
    • Communicating NIA program emphases and NIH process to diverse audiences;
    • Presenting and justifying funding plans to NIA leaders and the National Advisory Council on Aging;
    • Identifying significant research findings from grants managed by the branch and communicating results to NIA leadership and other audiences, both professional and public;
    • Serving as Program Officer for a portfolio of research and research training grants in areas of particular interest and expertise;
    • Serving as or supervising the NIA Project Scientist of one or more of the major longitudinal data resources supported by BSR, such as the Health and Retirement Study or the National Health and Aging Trends Study. 

    Candidate Qualifications:

    The ideal candidate will possess a Ph.D. in a relevant population or social science discipline (e.g., Demography, Sociology, Economics, Social Epidemiology, Health Policy) and demonstrate successful experience in research or research management.  He/she will be a good communicator.  Candidates must be US citizens.

    Salaries are competitive and commensurate with experience; excellent benefits are offered.  All applicants will receive consideration without regard to ethnicity, gender, national origin, age, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. The position will likely be posted at the GS-15 federal government salary grade, with an annual salary range of $128,082 to $160,300.

    For more information:

    Interested parties should contact John Haaga at John.Haaga@nih.gov or Lyn Neil at NeilE@mail.nih.gov, (301) 496-3131. This is a pre-announcement of the vacancy which will be posted on www.usajobs.gov, and applications must be submitted through that website to be considered. All inquiries will remain confidential.

  • September 22, 2016

    The National Institute on Aging (NIA), Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR), seeks a behavioral or social scientist to serve as Deputy Director of the Division.  BSR manages an active program of grant-supported research and research training supporting the NIA mission.

    Major Duties include:

    Assisting the Director in management and scientific leadership of an extramural research program spanning the behavioral and social sciences related to health and aging.

    Representing the Division or NIA as a whole in scientific conferences, committees, workshops and ad hoc meetings.

    Managing the process of assigning applications to program officers across the division, negotiating those involving shared interests with other divisions, and working with the Division of Extramural Activities and other divisions to assess the match between applications and NIA research emphases. 

    Managing a scientific portfolio of grants and cooperative agreements in her or his own area of expertise, developing research initiatives, providing advice to potential applicants and grantees, keeping abreast of the relevant scientific literature, and advising NIA senior leadership on scientific opportunities and research priorities.  This part of the work will be implemented in close association with one of the division's two scientific branches.

    Supervising the Program Specialist and Extramural Support Assistant providing administrative support to all components of the division.

    Coordinating and/or drafting division responses to inquiries from Congressional, departmental, NIH, or public sources, and request for comments on policy documents and reports.

    Managing special projects as agreed with the Director, such as conducting evaluative reviews of the NIA portfolio of grants in selected scientific areas or grant mechanisms, developing and coordinating the division's input into major NIH- or government-wide initiatives, or developing new initiatives that cut across organizational boundaries within NIA or NIH.

    Candidate Qualifications:

    The ideal candidate will possess a PhD, MD, or doctoral equivalent in behavioral, social or health sciences and demonstrate successful experience in research or research administration relevant to aging.  Candidates must be US citizens.

    Salaries are competitive and commensurate with experience; excellent benefits are offered.  All applicants will receive consideration without regard to ethnicity, gender, national origin, age, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. The position will likely be posted at the GS-15 federal government salary grade, with an annual salary range of $128,082 to $160,300.

    For more information: 

    Interested parties should contact John Haaga at John.Haaga@nih.gov or Lyn Neil at NeilE@mail.nih.gov, (301) 496-3131. This is a pre-announcement of the vacancy which will be posted on www.usajobs.gov, and applications must be submitted through that website to be considered. All inquiries will remain confidential.

  • March 18, 2016

    The Division of Behavioral and Social Research congratulates Drs. Anne Case and Angus Deaton on their selection as winners of the Cozzarelli Prize from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Case and Deaton's article, "Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century" is one of six papers published in 2015 to earn this distinction.

    The paper reported that deaths among white U.S. men and women aged 45–54 rose significantly between 1999 and 2013, reversing decades of progress in mortality; the change was unique to non-Hispanic whites in the United States. Morbidity rates increased as well, with self-reported declines in health, mental health, and abilities to conduct activities of daily living, accompanied by increases in reports of chronic pain, inability to work, and deterioration of liver function.

    The Cozzarelli Prize acknowledges papers that reflect scientific excellence and originality. The award was established in 2005 and named in 2007 to honor late PNAS Editor-in-Chief Nicholas R. Cozzarelli.

    This year's award winners will be recognized during the PNAS Editorial Board Meeting and the NAS Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony on May 1, 2016, in Washington, DC.

  • February 25, 2016

    When prescribed correctly, antibiotics can be very effective in treating a variety of bacterial infections. However, U.S. clinicians often prescribe antibiotics to patients with non-bacterial infections, particularly those with acute viral respiratory tract infections, a practice that has important repercussions. Not only are antibiotics ineffective against non-bacterial infections, they may also be associated with unpleasant side effects or allergic reactions. And, over-prescription is a significant cause of population-level antibiotic resistance.

    In an NIA-funded randomized clinical trial involving 248 primary care clinicians, Dr. Jason N. Doctor, of the University of Southern California, and his colleagues compared the effectiveness of three different behavioral interventions in an attempt to affect prescribing practices:

    • The accountable justifications intervention prompted clinicians to write justifications for antibiotic prescriptions in the patient’s electronic health record (EHR), following a notification that antibiotics may not be right for the patient. This was associated with an 18.1 percent decrease in inappropriate prescriptions.
    • The peer comparison intervention ranked physicians on the number of inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions they wrote. Those with the highest inappropriate prescribing rates received e-mail messages informing them that they were not “top performers” compared to others in their region who wrote fewer inappropriate prescriptions. The e-mail included the number and proportion of inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions they had written compared to the top performers. This tactic reduced inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions by 16.3 percent.
    • The suggested alternative intervention presented a pop-up message on the EHR indicating that antibiotics may not be right for the patient and suggesting a more appropriate alternative. This was associated with a 5 percent decrease in inappropriate prescriptions.

    Over the 18-month intervention period, the overall number of inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions decreased by 11 percent from baseline. The researchers note that while the study sample was relatively small and depended on the use of EHRs, the use of accountable justification and peer comparison behavioral interventions resulted in meaningfully lower inappropriate prescribing rates and might be useful tools to improve the quality of care by individual clinicians.

    Reference: “Effect of Behavioral Interventions on Inappropriate Antibiotic Prescribing Among Primary Care Practices: A Randomized Clinical Trial” by Daniella Meeker, et al. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2016 Feb 9;315(6):562-70. doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.0275.

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